State patrol finds new home in Snoqualmie

The Washington State Patrol's small, Alpine-themed detachment office on Sydney Avenue in North Bend is now vacant, but that doesn't mean the Valley has lost its troopers. After three moves in the last 16 years, troopers working the Valley now have a permanent home within the Snoqualmie Police Department on Snoqualmie Ridge.

In an effort to improve coverage and supervisory levels, the state patrol restructured the detachments assigned to the east King County area. Five detachments were consolidated into four and troopers from all four detachments will now be trained to work in the Valley, as well as Snoqualmie Pass. All sergeants and troopers will be based out of the district office located in Bellevue.

When Snoqualmie Police Chief Jim Schaffer heard about the state patrol's reorganization, he offered them space that was available within the Snoqualmie Police Department. Troopers working in the Valley will use the location as a "satellite" office. The state patrol moved into the new office the first week of November.

The Snoqualmie Ridge location, 37600 S.E. Snoqualmie Parkway, provides troopers with easy access to Interstate 90, Highway 18 and state routes 202 and 203, as well as being closer to state patrol district headquarters in the Eastgate area of Bellevue.

"This reconfiguration will provide better manpower and coverage [for the Valley]," Lt. Jeff Sass explained.

As a result of the changes, during the first big snowstorm of the season Oct. 29, five troopers were working on Snoqualmie Pass instead of the usual three, providing better service to the area when it was needed.

"The Snoqualmie Police Department was a natural fit for this working relationship since they were already equipped with DUI [driving under the influence] breath testing equipment that is routinely used by the troopers, as well as holding cells," Sass said.

The new partnership will improve and enhance the exchange of information between state patrol, the Snoqualmie Police Department and the King County Sheriff's Office.

"We've always had a good relationship with the state patrol," Schaffer said. "It's always been a pleasure to work with the troopers. I think it's going to be a really good partnership."

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