North Bend City Council appoints new city attorney; receives police services update

City Council officially appointed a new City Attorney and received a 2018 police services update.

At its Jan. 8 meeting, the North Bend City Council officially appointed a new city attorney and received a 2018 police services update.

The city council unanimously approved Eileen Keiffer of the law firm Kenyon Disend as North Bend’s city attorney. Mike Kenyon, the previous attorney had worked with the city since 1996, and he is retiring.

Keiffer is not new to North Bend — she has worked as the city’s primary city attorney for the past few years. The council voted to officially appoint her to the role. Keiffer thanked the council for the appointment and complimented the quality of the city staff.

Snoqualmie-North Bend Police Chief Perry Phipps, with Capt. Nick Almquist, presented an overview of some of the data and trends from 2018. In looking at overall calls for service, Chief Phipps noted a 270-call increase over 2017, with a total of 5,053 in 2018.

The 911 initiation calls saw a 291 increase over 2017 as well. Chief Phipps highlighted the response times to Priority 3 calls — the most urgent calls the department receives. Between 2017 and 2018 there was a half minute improvement in response time.

Capt. Almquist presented other statistics including an increase in DUIs and a decrease in trespassing compared to 2017. Almquist discussed community events the Police Department has been participating in such as the Coffee With a Cop Classes, Rape Aggression Defense Classes, the North Bend Elementary Lunch Buddy program and the Senior Safe education program at Mount Si Senior Center.

Chief Phipps noted the city of North Bend has seen improvement in safety ranking from the Washington Safe Cities Awards. In 2015, North Bend was ranked 53 on the list of the most safe cities. In 2018, North Bend was ranked at 20.

For future goals, the department is working on getting accreditation with the state of Washington and plans to focus on youth-based programs.