Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Archives: Oct. 2012

Oct.
31st

Lack of big police stories not a real problem

Most days I slug my coffee and sift through the paper. Most days said paper is chock full of stories that roll right into my wheelhouse. Not so much lately.

On any given day, the Trib’s A section is filled with articles that have at least a tangential connection to the police profession: national crime news, public safety budgets, local police stories, or controversial drug arrests. The shortage may not bode well for a column that feeds off such events, but it may say good things about our community’s overall health. Or not.

A perusal of today’s stories include the

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Oct.
25th

Eyman’s I-1185 is a tired cliche

Tim Eyman is not my hero.

Eyman is, of course, the consummate citizen-activist who in recent years has made it his mission to dismantle our state’s taxation system. Proponents are wildly ecstatic about his ideas, which have included legalizing slot machines, down sizing the King County Council, cutting taxes that provide general public funding, and reducing property taxes by 25%.

This time Eyman’s initiative is a reboot:  I-1185 would require a 2/3 majority for future tax increases. This initiative mirrors past attempts, such as I-1053 (2010) and I-960 (2007). While these measures passed, both were relegated to

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Oct.
21st

Alleged killer’s privileges deplorable but (for now) defensible

Christopher Monfort is getting a television.

That simple and innocuous statement has sparked an outrage. If you are unfamiliar with the name and the context, or have trouble recalling, let me fill in the blanks.

November 6, 2009 was a cold, dry day. I remember parking my car and walking through a brisk wind as my path began crossing with a growing number of police officers. In tens, hundreds and then thousands, we filed en masse into the Key Arena for the memorial service of a Seattle police officer by the name of Timothy Brenton.

Just a few days prior, Brenton

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Oct.
17th

Police standoffs are disruptive – alternative is much worse

I was a cold, wet, hungry and tired rookie cop the night of my first standoff. I got the initial call, a domestic dispute, at 2AM, which was immediately upgraded when someone cranked off a few rounds. I flipped on the lights and sirens, floored the gas and was there in a couple of minutes.

I was the first on scene and, rather than knock on the door, I stopped and took cover. That’s when the mistakes started. First, I pulled directly in front of the house. Way too close, I realized and ran to the rear of my car and

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Oct.
14th

I-502 discussion important – and entertaining

Many local and national issues await our decision on November 6. One of those guaranteed to resonate on many levels is Initiative 502, the measure to legalize marijuana. Its controversial presence on the ballot may be the final lap for legalization- but what a long and strange trip it has been.

Forget about jobs and the economy; that bitter and acrimonious debate is as full of rhetoric as it is never-ending. For shocking surprises, surreal parallels and unholy relationships, no issue has more political drama than the pre-election flap over legalized pot.

If the road up to this point has

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Oct.
11th

Innocent? Sandusky only fooling himself

“It was a conspiracy…I didn’t have time to prepare for trial…I’m not a monster.” You have to hand it to Jerry Sandusky – he’s sticking to his story. The question is why.

On Tuesday, Sandusky was sentenced in Centre County Superior Court to 30-60 years, a de facto life sentence (Trib 10/10) that followed his conviction on 45 counts of various sex crimes against young boys while an assistant football coach at Penn State.

Sandusky’s conviction was based on years of documented allegations as well as the appearance of several victims and an eye witness, all of whom

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Oct.
7th

Rob McKenna: a non-partisan endorsement

In my former police department the television in the break room, like the police officers themselves, worked 24/7. Sporting events, sitcoms, even nature shows were acceptable programming, but when someone switched over to one of those loud political commentary channels (MSNBC, Fox News, take your pick) I headed for the door.

It’s not that I don’t care about politics. The problem is that when we restrict ourselves by partisanship – red or blue, conservative or liberal –  our voting choices become too narrow, too divisive. Selecting a candidate by the qualifier (R) or (D) is also no guarantee that the

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