Blue Byline

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

Archives: Aug. 2013


A life lived, two lives wasted

I wish I had met Delbert Belton.

If a life of purpose were coalesced into one action, then Mr. Belton, a survivor of the Battle of Okinawa, truly lived an exemplary one.

Last Wednesday night Shorty, as the diminutive veteran was known, was sitting in his car in the parking lot of a Spokane bowling alley, waiting to escort a female friend inside, when he was attacked and critically injured by two teenaged boys. Hours later the 88-year-old man who participated in the bloodiest battle of the Pacific, who took a bullet for his country

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Lawsuits against DOC increase our vulnerability to dangerous felons

When a heinous crime occurs, a compassionate community is one that quickly steps in to help victims and their family members. Paramedics, nurses and doctors provide medical aid; police and prosecutors arrest and charge those responsible; neighbors and friends rush in to provide comfort.

But what if the victims or the family members decide that the community at large is responsible for the crime itself?

That question is at the center of a lawsuit filed against the Department of Corrections on behalf of the juvenile son of Jim Sanders, killed during a 2010 home invasion robbery dubbed the Craigslist Murder.

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A badge is a burden, not a backstage pass

When friends ask me about my days back in uniform, I like to tell them that being a cop is like having the ultimate backstage pass. Everywhere you go, doors open, and people beckon you in.

It can be an empowering career, but for those who don’t accept the accountability that comes with the job, it can be a short one.

A recent TNT story about a Federal Way police officer is a classic example (TNT 8/8). The article described the officer’s recent resignation amidst allegations of inappropriate interactions with a woman previously arrested for

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Bad choices and motor vehicles are deadly mixture

If you were to take three young men, throw in alcohol and a string of bad choices, chances are it would make for a bad day. Last Wednesday in Tacoma, that formula went tragically beyond that. By the end of the day, two men were dead, the third on the run from the police, and all because of one addition to the  equation: a car.

It started with an idea to shoplift some beer, a plan that immediately unraveled when the cashier pursued two of them, Walter Corey, 21, and James Paggeot, 22, outside

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