Blue Byline

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

Archives: Jan. 2014

Jan.
31st

Being a ‘Hawks fan is the easiest thing in the world

(Note: After hours of staring at a blank screen, I gave up trying to write a public safety related column this week. If you’re not a Seahawks fan, please be patient. I’ll get back on track after the ‘Hawks big win on Sunday.)

When the ‘Hawks pulled out an amazing win against the ’49ers almost two weeks ago, I was watching from my sister’s home in San Francisco. It was a planned family trip back to my hometown which just happened to coincide with the newest, biggest sports rivalry on the West Coast.

It was, in a word, uncomfortable. That’s

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Jan.
26th

Driving drunk relinquishes the future to a roll of the dice

For anyone who requires further proof that life is not fair, consider the story of two young men, one 22 and the other 19. Both men were allegedly driving drunk at roughly twice the legal speed limit when everything went wrong. While their actions constitute similar crimes, their stories end very differently due to the immutable laws of physics and the chaotic nature of chance.

The 22-year-old’s name is Joshua Brake. Last June, Brake was rocketing along SR 507 near Roy, at a speed a witness estimated to be above 90 mph, when he lost control of his car and

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Jan.
21st

Sex trafficking: society’s dirtiest secret

Of the many mistakes I’ve made in my police career, one looms large.

I recall driving my patrol car through downtown Auburn when three people crossing the street caught my eye. Two were young girls, about 16, wearing clothing best described as skimpy on what was a crisp afternoon; the third was a young man in his early 20′s. They got into an old Chevy as I drove past, and I never saw them again.

Two things occurred to me in the following order. First, a part of my brain ran the image through a racial profiling filter and decided

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Jan.
15th

Job stress is in the eye of the beholder

With the January doldrums well under way, many of us would love to be able to drop into one of those sun-drenched travel ads, the ones with white sand beaches and tropical drinks with little pink umbrellas, and leave all that stress behind.

This time of year can certainly be a grind for the worker bee, but as a recent TNT story on stressful jobs illustrates, some folks might need that break more than others.

It should come as no surprise that public safety careers made CareerCast’s top ten list of the most stressful professions. While military professionals

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Jan.
10th

Cops could use a little help with public relations

Police work can be an exciting and rewarding career field, but it definitely has its drawbacks. One of the most frustrating aspects is the negative response cops receive from simply doing their job.

I refer you to a recent incident that occurred at the transit center in downtown Tacoma on Monday involving an off-duty officer and a combative subject (TNT 1/8).

The details that led to the altercation are exceptional only in the fact that they are so mundane – the subject, a 34-year-old man, was detained on a misdemeanor charge of smoking a cigarette

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Jan.
6th

The three biggest public safety issues for 2014

Now that the goose is cooked and eaten, the tree trimmed and recycled, the presents bought and returned, it’s time to get back into work mode. With the new year already almost a week gone, it is well past time to discuss the important issues in public safety that will have the most effect on us – both locally and nationally – in 2014.

The following are three critical issues of public safety that require the most attention in 2014.

1. Gun violence: It is difficult to even mention this issue without arousing the angry attention of the fervent protectors

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