Blue Byline

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

Tag: Lakewood police department

April
9th

Lakewood scandal: great article, wrong target

The twisted saga of Skeeter Manos, former Lakewood police officer, is a case study in betrayal. In a scathing article (TNT 4/7) on theft that shook the foundation of a grieving community, TNT investigative reporter Christian Hill drags Manos’ crime into the harsh light of day.

It was a worthy effort, but praise comes with a caveat. The subject of the story was not Manos, the central figure sentenced to 33 months in a federal penitentiary last year for embezzling more than $150,000 from a charity fund destined for widows and orphans of the fallen Lakewood officers.

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March
2nd

Task forces really are the long arm of the law

When cops work together, good things can happen.

Last week a mixed bag of local, state and federal cops put the finishing touches on a cooperative effort known as Shiny Penny. After six months of work the officers and agents working for Pierce County’s Auto Crimes Enforcement task force (say that three times fast), netted a treasure trove of stolen vehicles, firearms and other property (Trib 3/2).

Twenty-one people went for that shiny penny, and ended up dangling on ACE’s hook. That is the type of successful collaboration that the other Washington would do well to emulate.

Unfortunately, even

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July
2nd

Cops who violate our trust should be held to higher standard

Remorse: Moral anguish arising from repentance for past misdeeds.

With every crime there is always the chance of getting caught. Even the least imaginative individual is capable of understanding the potential fallout of arrest, including a trial and incarceration. Police officers know better than anyone what is in store for someone tapped by the long arm of the law.

Skeeter Manos, ex-Lakewood cop and newly convicted felon, would have known exactly what awaited him if his embezzlement were uncovered. Given his lavish lifestyle, including big ticket purchases, gambling and vacations, Manos should have assumed his arrest would be

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Feb.
15th

The “Skeeter Rule” could help prevent insider theft

When the last “Welcome aboard!” had faded away on my first day as a cop, I was briskly ushered to a dimly lit cubicle where a three-ring binder the size of the Cleveland phone book awaited. “This is the policy manual,” I was told. “Read it because you’re responsible for everything in it.”

Since then the digital age has rendered paper versions of workplace rules obsolete. This was timely because the human penchant for screw-ups would ultimately have led to a policy manual roughly the size of Cleveland. What, I wonder, would be the reaction if each new policy were named

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Feb.
9th

Manos’ alleged crime is a bitter betrayal

In early December of 2009, about a week after four police officers were killed, I worked a shift in Lakewood. Like many other cops, I had shown up to support my shell-shocked colleagues and to allow them some time off to grieve. In reality, we all were drawn to the Lakewood station by our need to make sense of the tragedy, to talk through the hurt, and to begin the healing process among friends and colleagues.

Between calls for service we spent most of the day outside the station, mingling with a large crowd of people who, like us, were

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