Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Tacoma Police Department


Tragedy led to positive public changes

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Ten years ago Friday, the South Sound was stunned by news that Tacoma’s police chief had fatally shot his estranged wife and then himself – with their two young children nearby.

The tragedy was an intensely personal one for the families of Crystal Judson and David Brame, leaving two children orphans and loved ones distraught. But it was also a very public crime, taking place in a Gig Harbor parking lot and involving a high-ranking police officer.

It touched off weeks of investigation and soul-searching by city officials and police seeking the answers to two overarching questions: Read more »


Tacoma police keep the lights on for Teekah Lewis

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Teekah, where are you?

It’s been more than 13 years since 2-year-old Teekah Lewis vanished from New Frontier Lanes on Center Street on a dark January night in 1999. Somebody took her. In that busy Tacoma bowling alley, somebody must have seen her get taken.

The chances of solving such a crime fall quickly after the first few days. As time stretches, it can get tougher still. Criminals flee or develop alibis. Witnesses move. Phones get disconnected. Memories get fuzzy.

In Teekah’s case, even the scene of the crime – the bowling alley – has evaporated, razed for a new development.

But give credit to the Tacoma Police Department. Its officers are pursuing this cold case with tenacity.

Detectives stepped up the investigation earlier this year, revisiting old crime reports and trying to connect dots that didn’t seem connectable 13 years ago.

They’ve looked especially hard at reports of child-luring in the Tacoma area. Predators who abduct children often commit similar other crimes before and after.
It is gratifying to learn that a Tacoma police team descended Friday and Saturday on the house of a man convicted of child-luring in 2010. Investigators reportedly arrived in a forensics van, used cadaver dogs and dug in the back yard.

They appear to have found nothing. But they obviously sense they have new leads in the case. And they wouldn’t have new leads unless they’d been looking for them.
Teekah isn’t the only missing child in Pierce County who seems to have fallen into a predator’s hands. Here are some of the most infamous cold cases:

• In 1995, Lenoria Jones vanished at age 3 in Tacoma.

• In 1996, Jeffrey Klungness, then 14, was apparently taken from his Sumner-area house, where his mother was found beaten to death.

• In 1992, Misty Copsey, then 14, disappeared after spending a day at the Puyallup Fair.

The thing is to remember.

Teekah’s family has employed multiple strategies to keep her in the public eye. They have repeatedly held vigils, used the media to appeal for help, and put Teekah’s face on television and even the sides of long-haul trucks.
Read more »


Police union concessions welcome, but are they enough?

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Tacoma police union members did the right thing Monday. They voted – in “overwhelming” numbers, according to their president – to approve concessions they hope will preserve jobs in the face of an estimated $32 million budget shortfall.

The city’s firefighters should do the same when they vote Jan. 26 and 27 on budget savings their bargaining unit says it has identified.

Although neither union disclosed what concessions it is prepared to make, it’s probably safe to say they involve a combination of things, perhaps including compensation givebacks and lower pension contributions. Interim city manager Ray Arellano will decide whether to accept the concessions. Read more »


Honesty took a nap after Zina Linnik’s murder

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Almost four years after the fact, the public has learned why the Tacoma Police Department took so long to put out an Amber Alert for a missing and murdered Tacoma girl: The officer asked to do it fell asleep.

The outrage isn’t the 12 hours it took to issue the alert after 12-year-old Zina Linnik was abducted on July 4, 2007. It’s the more than three years the police department took to acknowledge what happened – a coverup that deliberately misled the public and is still being soft-pedaled by City Manager Eric

Read more »


Keep the public in the loop on deputy’s murder-suicide

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

It’s been more than four days since a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy fatally shot two innocent people, then himself. The public still knows next to nothing about the killings.

We know that 49-year-old Deputy Allen Myron killed his wife’s parents, Monty and Susan Multanen, on Friday evening at his home near Gig Harbor.

The Tacoma Police Department – which is handling the investigation – revealed Monday that Myron had quarreled with his father-in-law before the murder-suicide. But that could safely have been surmised from the fact that the deputy shot Multanen.

Beyond those bare facts, what?

Read more »