WELCOME to new Police Chief Christopher “Topher” Ferreira!
The Granite Falls Police Department (through our contract with Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office) has re-introduced the CRIME MAP for our area. Click here to be directed to the Crime Mapping Site.
The Pilchuck Foundation is launching a community-wide plea for donations. Please check your water bill for a special insert, and consider becoming a regular donor to support our mission of strengthening public safety for the greater Granite Falls community. (This insert was included at zero cost to taxpayers.) You can donate safely online here.
WELCOME CHIEF FENSKE!
(From the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)
GRANITE FALLS, WASH. – Sgt. Brian Fenske has been selected to serve as the Chief of the Granite Falls Police Department effective August 1, 2016. The previous chief, Scott Robertson, was promoted to lieutenant and reassigned to patrol.
Fenske, who has a 21 year career in law enforcement, most recently served as a patrol sergeant for the City of Snohomish for the past three years. During his career, Fenske has worked in a variety of units, including the dive team and as a field training officer (FTO), and served for six years as a Master Patrol Deputy.
Fenske graduated from Washington State University with a BA in criminal justice in 1993. He started his law enforcement career with the Lake Forest Police Department and joined the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in 1998. Fenske was promoted to sergeant in 2012.
The City of Granite Falls has contracted with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office for police services since 2014.
GRANITE FALLS, Wash. – Sgt. Scott Robertson, who has a 20 year career in law enforcement, has been selected to serve as the Granite Falls Police Chief effective March 9, 2015. The previous chief, Sgt. Dave Bowman, remains on medical leave following an accident last October.
Robertson most recently served as chief of the Darrington Police Department. During his career, he has worked in a variety of units, including SWAT, Swift Water, Marine, Dive Team, Civil Disturbance, Chemical Agent Response Team, and Traffic. He has served as a Field Training Officer, Defensive Tactics Instructor, and Emergency Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Operator Instructor.
Robertson graduated from Central Washington University with a BA in Law and Justice in 1992. He started his law enforcement career with Clyde Hill Police Department in January 1993, and then worked for Kirkland Police Department from 1995 to 2000. Robertson joined the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in 2000. He was promoted to sergeant in 2013 and has taught criminal justice classes at Everett and Skagit Valley Community College.
The City of Granite Falls has contracted with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office for police services since 2014.
Click here for statistics and data on crime in the City of Granite Falls for DECEMBER, 2014
*************The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is accepting applications for their annual Citizen’s Academy! Information below courtesy of the SCSO:
||Sheriff’s Office Recruits Citizens for Academies|
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is accepting applications for the annual Citizen’s Academy. The academy is a free, 13-week program for residents of the county to learn more about day-to-day operations of law enforcement. This winter the Sheriff’s Office will hold two academies. North precinct classes will be held at Lakewood High School (Classes are 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., with one Saturday field trip.
“Attending a citizen’s academy is a great way for residents to get hands-on experience and exposure to the work of a Sheriff’s deputy, including K9 enforcement, investigations, and search and rescue,” said Sheriff Ty Trenary. “By giving Snohomish County residents a firsthand look at our training, procedures, and equipment, we can alleviate a lot of misunderstanding and misconceptions that the public has of law enforcement.”
The program will include classroom training, hands-on participation, and the opportunity to ride on patrol with a deputy. Attendees will learn about:
- Patrol procedures and equipment
- Traffic operations and collision investigations
- K-9 enforcement
- Drugs and gangs
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Crime scene technology
- Major crime investigations
- Sex offenders
- Jail operations
- Search and rescue
- Special weapons and tactics (SWAT)
“I had the honor of attending the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department Citizens Academy held in East County,” said Bothell resident Chris Hendrickson. “It was an amazing and eye-opening experience that everyone could benefit from.”
Space is limited. Applications are available online at http://snohomishcountywa.gov/CitizensAcademy. All class participants must pass a basic criminal background check. Applications are accepted up through the start of the academy. For more information, email email@example.com.
GRANITE FALLS PRESS December, 2014
Time to Recognize Our Everyday Heroes
By Suzi Quillen
The month of October 2014 was full of high profile public safety events. The two most prominent being the shooting rampage that started in Granite Falls and ended in Marysville the evening of October 15th and the very tragic deadly shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School on October 24th.
Most every form of media has been full of stories about the perpetrators of these life changing crimes; the situations, how they played out, who was involved, how could it have been prevented. There is much available about the victims, how they are processing what happened, how they are recovering, how they are moving on, and how the community supports them.
At this time, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude for our law enforcement officers that work hard every day to keep us safe; and professionally put their lives on the line when an engaged incident is in play. All too often these every day heroes get little recognition for their efforts other than to be questioned in the media for how and why they took the actions they took.
When city budgets no longer allowed for a police department, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Granite Falls agreed to a contract for law enforcement services that came fully into force in March 2014. The Sheriff’s Department now occupies the Granite Falls police station across from City Hall on Granite Ave, and patrols a much larger territory than our City Police Department had jurisdiction to cover.
The expansive area that this precinct monitors includes the city of Granite Falls proper. It is bordered on the west by city limits, and generally covers the area between the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River on the north, and the Pilchuck River to the south, continuing east abutting with the Monroe and Sultan departments at the south east and up the Mountain Loop Highway toward Barlow Pass at the north east, where Forestry Service Rangers play important roles.
Chief Dave Bowman is currently recovering from serious injuries; unrelated to but incurred while attempting to respond to the October 15th shootings. After spending a total of thirteen days in Harbor View hospital, seven of which he was in ICU, Bowman will be out of service for as much as twelve weeks recovering. He says in a post recently seen on Facebook, “I have a special turtle-shaped brace I have to wear for 8-12 weeks followed by whatever physical therapy will be needed. In the meantime, Sgt. Todd Swenson is the acting Police Chief for Granite Falls. He is highly dedicated and will work hard to keep things on track. One of the deputies delivered Billie’s Busy Kid’s banner. Thank you all for your support, and rest assured I’m thinking of you and working to heal as quickly as possible.”
The department office is open from 9a-5p Monday through Friday and staffed by a Law Enforcement Secretary. Each with many years of dedicated service experience and intensive training in various law enforcement venues including Granite Falls PD, State Patrol and the jail, the Granite Falls Sheriff’s office is assigned a chief and four deputies: Chief David Bowman (out due to injury), Acting Chief Todd Swenson, Deputy Thomas Dalton, Deputy Brandon Charbonneau, Deputy Keith Poteet, and Deputy Kevin Pelleboer.
According to Acting Chief Swenson, the majority of incidents responded to are inside the city limits of Granite Falls. Domestic violence related issues, disturbing the peace, and property crimes being the most common.
“There have been quite a lot of bike thefts in the city recently,” Swenson shares. He also explained that there are criminals that will drive around, and take metal items from yards, throw them in the back of their trucks and drive off. They are selling the stolen material to scrap metal recycling centers. Keeping your possessions properly and safely stored with help keep these theft crimes from happening to you.
Swenson also explains how important it is to speak up when you witness something unusual or suspicious, “If you see something, say something,” he says. “Community eyes and ears are very important to helping us do our jobs,” what might seem merely odd to us citizens, might be a clue for law enforcement in collecting data to solve crimes. Lurkers and prowlers are all too often not reported to 911, which makes it more challenging for law enforcement to piece together what might appear to be random crimes, but in actuality may be part of a string of events. Calling 911 to report what you have seen allows these trained and experienced professionals to collate information and determine if the situation is criminal, or really is nothing. When you make a report an officer may contact you to gather more specific details, and may be able to provide some assurance about the situation and suggestions for how you can adjust your situation to be safe. The Granite Falls Neighborhood Watch can be contacted by calling 360-691-6611, and there are many great tips for keeping your home and family safe in their newsletter found at http://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3996
If you would like to submit a formal commendation for one of our Sheriff Deputies, you have the opportunity to do so. Visit http://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/210/Sheriff and click the Citizen Commendation Form link to fill out and submit the form.
Mark your calendars for November 8th to support Christmas House!
Please keep our Chief David Bowman in your prayers as he recovers.
Here are more photos of the damage done to the police station. Photos by Jude Anderson:
Chief Bowman’s monthly report to the Granite Falls City Council
Chief Bowman’s monthly report to the Granite Falls City Council:
June 16th – 6:00 p.m. – NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH MEETING for anyone interested! At the Granite Falls Middle School multi-purpose room (old cafeteria). See you there!
Great article mentioning citizen involvement with local law enforcement, and the police chief’s report to the City Council at this link.
Message from the Granite Falls Police: Hosting a neighborhood watch meeting May 19, 2014 from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the Granite Falls Middle School Multipurpose room located at 405 N Alder Ave.
The meeting is open to any existing neighborhood watch groups as well as anyone wishing to start one in the Granite Falls area. Agenda for this meeting will include a survey of what neighborhood watches may already be in effect both in and out of the city, initial information from the police department to include our plans for neighborhood watch going forward, and setting up positive communication.
Neighborhood Watch is built upon the notion that crime prevention is a shared responsibility. By getting organized and cooperating with your neighbors you can reduce your risk of becoming a crime victim and create a greater sense of security in your neighborhood.
BELOW IS THE REPORT GIVEN TO THE CITY COUNCIL ON MAY 5, 2014 BY CHIEF DAVID BOWMAN
The latest article in the Mountain Loop exPress – Neighbors to Neighbors in the Wake of Oso.
Below is the monthly report from police Chief David Bowman to the City Council, presented April 16. Click on each page to zoom in.
We extend our gratitude to the Granite Falls Fire District #17, our local law enforcement, and the many other first responders who continue to assist in the aftermath of the heartbreaking catastrophe that happened March 22 in Oso. Neighboring communities (including Granite Falls) have stepped up to help with donations of food, clothing, blankets, money, and other needs. Here are two links to information about how to help:
How To Help – from the Everett Herald
Local Granite Falls fundraisers – Mountain Loop exPress
Donations given to the Pilchuck Foundation go to help our fire and police with needed equipment, technology, and training.
Meet our new law enforcement group at the police station March 21, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.! Read all about it in the Mountain Loop exPress.
Wonderful article celebrating the history of our Granite Falls Fire District #17 in the March 7 issue of the Mountain Loop exPress. Read the article here.
SAY GOODBYE TO THE GRANITE FALLS POLICE DEPARTMENT – read the article here.
Parents and students in particular, but anyone in the community who wants to learn more about cyber safety: DIGITAL SAFETY TRAINING
–Tuesday, February 11th @ 6pm–
High School PAC
(Performing Arts Center)
*Who: parents and students encouraged to attend
January 17, 2014: Law Enforcement Update from Granite Falls School District website:
Arrest Made in Granite Falls over Cyber Threats GRANITE FALLS, Wash. – Granite Falls police have arrested a 17 year-old male following a month-long series of online threats made against students and staff at the high school here. The male, who is a student at the high school, was taken into custody after a search warrant was issued last night at the 200 block of S. Indiana Ave. He confessed to making the series of violent threats against specific students, the high school student body and school staff since December 15, 2013. All of the threats were made via ASK.FM, a social networking web site based in Latvia which allows users to post a question or statement anonymously. The male was booked into the Denney Juvenile Justice Center for cyber-stalking and felony harassment. Working with detectives from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, police were able to establish probable cause for arrest by tracing the online postings back to the location where the search warrant was served. Information for high school students and their families will be posted on the this webpage. No additional arrests are expected at this time.
CYBER-THREATS AGAINST GRANITE FALLS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
The Granite Falls School District has established a special page on their website for updates about the current situation. Click here to read a letter from school superintendent Linda Hall, and then scroll down for updates and information.
SNOHOMISH COUNTY SGT. DAVE BOWMAN APPOINTED ACTING CHIEF OF GRANITE FALLS POLICE – January 13, 2014
Read the article here in the Mountain Loop exPress
2013 CRIME MAP STATISTICS FOR GRANITE FALLS
The following trend report was generated from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department crime mapping system, which Granite Falls Police Department participates in. It’s very important to remember that these statistics reflect ONLY those reported crimes where the cases were closed, and criminal cases that are included in the mapping (not all crimes are.) Keep in mind too, that the Granite Falls Police Department responds to over 7,500 calls a year — including those self-initiated by an officer. Of that number, this report reflects only certain criminal cases.
The report shows a total of 737 reported and closed cases of crimes for the year 2013. Of those 737, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office handled 167, and the Granite Falls Police Department handled 570.
Here is an interesting look at crimes committed in Granite Falls by day of the week:
The Granite Falls Police Department and Granite Falls School District will host a forum on Thursday, January 9 at the high school, starting at 6:00 p.m. Please see below:
Don’t forget — you can sign up to receive daily reports of certain crimes in Granite Falls at the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office website. You can also explore the crime map by clicking here.
At the December 18, 2013 Granite Falls City Council meeting, the council voted 4 – 0 to contract local law enforcement to the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Office (SCSO). The contract will begin as soon as two months from signing, which could mean the SCSO will be in place as early as February.
The Pilchuck Foundation reluctantly agreed with the reccommendation that the City of Granite Falls enter into contract negotiations, based on the hard facts of the City’s budget, and in recognition of the unexpected, overwhelming personnel costs that crushed the ‘last resort’ police budget for 2013.
The contract allows for the barest minimum staffing level: One (1) deputy on duty 24 hours per day, to patrol both the CITY and unincoporated COUNTY, with the exclusion as follows: The potential exists that there may not be a Deputy specifically assigned to the region between 2400 and 0600. This situation would occur less than 10% of the time.
The Pilchuck Foundation’s mission remains strong, to support and strengthen public safety in Granite Falls. We will continue to raise funds to assist with unbudgeted technology and training needs for our fire district and local law enforcement, generate scholarship funds, and explore innovative ways to strengthen public safety, particularly in the reality of losing our police force.
We will continue to update you through this website, and welcome your comments, input, and support.
Congratulations to our advisory board member Dennis Taylor, who has accepted the position of Commander for the Lake Stevens Police Department. His tireless dedication, outstanding integrity, and extraordinary professional and interpersonal skills are an immeasurable gain for the Lake Stevens community. Chief Taylor will remain an esteemed and valued member of our board.
The Pilchuck Foundation’s official response to the firing of police chief Dennis Taylor was read at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting:
The Pilchuck Foundation has strongly supported both the principles and the practices that Chief Dennis Taylor has brought to the department and to his position as Police Chief. From the perspective of the Foundation, there is no justification for a change in his role, but in our form of City government, the Chief serves at the pleasure of the Mayor. Whether we agree or disagree on any specific personnel action, it is not the Foundation’s role to take a position. We do, however, have the highest regard and respect for Dennis Taylor, and he will remain a valued member of the Pilchuck Foundation Board, in his role as advisor. Members of the Foundation are entitled (as citizens) to form their own opinions, but their opinions, expressed or unexpressed, do not constitute a position on behalf of the Foundation.
Article in the Mountain Loop exPress: Police Chief Fired Without Cause
We are sad to announce that Police Horse Slick passed away on August 22, 2013. The following was written by his partner Granite Falls Police Officer Ken Shefveland. We extend our deepest sympathy to all who knew and loved Slick.
Rest in Peace, Noble Friend and Fearless Guardian
It is with a sense of profound sadness that I report that Police Horse Slick was euthanized this morning. Officer Slick had been suffering from a severe case of laminitis for 10 months that, over the past month, had become progressively worse causing him great pain. After consultation with his veterinarian and his farrier, Linda and I made the difficult decision to humanely end his suffering.
Coletta’s Slick was foaled on May 17, 1991 in Crane, Oregon. He spent his early years being sold and re-sold (to 4 different owners) before joining our family. During those early years, Slick was trained and used as an all-around cow pony and rodeo horse (his specialty was team roping).
On September 17, 2001 Slick joined the Shefveland family and within a year began his life as a future police horse. He fit right into his new family, learning new skills and teaching some interesting “tricks of the trade” to me along the way.
After receiving approval to begin mounted training in 2002, OFC Slick and I embarked on a training program with the Seattle Police Department and together we became the first Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office mounted team. On a side note, I cannot convey enough, my thanks to SGT Tyler Elster of the Seattle Police Department for his support, training, and encouragement as he helped us put together our great mounted program and especially for his help and guidance as Slick and I grew into mounted police partners.
In 2003 Slick received his law enforcement commission from Sheriff Rick Bart, in a special public ceremony, on August 10, 2004 along with 4 other police horses (and their riders). The unit ultimately grew to eight deputies and horses before being ended due to a lack of funding in 2010. Along the way, the unit made a lot of friends for the sheriff’s office and collected up a few bad guys. And Slick and I received several awards including a Letter of Commendation and a Meritorious Service Medal for the work they we did on behalf of our agency and citizens.
After retiring from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in 2010, Slick and I were idle for only a brief amount of time. Late in 2011, we answered the call to join the Granite Falls Police Department and again, we were back in our element, meeting people, talking to children, and fighting crime.
Linda and I wish to thank all who knew and loved Slick and especially to:
- Our SCSO partners – DEP Barb Taylor, DEP Kurt McGowan, DEP Pennie Sargent, DET Kelly Willoth, SGT Tony Aston, LT Rob Beidler, and of course CHIEF Tim Shea and SHERIFF Rick Bart of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office for their partnership, vision, and support.
- CHIEF Dennis Taylor and the officers of the Granite Falls Police Department for their love and support of my magnificent partner and the vision and understanding of the value a mounted program brings to a community.
- Carole Flynn-White, Barbara Harvey and the other members of the Pennies for Puppies and Ponies Foundation for their generosity and support of the mounted and K-9 programs in Snohomish County and their love of our canine and equine partners, and especially Slick.
- Catherine Anderson of the Pilchuck Foundation and the many, many wonderful citizens of the City of Granite Falls who fell in love with the “golden boy.”
- Rob and Jamie Zimmerman and their clients at South Ridge Farms in Vancouver (WA) and especially to the ladies of the Black Pearl Friesian Dance Troupe, where Slick spent his last months and received the best of care and love any horse could have.
- Our friend and vet, Dr. Anne Ray along with our lifelong friend and farrier, Roy Williamson. Both battled, valiantly to save our boy these past months. In the end, when it was clear we had done all we could, Dr. Ray helped Slick make his final journey home this morning.
As I noted in my testimony to the Washington State Senate many years ago when they were considering the adoption of a law to protect police horses (RCW 9A.70.200) – “He’s not just horse, he’s a cop; and he’s not just a cop he’s my partner…”
I shall miss my partner. Rest in peace, noble friend and fearless guardian.
Everett Herald announces Slick’s death – read here.
Child ID Equipment Debuts. Read news article here.
News coverage for Granite Falls National Night Out! Click here.
Two new police officers sworn in for Granite Falls. See article and photos here.