When the Woodinville City Council met on Tuesday, Feb. 13 their standard list of Business Items, Reports, and Public Comments was supplemented by an offering of progressive justice and tales of heroism. Mayor Bernie Talmas and the rest of city council received a Special Presentation by Chief of Police Katie Larson. Chief Larson shared that on Jan. 12, 2018 deputy Jason Rich along with two other Woodinville officers were dispatched to investigate a reported suicide attempt. The reporting party had received a text from the victim stating that she had taken many pills in an attempt to kill herself. At some point the reporting party managed to get the victim on the phone only to fear she had lost consciousness. Woodinville Fire arrived to stand by while Deputy Rich made contact with the victim’s roommate whom had stated that she had not seen the victim in many hours. The officers were allowed to enter the residence to ensure the roommate’s safety. Upon their entering the apartment, they found the bathroom door locked and heard a disconcerting stream of water that sounded to be cascading to the ground, as if overflowing. With this information coupled with time ticking away, Rich made the decision to punch a hole in the door. He and one of his fellow deputies saw through the hole the victim curled into the fetal position completely submerged underwater in the bathtub; water spilling onto the floor. Rich immediately stopped the water and managed to pull the victim from the tub. Woodinville Fire then assisted with life saving measures. Because of Deputy Rich’s valor and quick thinking, he was presented the Lifesaving award.
Chief of Police Katie Larson followed this presentation herself with her annual report. Chief Larson explained that calls of service are increasing but this is largely due to the population increase. Larson added, “If you see something, say it; report it.” While any increase in calls for service may at first sound worrisome, the reporting of crimes or incidents will continue to make Woodinville a safer city. Chief Larson was happy to report that overall the city has experienced around a 4% decrease in crime with decreases in both forced and non-forced residential burglaries and car prowls. Chief Larson was adamant that Woodinville citizens should continue to “lock-it-to-stop-it” as
these non-forced entries into vehicles are extremely preventable.
Chief Larson showcased the departments dedication to community involvement when she shared a photo of state champions, Woodinville High School women’s softball team, taken next to Guardian One, King County’s air support helicopter unit.
Chief Larson then stressed that the department will be focusing their response on mental health calls for service in 2018. Chief Larson explained, “Every deputy in our city has attended an eight-hour crisis intervention course specifically addressing mental health. In addition, they have also attended a three-day de-escalation course. This year a number of our deputies will be attending the advanced 40-hour crisis intervention training course.”
Chief Larson was also pleased to share that the King County Sheriff’s Office awarded Michael Rexach a Lifesaver award in June of 2017 for a CPR-related incident.