Northwest NEWS

June 29, 1998

Editorial

Comment of the Sheriff's party patrol

   I read the June 15 article "Six hours with the Sheriff's party patrol" amazed that 18 officers in nine cars convoyed from Kenmore to "deep in the Cascade Mountains" for a high school party bust that netted nine teenagers who were smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. Excuse me?
  
   If our intrepid reporter is correct, several of the officers and cars belonged to various cities in addition to sheriff deputies. On the same night the Party Patrol was trucking up I-90, I was sitting on my front porch listening to the wild action happening on the next street (posted 25 mph.) Most of the scary stuff seems closer to home than North Bend.
  
   According to your news reporter, plain clothes officers who appeared to have spent a night or two in the woods are first on the scene. If the officers had been there for awhile why didn't they run the plates of vehicles involved and have parents spend all those hours on the road? Make the parents drag the kids home. Police have the vehicles towed and let the parents pay the hefty impound fee...A couple of sheriff cars at the trail head to check kids who seemed to be inclined to leave the party. You can't leave if you've been drinking. (Don't most of those "deep woods" senior parties usually involve food and a camp out or am I getting really old?) Why are 18 and 19 years appropriate for a citation of Minor in Consumption and then release? Were their keys taken away until morning while the plain clothes cops baby-sat? Were the city cops working the project on their own time? Perhaps we weren't presented enough information in the article with all the dramatic flourishes. If this whole thing was worthwhile, I'd like more facts.
  
   Although I don't want to give the impression to law enforcement, whose members for the most part I greatly respect (you're damned if you do-damned if you don't) it seems like overkill to tie up so much personnel and equipment for Issaquah's "senior party" held "deep in the Cascade Mountains." I listen to the strange things happening on the roads near my house and wonder, "where's a cop when you need one?"
   M.L. Scott, Woodinville