Northwest NEWS

July 27, 1998

Editorial

An open letter to the Duvall Police Department

   Our family has become increasingly concerned with the behavior of the Duvall Police Department. In the past few months we have witnessed a young person in an accident being harassed and accused of drinking by the Duvall Police and gawked at by off-duty officers.
  
   The young person missed the right turn into the Ixtapa parking lot due to dark streets and an area that is unmarked. This young person was new to the area and was not familiar with the hazards of that parking lot.
  
   The humiliation was magnified as the two police officers kept saying that nothing like that had ever happened before, yet the talk in the crowd was that, in fact, it had happened approximately three times in the last six months! It was the officers' attitude that was so offensive.
  
   Recently our daughter was stopped for driving with parking lights. She was told it is illegal to drive with just parking lights in the middle of the day. Yet a few days later we saw the same officer driving with his parking lights on during the day.
  
   When we first moved in, my daughter was taking out the trash at 11 p.m. after she'd gotten home from a school activity. She was at the curb with the garbage cans, and one of our officers pulled up and in a very aggressive manner asked her what she was doing out so late.
  
   Another time our daughter was delivering an early morning paper route and was yelled at by an officer patrolling the area. She tries to be quiet as to not wake up the customers. As it was a fairly warm morning, many windows were open and undoubtedly many people were awakened unnecessarily at 4 a.m. In addition, the yelling and the sudden light frightened our daughter.
  
   Do our officers have nothing to do? Are they so perfect in what they do that they act in harsh judgment before evaluating the situation? Is Duvall not a friendly area to live anymore?
  
   There are many areas in Duvall which we feel merit a genuine concern for safety and possible illegal activity with cars speeding through parking lots and people loitering with nothing to do. Yet we rarely see police activity there.
  
   Also, our police officers do not seem to be concerned with enforcing the weight restrictions and speed limits of trucks that consistently go from Main Street in town, up Stephens and through residential neighborhoods where it is clearly posted. Their speed constitutes a hazard to local children and their excess weight is clearly destroying our streets. There are other routes that are designated for use of heavy trucks.
  
   When we first moved to Duvall we found that we knew the members of the police department by name, as they were very friendly to the citizens of the area. We understand that additional growth puts a strain on limited resources, but we feel that the attitude of our newer officers is detrimental to good public relations.
  
   We are sending this anonymously because we don't want any reprisals from the police department. This, in fact, could be from anyone living in the city limits for any length of time.
   Name withheld by request, Duvall