Opinion

Why not a warrant sweep every week?

Every couple of months I can’t help but notice that my opinions, so shyly elicited by the Independent, are falling behind the sheer volume of news and events taking place in South Kitsap.

It’s at these times that, bowing as usual to the legacy of Jean Godden, current Seattle City Council member and former scribe for both Seattle dailies, I weigh in with a few tiny bulleted opinions, as opposed to my usual, big, blustery solo blathering.

n Good police work is seldom of the Sherlock Holmes variety. This is hard for some folks to accept, but it’s simply one of the unarguable facts of our existence.

Good police work, in our busier, more complicated times, is usually the combined result of luck and smart planning. For example, recently the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Depart-ment conducted a warrant sweep —going out to get folks who haven’t responded to to the courts, even though warrants have been issued for their apprehension.

During the warrants sweep at the end of May, three men were arrested and a methamphetamine (the curse of some of our youth) lab was uncovered.

In addition, 32 other folks in trouble (owning between them a total of 55 outstanding warrrants) were arrested or surrendered to authorities.

Maybe the KSD (in conjunction with the WSP) ought to plan a warrants sweep every other week.

The results are always outstanding and the use of manpower seems highly effective when compared to some other police operations, including long, protracted undercover operations that often net no more than three alleged meth dealers, and cost a whole lot more in time and manpower.

n I’m no doctor, although I would play one on TV if the pay was right. But I’ve been around long enough, covering the seamy side of life, to recognize a cavalier expert opinion when I see one.

I am not reassured by (Kitsap Mental Health director of community relations) Rebecca Wilson’s assertion that the 58-year-old KMH client who approached and frightened a young female Kitsapper a few weeks ago doesn’t pose a potential threat to the community.

A witness said the KMH client approached a little girl and was “behaving oddly.”

The 11-year-old child was frightened and ran away, and the witness, a parent of little children himself, was upset enough to call the sheriff’s department.

It is in KMH’s best interests, of course, to claim its oddly behaving clients, approaching children in the streets, are not dangerous. If my kids lived in the area around East Port Orchard Elementary where this incident occured, I’d like something a little more factual than Wilson’s assertions of safety.

We need good mental health services. I am not arguing against out-patient treatment. But we also need strict accountability from those who are paid to run these programs. Just claiming there is no problem seems a bit casual to this observer, who parented two daughters through their teen years.

But then, as regular readers of this column have come to know, I am not the most trusting of folk.

Prove it to me, don’t tell it to me, is my mantra when dealing with public officials.

That’s not how I began my life as a small, gullible little Catholic kid in the Midwest. But after 25 years of often-failed assurances from people who are often at least as concerned about keeping their paychecks coming as they are about your safety and health, I like more than a smile and a statement.

How about you?

n Port Orchard City Council’s delay in signing an interlocal agreement that would allocated funds straight to low-income housing is pathetic and wrong-headed.

Help those who have trouble helping themselves. The council’s little power struggle with KRCC makes them seem small-minded and muddle-headed.

Helping the poor close to home is a heck of a lot more important to me than helping, say the alleged poor in Iraq.

In related news, it took the same city council six months to argue over committee assignments. Think about it, would you want these people coming to your house to help you make a decision?

For six months these people fought about who gets to study what instead of doing the business.

We might be better off if KRCC ran the whole damned city. So much for the new broom sweeping clean and the efficacy of a government run by a woman instead of us mean, old boys.

But hey, the council and the “new” mayor have a couple more years. Maybe the poor will get a few badly needed apartments, and maybe every council person will eventually get the committee job of their dreams.

Hooray.

n I’ve had my fun over the years at Sen. Bob Oke’s expense. I’ve quibbled and nibbled at his heels about his staunch backing of the Narrows Bridge, for example.

But I’ve always maintained, that unlike some other local pols who are no more pleasant in person than when you read about them, Bob is a nice guy.

And he is.

That’s why I was saddened to hear the recent news that Bob has been diagnosed with blood cancer. Here’s hoping that our erstwhile senator makes a full and total recovery.

Whatever my opinions on Bob’s politics, I’ve never wavered in my belief that he is a good guy.

I’m hoping, and praying, that the road ahead smooths out for Bob and his family.

Dennis Wilken is a former Port Orchard Independent reporter.

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