Kenmore, Bothell police chiefs discuss emergency training following Seattle shootings
By ANDY NYSTROM
Bothell Reporter Reporter
June 1, 2012 · Updated 12:23 PM
The tragic, fatal shootings that took place at a quaint coffee shop and parking lot in Seattle on Wednesday can happen anywhere — big cities and smaller ones — says Kenmore Police Chief Cliff Sether.
Recently, Kenmore officers arrested a man who became angry and unveiled a handgun when he confronted the driver who allegedly cut him off in the Safeway parking lot.
"He slammed his fists on the hood of the person's car and some words were exchanged. (The handgun) wasn't pointed at the person, it was displayed," said Sether, noting that the man was charged with second-degree assault and felony harassment. "It's not real common, but it does happen occasionally. That's why we always tell people that road-rage incidents can happen and weapons can come out over stupid stuff where just any little thing can trigger people's anger. So you've got to just be very careful on how you respond and what you say to people."
Also in Kenmore, Sether's men recently arrested a man on a warrant, who also had a gun in his possession, inside of a tavern. He had a concealed-weapon permit, but, according to law, can't carry a weapon inside an establishment that serves alcohol. The weapon violation was part of his arrest.
Over in Bothell on May 6, two men — one of whom brandished a handgun — led a night manager into the back office of the Yakima Fruit Market, tied him up and robbed the place. Bothell Police Chief Carol Cummings called the Reporter while taking a break yesterday and noted that her detectives and the North Sound Metro SWAT Team arrested three men in Kirkland and Lynnwood in connection with the robbery.
"This is big, it was a good case," she said regarding the evidence detectives gathered, which included a cell phone that belonged to one of the suspects.
Cummings said Wednesday's activities hit home because her daughter takes classes near where the shootings occurred. She spoke with Bothell officers about the events and the importance of their emergency response training that could come into play someday.
"This is something that we take very seriously," Cummings said of the training.
As far as citizens go, she continued: "It just goes to show, you have to be alert, you have to keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. You should be aware if something doesn't look right, take the time to take another glance and ensure that it's safe to go forward." (She added that yesterday's victims may not have had the chance to react as such.)
Sether said the word "routine" doesn't exist in police officers' vocabulary because each time they respond to a call, there's always the potential that weapons can be involved.
"We have a tremendous amount of people who carry concealed weapons that have concealed-weapon permits and so there are a lot of weapons out there," Sether said. "You never know what you're getting yourself into."
Bothell and Kenmore officers' training scenario features tactics and techniques to deal with a potential active shooter in the cities (most officers have AR 15 rifles, bulletproof vests, helmets and shields in their patrol cars). Bothell sports a Special Response Team to resolve critical incidents, and Kenmore's active-shooter patrol team trains with officers in Woodinville and Shoreline to prepare for emergencies and to aid one another if trouble arises.
Both Kenmore and Bothell can call upon the King County and North Sound Metro SWAT teams, respectively, as well; the North Sound squad features personnel from Bothell, Lynnwood, Edmonds and Monroe.Contact Bothell Reporter Reporter Andy Nystrom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-483-3732 (ext 5050).