Friday, October 20, 2017

BOTHELL- Local Perspectives on Opioid Addiction

Last night the City of Bothell hosted a town meeting on opioid addiction. This was a very interesting meeting. Two people whose families were affected by opioid/heroin addiction talked about their struggles and two experts, one from the Snohomish County Human Services and the other from local law enforcement, talked about the opioid/heroin addiction effects on individuals and society. The Bothell Police Department has posted a recording of the whole meeting (about 2 hours long). This is well worth listening to.

Bothell Police Department:

Thursday, October 19, 2017

OCTOBER- Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. Cyber Security is important for our national security, our business security and for each of us for our personal security. Over the past few years there has been more publicity about online fraud, scams, and identity theft. Keeping your computer devices (PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone, IoT device) secure should be included in your plan to protect yourself from scams and fraud. Hackers can enter your computer(s) through a variety of means to gather your sensitive personal information.

An example is the KRACK vulnerability that was recently announced. This is a vulnerability that was discovered in the basic WPA2 security protocol that is used in modern modems and routers. The vulnerability could allow a middle man attack when the attacker is within range of a Wi-Fi connection. That could be someone at a coffee shop, in a nearby office or apartment unit, or in close proximity of your house. This article from Leo Notenboom should help you decide if you need to take action and if so, what action to take:

Ask Leo:

The KRACK vulnerability points out how we have become dependent on Wi-Fi access to the internet. We use Wi-Fi in our homes, it’s easier to hook up than rewiring the whole house. We also use Wi-Fi on the go when we are shopping, traveling, or hanging out with our friends.

Many cyber security experts discourage usage of open Wi-Fi when conducting online purchases or accessing financial accounts. The Department of Homeland Security’s Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign recommends that you take the following steps to protect your online accounts:

·         Use two-factor authentication wherever possible. In two-factor (or stronger) authentication, when you login to your account, the organization holding your account sends you a code via text message or email that you also enter in addition to your use ID and password. This extra step helps assure the organization that you are really you.

·         Make strong complex passwords.

·         Use unique passwords for each of your accounts.

For more tips on how to protect your information on computer devices go to,


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

VACATION- Practical Things to Do to Protect Yourself

OK, this is not the traditional vacation season, but an article in The Seattle Times by travel guru Rick Steves caught my attention and I thought I would pass it on.

Apparently, Rick Steves was a victim of a pickpocket this summer in Paris. While he preaches using a money belt to protect cash, credit cards and other important documents, he apparently went out without his money belt. This just shows that any of us can be a victim of crime.

While on vacation we do not want to think about crime, there are a few basic things that we can do to protect ourselves and still enjoy our time in new and interesting places. Here are a few things that Rick Steves recommends,

·     Be prepared by making copies of important documents and backing up and password protecting your mobile devices.

·         Leave behind your most valuable possessions, tucked away out of sight in your room, when you are out on the street. For that matter, don’t take your most expensive and flashy jewelry with you on your trip. Leave it protected in your safe at home.

·         Harden your targets by keeping your day bags close to you, looping their straps around your arm or chair leg when you are sitting down and secure your bag with a cable tie, paper clip or key ring.

·         Stay away from crowds. This is where pick pockets can divert your attention with a bump and take whatever is in your pocket or bag.

·         Don’t be fooled by how someone is dressed or how they act. Pickpockets pose as business people, tourists, or just regular people.

·         If you are victimized, act quickly to file a police report, cancel any credit/debit cards and wipe then cancel your mobile device and account.

By taking these precautions, you will come home with good memories of your trip.

For more details and insights from Mr. Steves read his article here,

The Seattle Times:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that someone uses to gain power and control over an intimate partner. Domestic violence can include physical, emotional or sexual abuse. It can happen to anyone, no matter social status, income, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

While anyone can be the victim of domestic violence, the clear majority of victims who report domestic violence are female.

Some warning signs of domestic violence are:

·         Jealousy

·         Controlling behavior

·         Quick involvement

·         Isolation

·         Blaming others for problems

Victims can face several barriers to seeking help including fear of injury, shaming and self-blame, lack of money, resources and support, and social pressures to “keep the family together.”

If you are a victim of domestic violence, the Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County recommends that you take the following actions to get help,

·         In an emergency, call 911 for the police, get yourself and your children to a safe place, seek medical attention and call DVS for assistance.

·         Be sure to take the problem seriously, it can happen again.

·         Create a safety plan for you and your children.  For information or assistance call 425-252-2873 (425-25 ABUSE).  Collect calls are accepted and ALL calls are free and confidential

·         The Domestic Violence Prevention Act allows victims to get legal protection without an attorney. Contact DVS or the court nearest you for assistance.

·         Consider filing a police report. If no arrest is made, you may consider filing charges in a citizen’s complaint.

·         Save evidence such as photographs of bruises and other injuries, ripped clothing, etc.

Here are some resources on domestic violence:

Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County:

Domestic Violence Awareness Project:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Tip Sheet:

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office “Partners in Crime Prevention”:

The Herald:

Monday, October 9, 2017

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Warrant/Jury Duty Scam is Back

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has issued the following alert on Facebook:

“The Warrant/Jury Duty Scam continues to make the rounds. In this scam, the caller claims to be a deputy or police officer and says you have an outstanding warrant (most often for missing jury duty). The caller then says to you must have your warrant “lifted”over the phone or police will come to your location and arrest you. The scammer attempts to bully the money out of you by having you purchase a pre-paid cash card and providing the card numbers over to the phone to them. Hang up and call the non-emergency number (425-407-3999) to report.”

You can also report this scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which will add the information that you provide to its database for use by national and local law enforcement agencies.

FTC Complaint Assistant:


Someone asked on my Twitter account, "What happened to 'this will kill you, don't take it?'" If only it was so easy!

"Just say no" may work for many of us, but the opioid/heroin epidemic's origins does not come solely from people who want to get high, according to health officials and those who study the epidemic.   Many people develop their addiction to opioids from a prescription from their doctor to relieve pain due to an operation or other reason. And predicting who will become addicted is not possible. For some, they may take it and get sick, then avoid it. Others may get hooked in short order. At least one study says that 1 in 16 people become addicted to opioids. So are we to blame someone for taking a prescription under a doctor's orders?

Health officials have been recommending actions to help reduce the epidemic that have been classified as "harm reduction." Needle exchanges to reduce the likelihood of diseases such as hepatitis or HIV. Encouraging the distribution of naloxone to save users from deadly overdoses. Reaching out to homeless addicts to offer treatment.  Each of these measures try to keep the addicted individual alive until they are ready for treatment or can be enrolled in a treatment program.

Keeping someone alive while addicted is one thing. The key is to get the addicted off of opioids or heroin or better yet to prevent addiction in the first place. Treatment needs to be expanded and encouraged. Health officials have been advocating for "medication-assisted treatment" where a medication such as methadone or suboxone blocks opioids and heroin from receptors in the brain so that the individual can live a normal, non-addicted life plus behavioral therapy to help the individual navigate through society. But treatment is not easy. People may fail many times before coming to grips with their addiction.

Many observers urge one further step. That doctors should not prescribe opioids for pain as much as they do or should not prescribe opioids at all. In the heady years of opioid prescriptions, doctors were told that they were not addictive and that they should prescribe 30 to 60 pills per prescription. Those claims obviously turned out to be wrong. There is some consensus that doctors should rely on milder pain relievers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen for most patients.

Are opioids dangerous? You bet they are. But the fact that not everyone becomes addicted to them puts them in a nether world. Many prescription medicines though are dangerous in certain amounts, over an extended period of time or to certain people. We need to be more careful on how we take opioids. We should take them under a doctor's supervision. And apparently, more doctors need more updated education on the benefits and dangers of opioids.

Are opioids dangerous? The pharmaceutical companies that manufacture opioids apparently did not think so at one time.  But the lack of understanding, and maybe intentionally overlooking their danger, as some people allege, has caused much damage to human lives over the last 20 years or so. That's why the City of Everett, the State of Washington, and the City of Seattle, as well as others, are suing opioid manufacturers to recover the costs to their health systems, police and fire agencies, and social services caused by the opioid epidemic.

But what can we do? One thing we all can do is to talk to our teens about prescription drugs. There is a sense by health officials that many teens view prescription drugs as safe like candy. Let them know that prescription drugs are not for getting high. They are for helping with medical conditions under the supervision of a doctor.

No one action will reduce much less eliminate the opioid epidemic. We all need to play a part. We all need to find ways to prevent addiction.

Here is a show that explains the opioid/heroin epidemic,

NPR The Takeaway:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

SNOHOMISH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE- Crime Prevention Newsletter, Car Theft

Car theft is always a problem and a fear. Without our cars, we cannot go to work much less take care of the daily chores for our families. This issue of the Sheriff Office’s “Partners in Crime Prevention” talks about car theft and how you can protect your car or truck.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office: