Monday, May 30, 2016

911- New Non-emergency Numbers

For decades, Snohomish County citizens have been told to call 911 for emergency and non-emergency calls. This included emergency life and death calls, calls about suspicious activity, calls for animal control.

Effective on June 1, both SNOPAC and SNOCOM, the two 911 agencies in Snohomish County, will institute non-emergency phone numbers. The non-emergency numbers are intended for non-life threatening situations that have no immediate danger to life or property. The purpose of the non-emergency number is to reduce potential delays on the 911 line while continuing to provide service for non-emergency matters.

Some situations to call the non-emergency numbers include reporting found property, reporting suspicious activity that is not in progress, reporting the discovery of a burglary or theft not in progress or when you do not have suspect information, illegal fireworks, noise complaint, reporting an abandoned vehicle.

Call 911 when you have an emergency situation such as a life threatening medical situation, robbery/burglary/car prowl in progress, a suicide attempt in progress.

If you are not sure if your situation is an emergency call 911.

To report a power outage, call the Snohomish County PUD at (425) 783-1001. Call 911 if power lines are down on a street or road or otherwise causing a danger.

The Non-emergency phone numbers are:

SNOPAC- (425) 407-3999

SNOCOM- (425) 775-3000

SNOPAC services police and fire agencies such as the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Everett Police Department. For a complete list of the agencies that it services go to

SNOCOM services police and fire agencies in the southwest portion of Snohomish County. For a list of agencies that it supports go to

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

Mill Creek Beacon:

Friday, May 27, 2016

SCAM UPDATE- Everett FD Warning, Scam Map

Firefighter Scam. According to My Everett News, people posing as Everett firefighters are going door to door asking for donations in the Everett area. Also, others have reported solicitations for donations to firefighters through phone calls. Neither the Everett Fire Department nor the Everett Firefighters IAFF Local 46 ask for donations door to door or via the phone.

My Everett News recommends that if someone approaches you at your door for a donation to the Everett Fire Department or to the fire fighter’s union, tell them no and report the incident to 911.

If you would like to donate to Everett firefighters, look at the following web sites:

Everett Firefighter IAFF Local 46-

My Everett News:

Scam Map. Online crime maps are an excellent way to track crime around your home. The AARP Fraud Watch Network has announced its own scam-tracking map. You can search by keyword for specific scams in your area or browse the map for recent scams reported in your area. There is also a way to report a scam that you have encountered to the scam-tracking map database.

To report scams to police or federal officials such as the Federal Trade Commission go to

To check out the scam-tracking map go to;jsessionid=F0C8EEC5BE31E6AFC9AB4FE31374BBC9.app267b?cmp=RDRCT-ADV-FRAUD-050916

Saturday, May 21, 2016


The 2016 wildfire season seems to have started earlier than normal. Last week firefighters fought two wildfires near Oso and Gold Bar. Both were larger than expected for this time of year burning around 300 acres total.

Fire officials have pointed out that while we have had a wet winter with rain and snowfall near normal levels, we also have had warmer than normal temperatures causing an early growth of grasses, trees and brush. That will provide more dry fuels in a few months when we have our normal dry weather.

Two common causes of wildfires are burning yard waste and failing to put out campfires adequately.

Homeowners in who live in or on the edge of the forest should take precautions to protect their property and make it more defensible for firefighters. Be sure to clear brush, leaves and branches from around buildings. Prune tree branches so that they are not near the ground. And store firewood at least 100 feet from any buildings.

For more information about wildfire preparedness go to:

The Herald:

Previous posting on fire safety:

Friday, May 20, 2016


Heroin addiction continues to be a big problem in Snohomish County. The Snohomish Police Department will be hosting a forum on heroin on Thursday, May 26 at the Snohomish High School Performing Arts Center from 6:30pm to 8:30 pm. Doors will open at 6pm.

Featured at the forum will be Dr. Caleb Banta-Green from the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute,, a panel of law enforcement officers and testimony from a former heroin addict.

The event is free and open to the public.

The address for the Snohomish High School Performing Arts Center is:

1316 Fifth St

Snohomish, WA 98290

Snohomish County:

Please note: The link shows the address of the forum to be the Snohomish County campus in Everett. The forum will be held at Snohomish High School, in the City of Snohomish.

Monday, May 9, 2016

BURGLARY PREVENTION- Lighting as Protection

People frequently use lighting to protect their homes and businesses from burglars and thieves. Some may say that keeping the lights on only lets the burglar see better what he is stealing. Keeping the lights on all of the time may not be necessary or effective. But judicious use of lighting can help protect your property.

The whole idea of lighting an area is to allow people who are nearby to see crime in progress. The assumption, and the hope, is that when they see suspicious activity they will call 911. This increases the risk to the burglar. Burglars, car thieves and car prowlers do not want to be seen since that gives more of a chance that they would be caught. So, you hear advice to park your car in a well-lit area of a busy parking lot where people are more likely to see a car prowl or a car theft.

When to use lighting effectively can be important. In residential areas, burglaries usually happen during the day when many people are away at work. So lighting up a house constantly during the day may not be helpful. In fact according to some people, it may tip off a burglar that people are not home. Car prowls often occur at night in residential areas at times of night or early morning when most of us are asleep. Lighting up the area where you park your car can help deter a car prowler, especially if you have security cameras covering the area. Lights connected to motion detectors can also help. If a car prowler enters an area where there is a motion detector, the suddenness of the light coming on can startle the car prowler scaring him away.

Another use of lighting is to give an idea that people are in the area. So, using lights like you would naturally when you are at home gives a potential burglar the idea not enter your house. This can be important when you go on vacation. Having timers set to the normal times that you are in the house can make a potential burglar choose another home.

A lot of this thinking is meant for areas of denser populations like in housing developments of the suburbs. Houses in the country which may be more isolated from their neighbors may not benefit from extensive lighting. Certainly, there will not be many people around to see a crime under the lights.

Just as important to lighting may be in knowing your neighbors and watching out for each other. Letting a neighbor know that you will be gone and asking that they watch your house can be just as effective as the lighting of your house.

While lighting can deter crime, it often only marginally adds to deterrence. It does not do to rely exclusively on any one prevention technique. If you have the lights on but keep your doors unlocked or your windows open, then all you have done is light the way for a burglar to enter your house.

National Public Radio:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

SCAM AND ID THEFT UPDATE- Scammers Keep Finding New Ways to Victimize

Phishing Scams. Phishing is a long time technique for scammers to get into your computer to look for sensitive information that they can use to steal your identity or your money. Often you receive an email in the guise of a legitimate business or government organization that invites you to click on a link. When you do, the scammer installs malware that can check out your hard drive for sensitive information or to take you to a web site that demands your personal information. Two recent phishing scams include:

·         According to the Better Business Bureau, victims have been receiving emails claiming to be from the Dropbox cloud service asking you to click on a link to view a shared file that is stored on the service.

·         The AARP Fraud Watch Network has been warning the public about a new phishing email that claims to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The email claims to be offering a new feature to help taxpayers protect their personal information and identities. The SSA is not offering a new protection program. The link pointed to in the email will install malware onto your computer.

Be wary of unsolicited emails that ask you to click on a link. To check out the source of the email, hover your cursor over the address link in the email. You will see the actual email address of the sender. If it is fake, it will not match the address of the claimed sender.

Better Business Bureau:

AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Employment Scam. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a new employment scam is making the rounds. This scam claims to have a legitimate job and applicants need to interview in person. But in order to apply, you need to pay a fee to the supposed employer. Victims have paid over $200 then never heard from the company again. Be wary of any job offer where you pay the company (other than paying a third party for a background check or drug test).

Identity Theft Resource Center:

Local ID Thief Caught. Many ID thieves work from far off places to try to steal our identities. This fact makes it difficult for local police agencies to try to find, apprehend and prosecute violators who might operate on the other side of the country or even the other side of the world. Some ID thieves, however, work locally. The Herald recently published an article about the efforts of the North County Property Crime Unit in apprehending a prolific ID thief who may have as many as 100 victims.

Remember to protect your ID by taking your wallet and purse with you when you leave your car. If you send checks in the mail, use a locking mailbox or take the mail to your local post office. Secure your Social Security card at home in your safe or other safe place. And only take with you the credit cards that you absolutely need.

The Herald:

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

CYBER SECURITY UPDATE- Keeping Your Computer Protected

The three items below give some practical advice on protecting your computer from intrusion, a summary of the cyber threats to computers big and small, and a warning when searching for computer help.

·         What Security Software Do You Recommend? Blogger Leo Notenboom gives practical advice on what software to use to protect your computer:

·         Cyber Crooks are Getting Smarter. Herb Weisbaum of NBC News gives a summary of the current cyber-crime trends:

·         The Risk of Searching for a Support Phone Number. Leo Notenboom points out that there are no support phone numbers for the major free email services:

Monday, May 2, 2016


The Sheriff’s Office has posted its latest issue of the Crime Prevention Newsletter. This issue talks about the heroin/opioid epidemic and how the Sheriff’s Office and the county is trying to handle it.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office: