Friday, July 29, 2016


The next issue of the Sheriff’s Office’s crime prevention newsletter, “Partners in Crime Prevention” is out. In this issue, there is a reminder that SNOPAC and SNOCOM now have non-emergency phone numbers; an article on sex offenders, and a short description of the Office of Neighborhoods with contact information for the Community Outreach Sergeant.

To see the newsletter, go to

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- The Effort to Stem the Opioid/Heroin Epidemic

In recent months, local law enforcement agencies have been hosting public meetings to talk about the opioid/heroin epidemic and what they, along with local social service agencies, are doing to get the homeless off the streets, addicts into treatment, and help for the mentally ill.

One meeting, held last week on Tuesday, July 18, at the Snohomish County PUD auditorium, showcased a number of programs in Snohomish County and King County that try to accomplish these goals each with their own approaches.

Hosted by the City of Everett, the forum included representatives from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Everett Police Department, City of Shoreline and King County.

One in five heroin deaths in the state of Washington occur in Snohomish County. During the period of 2002 to 2013 overdose deaths from heroin have quadrupled nationwide. Also, nationally, 3,600 people start abusing opioids each day.

Several speakers mentioned that addicts have to be ready for treatment before they will agree to go into a treatment plan. And having that attitude can be a fleeting mental condition. According to Sheriff Ty Trenary, “A referral and a waiting list does not work.” You have to take them right away to a treatment center.

The Everett Police Department, as well as the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, have introduced Law Enforcement Embedded Social Workers into their operations. The social workers team up with patrol officers and patrol deputies to make contact with homeless individuals. The social workers often add an element of trust that law enforcement personnel do not have with the homeless. Once trust is established, when someone who is addicted or is in need of mental health help is ready, the social worker can help to find the right treatment program for them.

The social worker makes the calls and the arrangements for the client. This can include a myriad of details to include stable housing, signing up for Medicaid, contacting family, as well as finding treatment. The social worker works through the bureaucracy for the client. A daunting task for the average person much less someone facing addiction or mental health problems.

Two other programs, under Everett’s Safe Streets Plan, include PAARI (Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative) and CHART (CHronic-Utilizer Alternative Response Team).

Under PAARI the police department partners with Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and Pioneer Human Services in Skagit County to provide short term detox to individuals who are seeking help to end their addiction habit before they are admitted into long-term recovery. For more information, go to and

CHART attempts to identify individuals who repeatedly use emergency rooms, crisis care facilities, legal services, and the criminal justice system, to develop a plan with the individual to find a way to break the cycle of the revolving door of jail or the ER. This article from My Everett News gives a good example of how CHART works:

For more information about the Everett Safe Streets Plan, go to

Members of two more programs discussed how they operated at a forum held at the Snohomish County PUD held on July 19.

The Shoreline Police Department (which contracts with the King County Sheriff’s Office for police services) has a program called RADAR (Response Awareness De-escalation and Referral). Under RADAR, police officers attempt to become aware of individuals with “behavioral health issues” to develop individualized response plans in coordination with the individual and their “circle of support” (family members, friends and caretakers). Police utilize their training, including crisis intervention training (CIT), to de-escalate any crisis situations. And finally, RADAR officers make an effort to connect the individuals with health care, mental health and fire services. For more about RADAR, go to

Seattle and King County have been conducting a pilot program since 2011 called LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) focusing on Belltown in Seattle and the Skyway area in King County. LEAD attempts to “divert low-level drug and prostitution offenders into community-based treatment and support services” before taking the individual to jail. The LEAD team coordinates closely with the community and with services including housing, health care, job training, treatment and mental health. LEAD involves a large team of government, community, and service organizations including the Seattle Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office, King County Prosecutors Office, Washington State Department of Corrections, ACLU, Evergreen Treatment Services, and many other community groups. For more information about LEAD go to

Each of the programs discussed at the forum attempts to achieve a similar goal; prevent crime by helping at risk individuals break the revolving door through jail or emergency rooms. Each program has a different way that it approaches its effort. The common thread among the programs, whether they be from Snohomish County, Everett or King County, is local law enforcement agencies work closely with at risk individuals, social service agencies, and treatment and mental health professionals to help the individual achieve a stable, productive life.

Monday, July 25, 2016

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Fentanyl A New Deadly Opioid

A published article in Sunday’s The Herald reveals that fentanyl, a synthetic opioid drug, has been detected in Snohomish County. While not detected frequently, the presence of the drug is worrisome for both police and health officials.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine or other opioid drugs according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently issued an alert to law enforcement agencies nationwide about dangers of the drug. A very small amount inhaled or absorbed in the skin can be deadly. In a video distributed by the DEA, two New Jersey policemen described their near death experience in handling the drug at a crime scene.

Fentanyl is often prescribed to reduce pain with an injection, through a transdermal patch or orally in a lozenge. Illegal fentanyl is distributed in powder, liquid or a dried liquid on paper form. And the DEA says that fentanyl has been included in counterfeit pills in the U.S.

A representative of the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force was quoted by The Herald as recommending that anyone who finds a baggie of powder to treat it like they would a hypodermic needle. Sheriff’s deputies are being told to wear gloves, glasses and a face mask when they encounter an unknown powder. The DEA is recommending that police not field test powders suspected of being fentanyl, but to transport the sample directly to a test laboratory.

While fentanyl may not be as pervasive as other opioids or heroin in Snohomish County, its introduction adds to the danger those drugs pose to addicts as well as to the public at large.

The Herald:

National Institute on Drug Abuse:

The Guardian:

Drug Enforcement Administration:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

VACATION- Ways to Protect Yourself

With summer in full swing, families often take vacations. Crime prevention professionals frequently make suggestions on how to protect yourself from crime.

The typical focus is protecting your home while you are gone. You've heard the advice:

         Have you mail and newspaper held or have a trusted neighbor pick them up so that burglars do not know that you are gone.

         If you are gone for an extended period of time, have a trusted neighbor mow your front lawn and pick up any handbills left at your door to make your house look lived in.

         Park a vehicle in your driveway.

         Lock your doors and close and lock your windows when you leave.

         Use timers on some of your lights throughout your house to, you guessed it, to make it look like you are still around.

But there are more things now that you should consider before your vacation:

         Check out destinations before you arrive. Scammers can impersonate legitimate hotels or resorts. Call the property directly for reservations and to ask about added fees.

         Be careful of charter companies. Many are legitimate, but there are some which are scams.

         Considering renting a condo or apartment form your vacation? Be careful of scammers here also. A sure sign of a scam is if they want you to wire a deposit or use a pre-paid gift card.

         When making reservations or making deposits, use your credit card. Your credit card gives you more protection than a debit card, check, or cash.

 And during your vacation:

         Be careful of Wi-Fi and internet connections at your hotel and at public hot spots. Do not use public Wi-Fi for financial transactions or sensitive personal information. Be wary of falling victim to a "man in the middle" attack.

         Watch out for photocopied flyers slipped under your hotel room door, especially if there is a phone number but no address. Scammers will often use these flyers to "take your order" and your credit card number. Instead of bringing your food they will make fraudulent purchases. Ask the front desk clerk for good local places to eat.

         If you receive the phone call in your hotel room in the middle of the night telling you there is a problem with your bill and wanting to verify your credit card number, hang up. Go down to the front desk and report the call.

         At your destination, when taking a taxi, have an idea of what your route should be. Unscrupulous taxis drivers may take a roundabout way to your destination to pad the bill.

 Here are some resources for more tips on vacation safety:

 Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

 Federal Trade Commission:

 AARP Fraud Watch Network:

 Seattle Times:

 Wi-Fi Hot Spot Security:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

SCAM ALERT- Increase in Reported Scams

There has been an increase of scams reported to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office South Precinct. Most reported scams seem to be the IRS scam. Remember, the IRS will not call or email you and threaten you with jail time if you do not pay immediately with a pre-paid gift card or a wire transfer.

For more information about common scams reported in Snohomish County, go to

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT- Tuesday August 2nd

National Night Out (NNO), the national event intended to encourage cooperation between local police agencies and communities to prevent crime, will be held on August 2nd this year.

The Sheriff’s Office is offering to help you spread the word about your NNO event. Go to to register your event. If August 2nd won’t work for your group, you can register your event on a date of your choosing.

The Sheriff’s Office and its contract partners will also be hosting several events throughout the county on August 2nd. So if your neighborhood is not hosting an event go to one of the events listed here:


The Sheriff’s Office has appointed a new Outreach Officer for the Office of Neighborhoods. Sgt. Martin Zelaya has taken over the position as of July 18. If you have a question or want to set up a neighborhood watch meeting you can contact Sgt. Zelaya at:

Phone: (425) 388-5250

Friday, July 15, 2016

CODE ENFORCEMENT- Helping with Quality of Life

Sometimes there is a house in your neighborhood that becomes an eyesore. In some cases, you might suspect that the occupants are dealing drugs. Obviously, you can call one of the non-emergency phone numbers, (425) 407-3999 for SNOPAC and (425) 775-3000 for SNOCOM (unless you see drug activity in progress, then call 911) or a tip to the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force at (425) 388-3479 or via email at

Investigations take time and citizens rarely receive “updates” on how things are going. Also, law enforcement officials may find that even despite the looks, there may not be drug activity at that location. So that still leaves the neighborhood with a junky house.

One other agency to contact is Snohomish County Code Enforcement. Code Enforcement investigates complaints about building, zoning, land use and nuisance issues in the unincorporated portion of the county. Enforcing county building and zoning codes goes beyond junkyard conditions in residential neighborhoods. Specific complaints can include building setbacks, dangerous buildings, violations of the Endangered Species Act, fences/retaining walls, grading (excavation/filling), illegal placement of mobile homes. Code Enforcement’s website says that it will investigate complaints to determine if there is a violation and determine appropriate action. It works with all affected parties toward a resolution. The Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office often works with Code Enforcement to resolve quality of life issues.

To make a complaint to Code Enforcement and for more information about Code Enforcement resources, go to:


Is there help and/or aid for homes where there isn't drug dealing but the owners are elderly and have no means to keep up their property?


Check with Volunteers of America in Everett. They may be able to refer you to a program that can help. Their number is 211 or (800) 223-8145 and their web address is

You can also contact Snohomish County Human Services which may have a program that can help low-income households. Its web address is

Also, the homeowners ay be able to get an exemption or deferral on their property taxes from the county, which might help. More information on this can be found at