LETTER: Community policing

I love living on Vashon. The main reason for this love is community, for example, being greeted in Thriftway by staff and fellow shoppers. Or on my daily walk, drivers waving as they go by; some I know, and some I do not. Then there’s community support of The Dove Project, Partners in Education, the food bank and free dinners at churches, to name only a few community-building projects.

I just read an article in the New Yorker, “The Spy Who Came Home” (May 7), about a former CIA officer who becomes a police officer in Savannah, Georgia, dedicated to his community. In the article I learned what I yearn for here on Vashon: a system of community policing. Per Wikipedia, “Community policing is a philosophy of full service personalized policing, where the same officer patrols and works in the same area on a permanent basis, from a decentralized place, working in a proactive partnership with citizens to identify and solve problems.”

Here on Vashon there are sheriff vehicles with darkened windows parked here and there. I have no idea who the officers are or what they look like. I would like officers who feel part of this community walking downtown, meeting and greeting. I would like to know that these officers care as much about Kathy at Kathy’s Corner as I do and will park in her driveway sometimes to ward off intruders at night. I’d like to be able to recognize and chat with Officer Joe even when he is off duty. I therefore invite our King County Sheriff’s Department to allow us community policing as Savannah, Georgia, does.

— Kate Hunter

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