To the editor:
On August 31st, I wrote a letter to My Edmonds News regarding a nuisance vagrant living in a vehicle on the street where I live. I called the Edmonds Police Department several times about the matter. The last encounter was with an officer who gave me a dissertation on the “rights” of this bum, who was evicted from a senior housing facility where his mother resides because he stole from one of the other residents.
This officer made me feel as though I was the problem for making waves. I was very upset and felt disenfranchised after his input, and was made to feel I should shut up and not bother him or any of the police department with my concerns.
After my letter stating my concerns regarding homeless people living in vehicles on the streets of the city, Chief Al Compaan responded asking that I contact him so he could look into the matter. I was not hopeful that any encounter with the Edmonds Police Department would be one that offered hope, and didn’t want a repeat of the experience I had endured with the other officer.
After explaining my concerns to Chief Compaan, I received a phone call from Cpl. Ken Ploeger, who spent time talking with me about the very negative experience with the other officer, and the problem with this fellow on the street who was making the neighbors anxious. Both Cpl. Ploeger and Chief Compaan spent many hours working to get this fellow some kind of housing and off the streets.
After Chief Compaan became aware of the alientating response from Officer Bowers, things changed and how! Police were alerted to keep on this guy and not let him make himself at home. The neighborhood breathed a collective sigh of relief, knowing there was support now about the concerns we had regarding this man roaming the neighborhood while we slept at night. He spent his daylight hours sleeping in his mother’s car on the street.
I cannot say enough in praise of Chief Al Compaan, who has a terrific responsibility as head officer of our city police department, with budget cuts and less manpower. This very kind man, Chief Compaan, made myself and the neighbors I told about this feel safe and assured. Ken Ploeger is my kind of “cop” — the best of the best — courteous, professional and on top of things.
I appreciate the time and efforts of both of these fine men. Bravo for them!