Edmonds police field questions from Lake Ballinger-area residents during first stop on park tour

Edmonds Police Officer Nick Haughian and Senior Animal Control Officer Tabitha Shoemake speak with residents at Mathay Ballinger Park Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy Edmonds Police Department)

About 20 Lake Ballinger-area residents stopped by Mathay Ballinger Park Tuesday night for the first in a series of park tours sponsored by the Edmonds Police Community Engagement Team.

The visit was the first of several planned by a team of officers– wearing masks and practicing social distancing — who represent various aspects of policing, from K-9 to detectives to street crimes. The goal, police said, is to give residents an opportunity ask questions and talk about concerns in their neighborhood.

According to Edmonds Police Sgt. Josh McClure, those attending Tuesday night’s event talked about a range of issues, including transients and criminal activity near the 7-11, located at the corner of 238th Street Southwest and Highway 99; transients and homeless camps on the hillside next to Highway 104; and garbage and needles left in the park. Neighbors also said they were frustrated that people use the park as an off-leash dog run, when leashes are required.

In addition, neighbors asked about the status of the police investigation into the Feb. 21 homicide of Edmonds 7-11 clerk Nagendiram Kandasamy, which is ongoing, McClure said.

“We encourage people to call 911 whenever they have any suspicious activity,” he added. “They are not bothering us. It’s what we are here for.”

The Edmonds Police Park Tour will continues during the next few weeks, with the following parks on the schedule:

Seaview Park, 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3

Pine Street Park, 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8

Hickman Park, 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17

City Park, 6-7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21


  1. Thank you for holding these meet ups. I was unable to be at the Lake Ballinger but am glad the topic of off leash dogs was brought up. I love Lake Ballinger Park for walks with my dog. We are always leashed up. My dog is reactive to other dogs so going places with off-leash dogs that may approach us is not only frustrating and uncomfortable, but potentially dangerous if the dog doesn’t get called away by the guardian. Last week at the park as soon as we got to the entrance we saw a dog running around, poop and then continue running around. It took a couple of minutes for me to see the dog’s guardian about 100 yards away. We waited to go in until the dog finally took off running to the person. In that same 1/2 hour walk we had to change our direction and hide out while 3 other off leash dogs were there, 2 that jumped in the stream and started to cross toward us.
    I understand how much people like to have their dogs run free, but parks that are NOT off leash parks should be respected for many reasons. (Besides the off leash places designated in the area there is also sniffspot.com that offers private land for off leash dog exercise).

    1. Just an FYI that Ballinger Park is owned by the City of Mountlake Terrace. It is not an off-leash park and dogs are supposed to be leashed. The police park tour event in this story was at Mathay Ballinger, which is a much smaller park in the City of Edmonds.

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