Letter to the editor: Thanks to our police officers

Dear Editor:

I am writing to show my appreciation for the fine officers of the Edmonds Police Department and to share my most recent experience on a ride-along. This past Friday, Aug. 27, I had the privilege of accompanying Cpl. Tom Smith on a ride-along where again, I witnessed the absolute professionalism and efficiency of the Edmonds Police Department.

Not only am I continually impressed with the professionalism of those who wear an Edmonds shield, I am also proud of the commitment that they show to their profession and to our community. Here are a few notes on my experience:

My ride-along started at 3 p.m., when Cpl. Smith greeted me and gave me a tour of the police department. After the police facility tour, Cpl. Smith asked me to sign my life away (just kidding) by signing a waiver agreement. Ensuring both the safety of the officer and those who accompany for a ride-along is clearly a priority for the department.

We began our patrol at 3:50 p.m. and as soon as we drove out of the police parking lot, a dispatch call came in over the radio reporting that there was a man pointing a gun at woman in the Safeway parking lot in South Edmonds along Highway 99.  Cpl. Smith answered the call right away and headed to the scene, where we were joined by a backup officer. As part of the ride-along, I can accompany the officer to the scene but for safety reasons I am to remain in the car. After just a few minutes, around 4:04 p.m., Cpl. Smith returned to the patrol car and informed me that there was no gun involved and that man and the woman did not wish to file a police report and continued their own way.

At 4:19 p.m. dispatch reported another situation at the Chevron Gas Station on 76th Avenue West and Highway 104, where a man with shopping cart full of knives was reported as engaging in a verbal conflict with man filling his gas tank. Cpl. Smith responded to the call, and we drove over to the Chevron Gas Station, awaiting backup patrol before pulling up to the scene. Around 4:24 p.m., Cpl. Smith retuned to the vehicle and said that the man with the cart full of knives had moved along and although the verbal conflict had briefly escalated, it was resolved without incident.

At 4:55 p.m., we continued to patrol from 76th Avenue West to the 7400 block and Meadowdale Beach Road, then onto Talbot Road, all peaceful and orderly.

At 5:14 p.m., we patrolled to Yost Park from Talbot Road, continued to Five Corners and back on to Highway 99, all peaceful without an incident reported.

At 5:25 p.m. while patrolling on Highway 99 near the Ranch 99 Market, we spotted a car with a suspended driver’s license. The driver did not receive a ticket or even a warning due to some of the new laws that were recently passed by the legislature and are in effect. According to Cpl. Smith, this driver falls into an area of the new laws that prevent action from being taken under the circumstances.

At about 5:47 p.m. we continued our patrol enroute back to the Edmonds Police Station to participate in the 6 p.m. night shift briefing with several officers including Sgt. Machado, Officer Ceban, Officer Locke, Cpl. McKintye, Officer Martinez, Officer Sanchez and Traffic Officer Jensen. It was nice to see the prep that goes into patrol and how organized and efficient the department operates. Patrol can be extremely dangerous, and these briefings help to prepare officers for what they might experience in the field and is a very important piece of the shift turnover.

After the briefing I began a ride-along with patrol Officer Ceban. We began our patrol at about 6:30 p.m. and we started in downtown Edmonds, moving up to the Highway 99 area and back up around the Safeway where the earlier altercation and alleged gun pointing occurred. Then at about 7:38 p.m. we received a call about a man holding a 5-year-old girl at the Brackett’s Landing. After Officer Ceban responded, we headed to the scene. Once backup arrived, we checked out the area and began searching for the 5-year-old reported by dispatch. After some time looking, the officers found no evidence of any criminal conduct based on all of the information provided.

At 8:22 p.m., we patrolled around the Edmonds Public Works facility and then onto Meadowdale, and the rest of the night was peaceful, right up until the ride-along ended at 9 p.m.

I can’t thank our officers enough for what they do daily to serve and protect our community and after having had this opportunity, I have even more respect for their bravery and the difficulty of their job. I had great conversation about police practices, the Edmonds community as a whole and I had a chance to listen and learn directly from the perspectives of those that are on the front lines. The ride along was an invaluable experience and one that I would highly recommend for anyone looking to get a better understand of the different ways the Edmonds Police Department is working to keep us safe.

Please note that due to the pandemic, ride-alongs are currently limited to applicants in the hiring process, elected officials or candidates for elected office. This is being done to reduce the exposure of first responders during the pandemic. Acting Assistant Chief McClure did inform me that as soon as it becomes safer, the department will resume allowing rides for residents on a more regular basis.

I want to again thank the Edmonds Police Department for allowing me this opportunity and for all the ways they serve the people of Edmonds.  We are lucky to have you!


Will Chen

  1. Thank you very much Mr. Chen this is an interesting summary, and I appreciate you taking the time and interest to do this ride along with our EPD.

    People often have a lot of assumptions about law enforcement, and it is definitely helpful to get a first hand view of their work considerations.

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