Tag Archive for WSP

WSP Chief, Secretary of Transportation honor telecommunicators in both agencies

WSP

Washington Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson and State Patrol Chief John Batiste took time to honor telecommunicators who work in their agencies all last week.

Telecommunicators are those who answer emergency phone lines and work radios in the two agencies. At WSP, they answer calls to 911 and dispatch troopers to where they’re needed. They also dispatch backup when troopers themselves need help.

“Our telecommunicators are our lifelines,” Batiste said. “Many times I’ve been on a lonely road with a sketchy individual, and my only source of assistance was that calm voice on the other end of the radio. I will always be grateful to those dispatchers who got me help when I needed it.”

At WSDOT, staff located in six Traffic Management Centers (TMC) across the state work closely with WSP telecommunicators while operating the department’s electronic communications systems. TMC staff monitors roadway traffic conditions and operate freeway traffic control systems in response to conditions. They also provide critical maintenance, construction and emergency incident information to the patrol, the media and the public.

Telecommunicators at WSDOT and WSP work with WSDOT’s Incident Reponses program to respond to about 40,000 incidents a year.

“We work hand-in-hand with Washington State Patrol to keep people safe on the highways,” said Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. “Our agencies’ dispatch operators are critical to getting the right people and equipment to incidents and emergencies quickly and efficiently, when every moment counts. They are our unsung heroes.”

Every year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as Public Safety Telecommunicators. Communities across the nation are currently recognizing those first responders / telecommunicators who help save lives in times of personal, local, or national crisis.

On April 2, Governor Jay Inslee issued a Proclamation which proclaimed April 13-19, 2014, as Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in the state of Washington, and urged all people in our state to join him in recognizing the important contributions of this dedicated group.

NPSTW provides an opportunity to recognize public safety telecommunicators across the state of Washington as well as the nation by honoring those who work hard every day to protect our communities by performing mission critical tasks behind the scenes to support police, fire and emergency medical personnel. 

APCO International has established an NPSTW blog where agencies can share celebration ideas, along with photos of this year’s festivities. Citizens can share thoughts of gratitude and personal stories. 

Hoquiam man arrested over ‘large amount’ of sexually explicit images

Detectives from the Washington State Patrol (WSP) Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force (MECTF) with the assistance of detectives from the WSP Criminal Investigation Division and the Hoquiam Police Department have arrested a man for possessing and dealing a large number of images that show sexually explicit conduct involving minors.

The investigation originated from cyber-tips received by the Seattle Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) unit and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  The illegal activity revolved around three web based blogging, file sharing, and social networking websites: Tumblr, Kik, and Dropbox. 35-year old Jason Wayne Parks of Hoquiam was taken into custody without incident on Wednesday.

A search warrant was ultimately issued for a Hoquiam residence and a local business in Ocean Shores, which was Parks’ place of employment.  During the morning hours of January 29, 2014, detectives executed the search warrant and ultimately arrested Parks for the investigation of dealing and possessing large numbers of images of sexually explicit conduct involving minors.  During the search warrant, detectives seized digital media devices from the residence.  A forensic preview of some of the devices confirmed the presence of illegal images.  The warrant for the business was also executed.  A forensic examination of the computers Parks had access to there were examined resulting in no evidence of illegal activity being located.

Parks was booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail on multiple charges of Dealing and Possession of Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct.  The investigation is ongoing, with additional charges possible.

The Washington State Patrol urges people to contact MECTF should they have information regarding Parks and this case: 360-704-2410

MECTF is a multi-agency task force within the WSP comprised of detectives from the WSP and the Lakewood and Shelton Police Department’s. MECTF provides support to local agencies across the state in cases involving missing and abducted children and child exploitation.

No charges pending after Olympia woman killed while crossing state Route 101

SHELTON, Wash. – A 19-year-old Olympia woman was killed early yesterday morning after being hit by a semi-truck in a northbound lane of State Route 101 about a mile south of Shelton. The Washington State Patrol identifies her as Rebecca E. Martinson. The driver of the semi, a 55 year old Elma man was not injured. The WSP said the semi was Northbound at milepost 350 when the woman crossed just before 7 Monday morning.
The northbound lanes of state Route 101 were closed for about three hours yesterday morning. The state patrol identified the cause of the accident as pedestrian in the roadway, and said no charges are pending.

State Patrol Trooper to be disciplined, retrained, after admitting to Port Angeles crash

The collision occurred on US Highway 101, on a curve near Morse Creek. Beebe was attempting to overtake a speeding driver, crossed the center line, and hit two other vehicles.

“We’re greatly relieved that those involved reported minor injuries,” Old said.

Old also reiterated the agency’s request that any witnesses to the collision contact Sergeant Jerry Cooper with the WSP MAIT, (360) 805-1192 or their local WSP office to be put in touch with investigating detectives. 

Western Washington braces for winter driving conditions

We need help from drivers to keep traffic moving

“Keep your speed down, and maintain your patience,” said Capt. Randy Drake, commander of WSP’s Bellevue District Office. “Traffic is always heavy after a Seahawks game. Don’t let the rush to get home cause you to make a bad decision in heavy traffic.”

Drivers should prepare for cold temperatures, fill up the gas tank and check

road status as WSDOT crews prepare for rain, hail and snow.

Know before you go:

Multi-state challenge: Arrive Alive on I-5 this holiday weekend

 

Four simple strategies for drivers this holiday weekend can help keep our highways safer:

 

  • Slow down;
  • Pack your patience;
  • Drive sober;
  • Buckle up.

 

Speed continues to be a leading killer on our highways and, mixed with aggressive driving, it is even more deadly,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.  “This weekend, plan ahead and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.  Dangerous driving will not get you there sooner; it just creates hazardous driving conditions for you and everyone else on the road.”


OSP Superintendent Richard Evans emphasized that all three agencies are joining highway safety partners and law enforcement organizations across the country on the lookout for impaired drivers.

 

“Join us in the commitment to keep our highways safer by having a designated sober driver at all times,” Evans said. “Driving while impaired seriously jeopardizes your safety and the safety of others on the road around you.”

 

All three law enforcement leaders expressed their appreciation that each state has excellent compliance rates for seat belt use, but they also said more can be done as evidenced by the fact that unrestrained vehicle occupants continue to die in traffic crashes. WSP Chief John Batiste notes that more than a hundred people lost their lives in his state in 2012 while not using seat belts.

 

“It’s bad enough that we have to notify a family, on what should be a holiday, that they’ve lost a loved one in a traffic collision,” Batiste said. “It’s doubly heartbreaking when simply buckling up could have saved that person’s life.”

 

The agency leaders stressed that the “I-5 Challenge” is a challenge to prevent traffic fatalities, not a competition between police agencies for issuing citations or making arrests. Each agency will mix strategies to provide additional enforcement presence including using overtime grant funding and shifting of available resources already on the road to the I-5 corridor.

 

You can join the effort by committing to driving safely at all times and reporting possible intoxicated or dangerous drivers by calling 9-1-1 or your state law enforcement agency’s dispatch center.

 

Here are some tips for making the four strategies above work for you:

 

Getting Ready for the Trip:

* Plan ahead to give yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destination.

* Stay informed about weather conditions, potential traffic hazards and highway closures.

* Check road conditions by visiting your local state’s road and weather website or phone numbers

* Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving starting with good tires, a good battery, and a full tank of gas.

* Carry an emergency kit and chains or traction tires, especially if traveling over mountain passes.

* Snacks and bottled water also are a good idea for long trips, especially with children.

* Carry a map in case weather or road conditions force you to take a detour. Keep family members or friends aware of any significant changes in your planned route before you take the unplanned route.

* Get plenty of rest before you leave on any trip.

* Clear snow, ice or frost from windows and headlights before you leave.

* Make sure everyone is using safety restraints and secure any cargo.

* Always have a designated driver for any holiday activities that include alcohol.

On the Road:

 

* Drive according to conditions. If it’s wet, icy, snowy or foggy, slow down and increase your following distance behind other vehicles to at least a four-second distance. Keep in mind that conditions may not be perfect to drive at the posted speed.

* Use headlights even in daylight to help other drivers see you.

* Don’t use cruise control in wet, icy, snowy or foggy conditions.

* Be patient with all the other traffic on the highways.

* Watch out for pedestrians now that the days are shorter and darker, and remember they’re often dressed in dark clothing.

* If you get tired or drowsy, stop and rest during your trip or get a rested and sober licensed driver behind the wheel.

* There are still many construction zones on our highways, and even though work will be inactive over the holiday weekend there may be equipment, detours, and incomplete changes in the roadway. Stay alert and slow down because all work zone speed limits still apply and fines increase in these areas.

* Don’t drink and drive or get into a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking.

WSP: Good to Know Video on Wireless Emergency Alerts

Time to trade those sunglasses and sandals for ice scrapers and chains

WSDOT asks drivers to always “know before you go” and get the most recent roadway information, winter-driving tips, car-preparation advice and information on the department’s winter driving Web page.

Here’s what drivers can do to prepare for wintry roadway conditions:

  • Download, print and carry the WSDOT Winter Driving Guide.
  • Download the WSDOT mobile app for smartphones.
  • Sign up for news and social media tools, such as Twitter at www.wsdot.wa.gov/inform.
  • Get your car ready and plan extra time to cross all mountain passes, including heavily-traveled routes such as Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass and White Pass.
  • Carry chains and know current traction and chain requirements. Mountain-pass traction and chain requirements are available on the WSDOT website, highway advisory signs and highway advisory radio.
  • Preset 530 AM and 1610 AM on your vehicle’s radio before traveling.

Some vehicle manufacturers recommend against the use of tire chains. The Washington State Patrol provides a list of approved, alternative traction devices that are acceptable when chains or traction tires are required.

Studded tires are legal for use only between Nov. 1 and March 31 in Washington state. Motorists are encouraged to visit a tire dealer to learn more about tires that provide traction and are legal for year-round use.

The WSP also reminds all drivers and freight haulers that state law requires commercial vehicles and combinations of vehicles more than 10,000 pounds (GVW) rating to carry sufficient tire chains between Nov. 1 and April 1, including some larger passenger trucks, SUVs, recreational vehicles and trucks hauling trailers. Failing to carry chains could lead to a $124 fine for heavy-truck drivers.

When highway advisories call for chains, drivers who don’t chain up will face a $500 penalty. The WSP will have a special chain-emphasis patrol to ensure drivers are carrying the appropriate number of chains, including spares. 

State Patrol seeking help to locate Gig Harbor hit-and-run vehicle

The Washington State Patrol is looking for a dark colored passenger car that was involved in a car vs. pedestrian hit and run collision that occurred just after 8pm on September 24, 2013.  The collision took place on State Route 302 just south of 154th Street NW in Gig Harbor.  The driver of the dark colored passenger car struck a pedestrian then fled the scene.  The vehicle should have a broken right passenger side mirror and possible damage to the right front area of the vehicle. 

If you have any information about this collision or know the possible whereabouts of the vehicle involved please call WSP Detectives at (253) 538-3174.  

WSDOT teams with WSP to keep Shelton road construction safe

Motorists traveling through the area are directed onto a 10 mile detour that uses Brockdale Road, McReavy Road, Dalby Road and State Route 106. Only those residents who access their homes as far as East Purdy Cutoff Road/Skokomish Valley Road on the north end of the construction zone, or East Eagle Point Drive on the south end of the construction zone, are allowed beyond the detour points. 

 US 101 detour around Purdy Canyon closure

“We understand that the detour is inconvenient and that motorists are tempted to stay on US 101,” said Olympic Region Administrator Kevin Dayton. “But safety has to take precedence. I’m talking about the safety of both the motorists and construction crews. A lot of activity is going on out there, and the added hazard of unexpected traffic puts everyone at risk.” 

More than 300 dump truck loads of soil are removed from the construction zone each night as crews work to stabilize a slide-prone hillside along Purdy Canyon. Throughout the project, crews will remove 76,000 cubic yards of soil as they carve a new face into the hillside. 

Under a contract with WSDOT, state troopers will increase their presence through the remainder of the project, which is scheduled to last through November. “Fines can range up to several hundred dollars for driving through a work zone,” said WSP Captain Chris Old. “It’s both safer and cheaper to simply follow the detour signage.” 

Between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day, one lane of traffic is allowed through the construction zone. A temporary signal is used to direct one-way traffic.