Amber Alert led to quick recovery as vehicle is spotted in traffic

Officials from the Washington State Patrol (WSP) were celebrating the quick recovery of an abducted and endangered child as a result of this morning’s AMBER Alert and applauding the public involvement that proved crucial to the child’s safe recovery.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office initiated the AMBER Alert for 18-month old Mason A. Wilhelm, which was issued at 10:23 a.m.  The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system was then activated, which was sent at 10:41 a.m.  An alert motorist, receiving the WEA on their phone, called 9-1-1 at 10:42 a.m., reporting they were following the vehicle.  Deputies then stopped the suspect vehicle at 10:49 a.m. and the child was safety recovered.

The AMBER Alert program is a critical tool that has aided in the safe recovery of over 700 abducted children nationwide since its inception.  “The public may often be our best resource in locating these abducted children and the quick dissemination of this critical information using the WEA system enhances getting these alerts out to the public.  As demonstrated with this morning’s quick and safe recovery, a mere 8 minutes passed from the WEA being seen by a motorist and the child’s safe recovery,” said Lieutenant Ron Mead of the Washington State Patrol.  “The system works and this recovery demonstrates the value of the AMBER Alert program and the invaluable role of the Wireless Emergency Alerts system in alerting the public”, added Mead.

Additional information on the circumstances surrounding the child’s abduction and recovery are available from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

Additional information on the AMBER Alert program can be found at or the Washington State AMBER Alert plan at

Additional information on the Wireless Emergency Alert system can be found at

Elma Police, WSP Bomb Squad recover “sparkler bomb”

The Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad was in Elma over the weekend, after a large sparkler bomb with AWOL written on the side was discovered by Elma police in the 100 block of N. 15th Street just before noon Sunday near the Texaco station.
An Elma officer found it on the ground, and described it as about a foot long, 8 inches in diameter with a green fuse about 2 feet long. The bomb squad collected, then detonated it just outside of town.

Washington joins emphasis patrols on 5,600 miles of road with the I-90/94 Challenge

Motorists will notice an extra law enforcement presence when driving on two of the country’s most highly traveled interstates during a four-day enforcement campaign in early August.

The Washington State Patrol and law enforcement officials in 14 other states are joining together with a goal of zero deaths on Interstates 90 and 94 between Washington state and New York Aug. 1-4. That’s more than 5,600 miles of road.

This combined effort is known as the “I-90/94 Challenge.” It’s not a competition between states, but a challenge to drivers to stay safe on one of the country’s busiest highways.

“We will have zero tolerance for the violations we know cause the most deaths and injuries,” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “Speed, DUI and the failure to wear seat belts continue to cause preventable tragedies and rip families apart.”

Batiste urged drivers to answer the challenge by tweeting “#9094challenge” when they’ve arrived safely at a destination.

Coordinated by the Minnesota State Patrol, the challenge will use education, awareness and strict enforcement to save lives and remind all motorists to drive safely and obey important traffic laws.

Traffic crashes kill more than 33,000 people each year in the United States. Local, state and national traffic safety officials agree too many of those fatalities are happening on I-90 and I-94.

In Washington, regularly scheduled troopers will focus their work time on I-90. A few additional troopers are being brought on specifically for the emphasis patrol. I-90 splits into two highways, 90 and 94, in Montana. I-94 does not exist by that name in Washington State.

“The first weekend in August is the mid-point between two other driving holidays- Independence Day and Labor Day,” Batiste said. “We’ll use this emphasis patrol to help drivers maintain good driving habits.”

I-90/94 Challenge is intended to help the International Association of Chiefs of Police reach its goal this year of reducing U.S. traffic fatalities by 15 percent.

More information on is available at or follow the hashtag #9094challenge.

State Update: Fires hold steady as victims get help

The state’s lead fire fighting agencies—the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)andthe State Fire Marshal’s Office of the Washington State Patrol (WSP)—continued to lead state government’s response today to multiple wildfires  in central and eastern Washington today.


Okanogan County: Fires were cooler this morning on the Carlton Complex, but were bad yesterday as 41 homes were destroyed near Alta Lake. County emergency management estimates a total of 150-200 homes have now been destroyed in Okanogan County. The Carlton Complex has burned 299,897 acres. Brewster, Pateros, Twisp, Winthrop and other communities in the county are temporarily powering water systems and sewer services on generator. Two of the four gas stations in Winthrop have power now, making it less of a problem to gasoline and diesel fuel.


While Okanogan County has been the hardest hit due to the sprawling Carlton Complex, wildfires are also burning in Chelan, Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln, Spokane and Yakima counties.

  • The Chiwaukum Complex has burned 11,051 acres and continues to grow.

o   The Mills Canyon Fire, branch of the Chiwaukum, has burned 22,571 acres

  • The Saddle Mountain Fire in Kittitas County has burned 20,200 acres but will demobilize at midnight.
  • The Watermelon Hill Fire in Spokane County has burned 8,000 acres.


Other state activities


The Washington State Department of Transportation is working to keep roads open. The latest on road closures and openings is at

The Department of Commerce’s Energy Office says approximately 7,000 customers of the Okanogan PUD and Okanogan Electric Cooperative are without power. Power for feeders along Interstate and state highways and from there into Pateros and Winthrop is estimated to be restored by the end of week. It is estimated that full restoration along county roads and to individual homes and businesses in Okanogan will take several weeks.


The Washington National Guard has four Blackhawk helicopters, two fuel trucks and 21 personnel deployed to Carlton Complex. There are two Chinook helicopters, two fuel trucks and 17 personnel on the Mills Canyon Complex. An incident communications package staffed by five personnel is setting up at Omak. Having completed pre-mobilization preparations, 100 National Guard soldiers are standing by in Yakima to support Department of Natural Resources fire fighters. Through July 19, Guard helicopters dropped 400,440 gallons of water on fires.


Personnel from the Department of Health’s (DOH) Environment Public Health Division are consulting with wildfire-impacted counties about air quality and water quality issues. DOH and the Department of Ecology are partnering to analyze and monitor how smoke and ash are affecting air quality.


The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) deployed two trained crews with a total of 20 youths to support DNR firefighting efforts.DSHS and the American Red Cross are co-leading state-level mass care and emergency assistance efforts with support from FEMA Region 10.


The Department of Enterprise Services is assisting Okanogan County with a liaison to manage donations, and another liaison to support operations in the county’s emergency operations center in Omak.


Gov. Jay Inslee and Maj. Gen, Bret Daugherty from the Washington Military Department toured the Paschal-Sherman Indian Boarding School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs facility on the Colville Indian Reservation. The school is being considered for housing displaced individuals from the Carlton Complex fire, or National Guard and emergency services personnel supporting fire-fighting efforts.


Non-government agencies—The American Red Cross is operating shelters in Chelan, Omak and Winthrop and opening a shelter in Brewster tonight. The Red Cross and Southern Baptist Disaster Services began providing meals in Okanogan County today. The Red Cross is establishing a shelter in Brewster so residents from there will be closer to home. Many Brewster residents are currently using the shelter in the town of Chelan. The Chelan shelter will not close until people are no longer staying there. In coordination with the Red Cross, Okanogan County Health is contacting medical suppliers to ensure that Winthrop residents are able to get replacement oxygen bottles.


State agencies coordinate their support to the wildfire response through the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray. The Logistics Section of the State EOC is processing requests for generators from Pateros, Twisp and Winthrop. The three communities are already using back-up generators to power utility services and need more. A liaison from the State EOC’s Operations Section worked with utility officials in Okanogan County today as they assessed power requirements in Twisp and Winthrop.

Washington Fire Marshall says fire fatality numbers down in 2013

The annual Fire Fatality Reportfor 2013 is now available on the web at With over 91% of the fire fatalities occurring in residential occupancies, being prepared and knowing what to do in the event of a fire can save lives.

“We want to raise awareness about the danger of fire and the frequency of home fire deaths,” says State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy. “How we and our communities fare in a fire emergency depends heavily on the planning and preparation that we put into practice.”

For the second year in a row, Washington State has continued to see a decrease in fire related fatalities, with a total of fifty-four fatalities reported in 2013.

The data used for this report was received from fire and law enforcement agencies throughout Washington State. It was then collected into a centralized database for analysis and report development in accordance with Revised Code of Washington 43.44.060.

Motorist calls about erratically driven vehicles pay off big for Washington State Patrol

The question is often asked, “Do the police actually do anything about motorist calls to law enforcement concerning erratically driven vehicles?” The answer is a big YES.  The Washington State Patrol (WSP) considers this partnership between the motoring public and troopers on the road an important link to taking impaired drivers, as well as other dangerous drivers, off of the roadways before death and destruction occurs.


Here in the WSP’s District 8, this encompasses the seven counties on the west coast of Washington. Troopers in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Grays Harbor, Pacific and Wahkiakum counties work hard at detecting, arresting and removing these dangerous drivers 24/7. But they can’t do it alone. Helpful tips from alert motorists to WSP communication centers are dispatched to troopers on the road. Many of these calls lead to the apprehension of these impaired drivers BEFORE they kill or injure innocent citizens. In fact, it makes such a difference that District 8 Captain Chris Old considers it a high priority for local troopers to make every effort to locate and make contact with these drivers. Captain Old takes the time to personally write a brief note of thanks to his troopers each time this occurs. Captain Old said, “I consider each of these stops and arrests to represent a life saved and I want to make sure my troopers know how much I appreciate the effort to take these drivers off our roadways”.


In the four week period from 4-15 to 5-15, 2014, troopers in these counties stopped 10 erratically driven vehicles called in by motorists which resulted in an arrest for DUI. This might seem like a small number to some, but to the WSP it represents the very real potential of saved lives. These numbers add up across the state where troopers are doing the same thing daily.


A recent WSP traffic stop on a reported erratic driver in Kitsap County resulted in the 4th DUI arrest of a female driver with three previous DUI convictions since 2004. This driver’s license was revoked status in the 1st degree for habitual offenses. Her driving record included multiple convictions for driving while revoked 1st degree, as well as various other criminal and traffic offenses. She was required to have an ignition interlock device, which she did not have, through 2019. Clearly this person should not be allowed to drive on our highways, and her arrest was a direct result of a concerned and alert motorist making the call.


Cell calls will either be directly received by WSP communication centers in certain areas or forwarded by local area law enforcement dispatch to the correct local WSP jurisdiction.


While the WSP encourages the calls, motorists should use good common sense when deciding to phone in about erratically driven vehicles. Here are some helpful points to consider.




  • Get as much description possible about the vehicle, including license plate if possible.
  • Try and give an accurate location and exactly what you have observed.
  • Stay on the line ONLY if the communication officer asks you to and if you are comfortable doing so and can do it safely.
  • Follow all instructions of the call taker.






  • Attempt to keep up with the vehicle if it is speeding or driving aggressively.
  • Attempt to confront the driver in any manner, including blocking it from passing or signaling it to stop.
  • Take any actions that put yourself or other drivers at safety risk.

WSP Chief, Secretary of Transportation honor telecommunicators in both agencies

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. 

Two suspects at large after armed robbery of medical marijuana collective garden in Oakville

Two suspects remain at large, after the armed robbery of of a medical marijuana collective garden in Oakville this morning. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department tells KBKW this morning at approximately 9:13 am, the owner of Green Harbour Medical Marijuana Co-Op in Oakville reported being robbed by two men wearing ski masks.  The owner advised that he had just opened for business when the two men came up behind him and stuck something in his back.  The owner believed the object was possibly a gun however never did see a firearm.  The suspects then ordered the owner to retrieve money and marijuana products from the safe.  The suspects fled the business heading northbound on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash and marijuana products.  The owner was not injured.

Numerous law enforcement agencies assisted the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department with searching the area.  Those agencies included Chehalis Tribal Police, Thurston County Sheriff’s Department, WSP, and Elma PD.  A Thurston County K-9 unit was also called in to assist with a track of the suspects but was unable to develop a track.  The Oakville School was also locked down as a precautionary measure.

At this point, a search of the area was completed however investigators were not able to locate the suspects.  Investigators are still on scene attempting to develop additional suspect information.  Given the nature of the business, we believe the suspects specifically targeted this business.  As always, anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Grays Harbor Communications Center at 360-533-8765 or the Sheriff’s Department at 360-249-3711.

Washington State Patrol: Trooper Cadet Taser Training

On any given day, in any given situation, any Washington State trooper may be confronted with an aggressive subject. Verbal de-escalation is always the goal, but is not always successful. This is why troopers are given a number of other tools to defend themselves should the need arise. One of those tools is the Taser.   

In the latest edition of our “Good to Know” series, Sergeant Shannon Bendiksen and Corporal Paul Cagle briefly describe the Taser’s function and show you some of the training trooper cadets have to endure.   

“The short time that they’re incapacitated is just what’s needed to apply the ‘cuffs, and at that point most suspects stop fighting,” Bendiksen said.

The Washington State Patrol video can be viewed here.

Trooper cadets are exposed to the effects of the Taser for three main reasons. It builds confidence in their equipment, allows them to realize the strengths and limitations of the device, and gives them practice handcuffing a subject after the Taser was fired. 

Any display or actual use of the Taser by a WSP trooper must be reported to their supervisor for review. 

Public meeting tonight on Wilderness Stewardship Plan for Olympic National Park

The public comment period opened earlier this month on a Wilderness Stewardship Plan in the Olympic National Park.
The National Park Service reports four alternatives are being discussed, a public meeting has been set for March 26th from 5 – 7pm at the Lake Quinault School to detail the options.

The no action alternative (Alternative A), is defined as the continuation of existing management practices. This alternative is required by law to be considered during the planning process. It sets a baseline of existing impacts continued into the future against which to compare impacts of the other alternatives.

There are also 3 action alternatives identified as Alternatives B, C, and D. The action alternatives must all be consistent with the various laws, regulations, and policies that guide management of the park. In addition, all of the alternatives would protect the qualities of wilderness character as required by the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Rabbit hole:

Olympic National Park » Olympic National Park Wilderness Stewardship Plan » Document List »Document Contents

Document Content:
ONP_WSP_Draft_Zones_FULL_TABLE.pdfONP_WSP_Draft_Zones_FULL_TABLE.pdf   (244.7 KB, PDF file)
ONP_WSP_Wilderness_Zones_Alt_B.jpgONP_WSP_Wilderness_Zones_Alt_B.jpg   (1.3 MB, Image file)
ONP_WSP_Wilderness_Zones_Alt_C.jpgONP_WSP_Wilderness_Zones_Alt_C.jpg   (1.3 MB, Image file)
ONP_WSP_Wilderness_Zones_Alt_D.jpgONP_WSP_Wilderness_Zones_Alt_D.jpg   (1.3 MB, Image file)
Disclaimer: Links within the above document(s) were valid as of the date published.