By Rikki King
I spent some time Tuesday morning hanging out with Stanwood Police Chief Rick Hawkins.
Hawkins, a lieutenant with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, has been chief up there for about a year now. We talked about some of the new programs and community partnerships they have going, where crime rates are at (low) and what officers have been up to lately.
I’m planning a story for later this month.
Meanwhile, I got a kick out of the rustic goose sign out in front of the police department and the soap box derby car perched on a wall partition inside. (See not-great reporter-photos to the right.)
It’s always nice to get out into the community and spend time with people doing what they love, and not just when something bad happens. Those “slice of life” moments happen on the police beat, too.
Here are some highlights from my notes:
About 100 homes are being built in the Copper Station neighborhood on the north end of town. Construction was busy there Tuesday, with workers putting up housing frames, digging foundations and other activity. Development dried up during the economic downturn a few years ago, and the new building bustle is good news for the city, Hawkins said.
There’s a spot along 68th Avenue NW where city officials want to put in a sidewalk to make it safer for kids walking to school. They’ve been trying to get grant funding for the project for awhile now. It might not happen soon, but they’re trying.
At a community meeting last fall, folks were given pointers on what to look for in town and when to call 911. A few hours later, one of them called 911 in the middle of the night to report a suspicious car parking in their neighborhood.
The “suspicious person” turned out to be a deputy on patrol, Hawkins said. But the caller was doing what they were supposed to – keeping a lookout in their neighborhood.
About halfway through our interview, Stanwood Mayor Dianne White stopped by at the police station to say hello. The mayor and the chief talked about how flooding has (knock on wood) been less severe this year than in the past, and how much it costs to clean up the damage when the rivers swell.
Before she left, White invited Hawkins to a ribbon-cutting that afternoon somewhere in town.
The chief scribbled the details on a piece of paper and tucked it away.