News and Events
Click here for the latest edition of the Crime Watch Newsletter - January/ February 2013. Included in this issue are articles about:
- Volunteer Recognition Reception
- Crime Free Rental Housing
- Nextdoor is Powering Block Watch
- Crime Victim Service Center
- City of Walla Walla Calls for Service 2012
- Upcoming Events
December 5, 2013 - Parade of lights postponed
After careful consideration, Macy's, along with The Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, made the decision to postpone the Macy's Parade of Lights from Saturday, December 7th to next Saturday, December 14th. Please see Press Release for additional information.
November 26, 2013 - Aggressive door-to-door salesmen
Press Release -WWPD
Beware of Possible SCAMMERS
Don’t let strangers into your homes
Beware of Door to Door salesmen: Our Crime Victim Advocates are hearing from concerned citizens in the Walla Walla Valley who are reporting that they have had some very aggressive vacuum salesman coming into their homes to “demonstrate their vacuums”. One elderly woman in the Milton Freewater area paid over $1500 for a vacuum she didn’t need or could afford after letting a door to door salesman (a stranger) into her home. A day later this victim attempted to return it without success.
Another citizen reported that after taking an environmental survey over the phone, a couple of days later he had a salesman at his door and after 1 hour vacuum / air purifier demonstration the salesman tried to make a sale of a $2,998.00 vacuum cleaner and air purifier. The salesman was very aggressive and fortunately this person didn’t buy.
Allowing a stranger into your home puts you at risk for being the victim of a scam or the victim of a theft or a victim of an assault.
Sometimes a burglar will use the ruse of a salesman to knock or ring your doorbell to see if anyone is at home before they break in.
Please report suspicious activity such as door to door salesmen…even if you didn’t allow them in or give them any information they may target your vulnerable neighbor. In Walla Walla, the non-emergency number to call is 527-1960.
November 21, 2013 - WWPD Pastor Ron Alexander Retires
For the past twenty-one years Pastor Ron Alexander has been the chaplain at the Walla Walla Police Department. He has stood alongside the members of the WWPD through celebrations, successes, tragedies and heartbreak. He has been, and will always be thought of as a member of the WWPD family.
We are profoundly grateful to Pastor Ron for his service and wish him all of the very best as he moves on to share his love, blessings and support to his new church. He will be greatly missed.
November 18, 2013 - Safety Awards Program Nominations
The Walla Walla County Traffic Safety/DUI Task Force is seeking nominations for their annual Traffic Safety Awards Program. This award program seeks to recognize individuals and/or groups, who, through their actions and efforts have promoted traffic safety and DUI (driving under the influence) awareness. Recipients will be honored at the 14th Annual Awards Luncheon in January.
Categories include: Good Samaritan; Business Leadership, Citizen Activist; Community or government program leadership; Legislative Leadership; Media Awareness; Educational Outreach; Youth Initiative; Law Enforcement; Public Health and Safety Super Star.
Additional information and entry forms are available by contacting the Traffic Safety Task Force program coordinator, Nancy Walters at 524-2936 or by email at email@example.com. Deadline for entries is December 10.
November 18, 2013 - Tipsy Taxi Program needs drivers
The Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Task Force is getting ready for the 7th year of Tipsy Taxi, a local designated driver program. Drivers will be available each evening December 13 through December 31 to transport people home from a party, tavern or restaurant so that no one is driving under the influence during the holidays. Tipsy Taxi does not take people to the party or another drinking location, only home.
At this time, the Task Force is seeing volunteer drivers to work an evening shift. Drivers are typically “on duty” from 6pm to 2:30 am on the evening they are scheduled. During the past six years, the Tipsy Taxi program has provided a safe ride home to 1,400 people. If you would be interested in serving as a volunteer driver, contact Nancy Walters at 524-2936 and request an information packet.
Tipsy Taxi is sponsored by Abajian Motors, Professional Telephone Answering Service, Odom Distributing, McDonald Zaring, Union Bulletin, Graphic Apparel, Inland Saxum Printing, Inland Cellular and the Traffic Safety Task Force.
November 18, 2013 - Project Red Ribbon
The Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Task Force has announced another year of Project Red Ribbon. Project Red Ribbon is an annual program of the Task Force where they encourage drivers to tie a red ribbon somewhere on their vehicle to show their commitment to being a safe and sober driver. Ribbons are available at Les Schwab on east Isaacs, ABC Christian Bookstore in College Place, from the Task Force office at 1520 Kelly Place or by calling Nancy at 524-2936. The Task Force is also seeking additional Red Ribbons distributors. The only requirement of a business to be a distributor is to have a space for the small stand that is easily accessible by the public. Businesses may contact the Task Force office and a stand will be delivered.
November 7, 2013 - New Sergeant promoted
Chief Scott Bieber announced this afternoon the promotion of Detective Kevin Bayne to the position of Patrol Sergeant. The promotion takes effect on December 2nd. Patrol moves to 12-hour shifts. Please see Press Release for additional information.
November 5, 2013 - "sliders" snatching valuables
In a new wave of crime that occurs in an instant, thieves are cagily sliding into victim's cars and snatching valuables from open windows, in what police are calling "sliding." Please watch video of this crime in action and keep your car doors locked.
October 31, 2013 - Liquor thefts continue to rise
Thefts of liquor from Walla Walla grocery stores have continued to rise over the past 4 months. During the first six months of the year, there were 33 reports of liquor thefts in the city, compared to 35 reported thefts over the past 4 months.
Several of the theft entries involve more than 1 bottle of liquor, so these figures are conservative. Of the 68 reported thefts so far this year, there was 1 from Albertsons, 2 from Harvest Foods, 8 from Rite Aid, 7 from Super One Foods, and 50 from Safeway (2 stores).
It is unknown the total number of thefts that go unreported as many are not realized until the store runs a loss report. It is believed to be much higher.
October, 26, 2013 - successful Drug Take-Back event
Saturday, Oct 26th, was a very successful Rx Prescription Take Back Day / Shred Event: from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm we had a steady stream of cars with just a few breaks in between ---so we could breath! In just the first hour we used all our Rx boxes and had to dig into our supply of boxes and liners from previous years.
Thank you to Sgt Moses and Detective Ruchert ---We collected 10 boxes of drugs with a total combined weight of 272 pounds ---GREAT JOB!… in comparison to this past April’s Rx Day when we took in less than half that amount at 123 pounds of drugs.
The Crime Watch Shred event brought in 11 bins of Shredded material ---and generous donations for the graffiti abatement program! Thank you to Baker Boyer for Sponsoring the CI Shred Truck! Thank you our volunteers—we couldn’t do this without your help! - Al Dunn, Amanda Neilsen, Shelly Penland, Dave Raappana, Ben Workman
Thank you also to Marianne Barr from College Place Police Department for working alongside us so that College Place can provide a location next year.
The Sheriff’s Office had two locations this year…one in Waitsburg and in Burbank.
October 25, 2013 - Pink Glove Dance
Walla Walla Police Department employees and the group “Just Us Girls Sharing” (JUGS) worked together to produce a video for the Pink Glove Dance competition. The video that collects the most votes during this national contest wins the top prize of $25,000. Voting will take place for the next 10 days, starting at 10:00 a.m. today, with the money going to support cancer patients. If our video wins, the prize money will go to assist breast cancer patients undergoing treatment at Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center. The link below will go live at the beginning of the contest. You may vote once per day per email address.
The above attachment is an earlier press release about money raised for the Cancer Center. In order to register for the “Dance Competition”, teams must have raised at least $2,000 for an organization that promotes breast cancer awareness and treatment. See attached for further information.
Please share the link below as widely as possible, post on your social media sites, and vote EVERYDAY!
October 17, 2013 - Congratulations Deputies Schram and Allen!
At the 2013 Marine Law Enforcement Conference held in Port Angeles, two Walla Walla County deputies were awarded the Live Saving Award for their heroic actions on July 28th of this year. Please see Press Release for photo and additional information.
October 20, 2013 - Pedestrian fatality
An 81year old Walla Walla man died Sunday morning after being struck by a vehicle while crossing Poplar Street near Providence St. Mary Medical Center. Please see Press Release for additional information.
October 17, 2013 - Marine Law Enforcement awards
At the 2013 Marine Law Enforcement Conference held in Port Angeles, two Walla Walla County deputies were awarded the Live Saving Award for their heroic actions on July 28th of this year.
Deputies Richard Schram and Ryan Allen were recognized for the quick and professional actions that resulted in the rescue of two men floundering in the Columbia River after their canoe capsized in rough waters near Sacajawea Park. Without Deputies Schram and Allen's immediate actions, both men would have most likely succumbed to the raw conditions. Both Deputies Schram and Allen best exemplify the finest qualities as evidence by their courageous actions on July 28th, 2013. Deputies Schram and Allen were honored today and received a well-deserved recognition for saving the lives of several local citizens. See Press Release.
September 20, 2013 - Paint the Town Pink
New Parking Enforcement uniform - It's "paint the town pink" put on by J.U.G.S. to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Today our WWPD parking enforcement officer went all out in support of this event!
September 16, 2013 - Celebration event
To celebrate the completion of the QS2 critical communications system upgrade for the citizens and public safety agencies in the Walla Walla Valley, Tait Communications would like to invite you and other dedicated individuals that were involved in the project for a celebration event. For RSVP information please see the Agenda.
September 16, 2013 - Fight Crime Invest in Kids Media Advisory
Area law enforcement leaders will be releasing a report on this national program that is estimated to eventually save Washington taxpayers $84,000,000 in incarceration costs. Please read attachment for further information on this press conference scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 19th @ 10 a.m. The penitentiary will be the backdrop at the location of the press conference (SW corner of 13th Ave and Rees Street).
September 3, 2013 - Pink Glove Dance
The Walla Walla Police Department raised $2,895 for Providence St. Mary Medical Center’s “special needs fund” for breast cancer patients. The funds are used to cover costs associated with breast cancer treatments that are not covered by insurance. Please see Press Release for additional information.
July 31, 2013 - Columbia River Rescue on 7/28/13
On July 28, 2013 at approximately 1330 hours, an elderly man, his son, and their dog left the Finley area in their canoe to cross the Columbia River to Sacajawea Park. Shortly after setting off, the water became turbulent and the canoe capsized, leaving the two men and the dog adrift in the water. Just moments after falling into the water, the men started waving their arms in the hope someone would help them. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Deputy Richard Schram Deputy Ryan Allen
July 11, 2013 - Graffiti removal on Melrose
Our outstanding volunteer graffiti abatement crew continues to work hard at removing graffiti in town. The photos and video link below are from work done on Melrose today. They removed graffiti and the paint used to cover it prior to our new glass blaster being placed into service.
If you see graffiti, report it - 527-1960. See the City of Walla Walla flyer for a graffiti abatement consent form.
July 1, 2013 - Local man sentenced to 92 months for counterfeiting
A counterfeiting case that began in November, 2011, has been adjudicated in a federal court. Christopher A. Brotherton, 33, has been sentenced to 92 months in federal prison for his role in the case that began locally when counterfeit $20 bills were passed at area convenience stores. Please see Press Release for additional information.
July 1, 2013 - alcohol thefts rise sharply
Thefts of alcohol have increased 175% this year from the same period last year. Walla Walla Police officers have responded to over 44 reports of thefts of alcohol during the first 6 months of 2013, involving the theft of thousands of dollars of hard liquor. Many of the thefts are committed by minors. It is believed that many more thefts are never reported to law enforcement.
The Walla Walla Police Department encourages all retailers of hard liquor to display these items in a manner that discourages shoplifting.
July 1, 2013 - driver arrested, 4 sent to hospital
WWPD officers and EMS personnel were dispatched to an injury collision Friday night in the 500 block of Washington Street. The call came in at 10:29 p.m. of a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed crashing into a legally parked and unoccupied vehicle. Please see Press Release for additional information.
July 1, 2013 - WWCsSAR
The Walla Walla County Sheriff's Search and Rescue (WWCSSAR) team quietly demonstrated their finely honed skills on June 5th when they located a local missing person. They received thanks from local law enforcement - we thought the messages of gratitude to these unsung heroes should be shared with you.
WWCSSAR is a non-profit volunteer organization working under the guidance of the Sheriff's Office. This humble group of local residents work hard all year long keeping their skills sharp and their equipment in ready condition should they be needed. If you would like to know more about this group, please visit their website.
June 26, 2013 - WWPd illegal fireworks warning
Police are urging residents to abide by the City of Walla Walla fireworks ordinance. Illegal fireworks include any that produce a loud noise, shoot up more than 20 feet, or move across the ground more than 15 feet. These include firecrackers, “Roman Candles”, “Jumping Jacks”, sky rockets, mortars, and missiles. Please see Press Release for additional information.
June 25, 2013 - public Safety Radio System Improvements
Both the citizens and the public safety agencies and personnel serving the Walla Walla area can now rest easier, knowing that the Walla Walla Emergency Services Communications Center (WESCOM) has just completed the installation of a major overhaul of the entire radio system. Please see Press Release for additional information.
June 25, 2013 - Operation Dry Water
Warning Impaired Boaters - Zero tolerance for operating a boat under the influence.
The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol deputies will be out on patrol for the annual Operation Dry Water campaign. Statewide, officers will be out in force June 28, 29 and 30 looking for boat operators that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol (also known as BUI) and whose Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) exceeds the state limit of .08%. Please see Press Release for additional information.
June 24, 2013 - Vendor/Organization participation at NNO
The Walla Walla Police Department and Walla Walla Area Crime Watch would like to invite vendors and organizations to participate in this year's National Night Out 2013 at Pioneer Park. Please see Press Release for additional information. You can also view a slideshow of 2012 National Night Out on our Gallery page.
June 21, 2013 - Graffiti Abatement
Walla Walla Area Crime Watch used their donated compressor and "Dustless Blaster" for 'the first time to erase graffiti at Clinton & Melrose on Wednesday Poof! It's gone. A huge thank you to MMLJ Inc. (http://dustlessblasting.com/) and Sherwood Trust (http://sherwoodtrust.org/), and especially Construction Equipment Exporters for making this possible. Got soaked in the rain but it was "a blast." The dustless blaster uses glass particles instead of soda or sand to blast away the graffiti. Dustl See the "Dustless Blaster" in action on YouTube.
June 4, 2013 - Missing Person
Walla Walla Police are continuing their search for a missing 76 year old man missing since yesterday morning. John Christiansen, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, walked away from his residence yesterday morning, at about 9:00 a.m. Officers searched for the missing man throughout the day but have been unable to find him. Please see Press Release for description and photo.
UPDATE: June 4, 2013 - John Christiansen was found. Please see Press Release for information.
May 23, 2013 - Go-cart restored for community events
A go-cart donated to the City/County D.A.R.E program from Pepsi Cola Bottling in 1990 has received a major make-over, thanks to donated labor and parts from the Penitentiary’s Motorpool and Walla Walla Community College’s penitentiary program. Please see Press Release and Sweets Battle of the Badge flyer for additional information. Also see
May 23, 2013 - WWPD Records Department hours change
The Records Department hours at the police station will change beginning June 3rd. The new hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday, and will continue to remain closed on all recognized holidays. Currently, the Records Department closes at 5:00 p.m. Please see Press Release for additional information.
May 16, 2013 - 911 Dispatch receives recognition
Walla Walla Emergency Services Communications (WESCOM) is taking major steps to handle the growing number of missing and exploited children 9-1-1 calls.
Emergency 9-1-1 calls regarding missing and/or sexually exploited children could be the first step towards saving a child in your community. WESCOM has completed numerous hours of enhanced specialized training and is now better prepared to take these types of calls. WESCOM has recently become a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) 9-1-1 Call Center Partner. This program acknowledges WESCOM’s commitment to making the safety of our children a priority. Every 9-1-1 call involving a missing and/or sexually exploited child must be handled according to best practices. To promote the adoption of these best practices, NCMEC has created the 9-1-1 Call Center Partner Program. The Walla Walla Emergency Services Communications Center has incorporated the best practices in its policies and training material, making a commitment to follow these best practices. See Press Release and NCMEC FAQs for additional information.
April 29, 2013 - Prescription Take-back/shred event success
Walla Walla Area Crime Watch thanks everyone for making the Prescription Drug Take-Back/Shred event such a huge success. We owe tremendous gratitude to CI Shred for donating the use of their shred truck and to everyone who contributed to our donation jar.
There were 134 vehicles arriving throughout the day. They brought enough prescription drugs to fill four boxes with a total combined weight of 123 pounds. They also brought enough paper material to fill 18 bins at 150 pounds per bin for a total of 2,700 pounds to be shredded. See Photo Gallery.
April 23, 2013 - WA state Crime Prevention Association Award
At the 2013 Washington State Crime Prevention Association Spring Conference held in Everett, Washington April 22-24, the Walla Walla Police Department received the 2013 award for Crime Prevention Unit of the Year. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Sergeant Steve Potter, Vicki Ruley, Officer Tim Bennett
April 19, 2013 - Police Department Promotes 2nd Captain
After a strenuous round of Civil Service testing, that included a written exercise and 4 interview panels, Chief Scott Bieber has promoted Detective Sergeant Chris Buttice to fill the Operations Captain position that was eliminated in 2011 due to budget cuts. Please see Press Release for additional information.
April 16, 2013 - Sheriff's Office Welcomes two new canine officers
Please see Press Release for additional information.
April 15, 2013 - Arrest made in Saturday morning Shooting
Detectives arrested Shawn A. Crump, 21, 205 W. Chestnut, Apt. #5, for Assault 1st Degree, following the Saturday morning shooting of a 26 year old male. Crump was taken into custody Sunday morning following an interview with Detectives.
The victim was shot 3 times with a small caliber handgun while in the alley behind the 1700 block of Portland Ave. The shooting occurred at around 3:00 a.m. Saturday and was reported to police at 3:16 after the victim stumbled into the Chevron station located at 1916 Isaacs and told the clerk he had been shot.
The investigation is continuing as Detectives track down further leads.
March 25, 2013 - Sheriff's Office welcomes newest deputy
The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office is proud to introduce their newest Deputy, Christopher Johnson. Deputy Johnson graduated from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy on March 19th, 2013. Deputy Johnson graduated at the top of his class, receiving numerous awards including the class’ top #1 overall graduate award. Please see Press Release for additional information.
March 12, 2013 - The New glass blaster has arrived
We are very pleased to announce that our new glass blaster has arrived. Testing will need to be completed and then our graffiti abatement team will be out on a mission to rid our county of graffiti. Please see the City of Walla Walla flyer for information about the abatement program which includes a waiver of liability consent form.
March 3-9, 2013 - National Consumer Protection Week
March 3-9, 2013 is National Consumer Protection Week. National Consumer Protection Week and the Federal Trade Commission are joining with more than 60 federal, state and local agencies, consumer groups and national advocacy organizations in a coordinated consumer protection campaign. This campaign focuses on the importance of keeping consumers informed while providing them with free resources explaining their rights in the marketplace.
The NCPW website has information that can help consumers understand their rights, protect their privacy, avoid identity theft, recognize scams, manage their credit and debt as well as how to report fraud.
January 19, 2013
On Tuesday, January 15th the Walla Walla law enforcement community paid tribute to their volunteers.
If you have ever been to the Balloon Stampede Pancake Breakfast, National Night Out, a prescription drug take-back/shred event, a SafeAssured ID event, a Sheriff’s Foundation fundraising event or needed the service of the Walla Walla Search and Rescue Team (top-rated in WA State), you have met some of these wonderful volunteers. All of these events along with the Walla Walla Area Crime Watch and Walla Walla Sheriff’s Foundation websites and Facebook pages are all made possible because of the work of volunteers.
January 10, 2013 - Sheriff's Comments on Lepiane Sentence
Today is a sad day for law enforcement. Any time a trusted public servant chooses to violate and betray that trust, it is a bitter sting for all. The fact that Ms. Lepiane is a former employee of a prior administration makes the sting none the less for any of us at the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office. For additional information, please see the Sheriff's Office Press Release and the US Department of Justice Press Release.
January 4, 2013 - Award for National Night Out
Walla Walla has been selected as a National Award Winner (see letter) for outstanding participation in the “29th” Annual National Night Out (NNO) event. The event, held the first Tuesday in August, is designed to get neighbors and the community together with emergency services providers and stakeholders to receive information to keep friends and families more safe.
This was 6th year in a row that Walla Walla has been recognized by the National Association of Town Watch. Walla Walla placed 20th for all communities nationwide for populations 15,000-50,000.
This year’s NNO event was co-sponsored by Walla Walla Area Crime Watch and the Walla Walla Police Department.
January 3, 2013 - Calls for service up
Calls for service to the Walla Walla Police Department increased by nearly 10% during 2012, after a 3 year decline. Gang related crimes also increased by over 50% from last year. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Please note that the dates and times for the Prescott and Burbank meetings have changed! These meetings will be with the Port of Walla Walla and the WA Department of Transportation regarding traffic safety issues. Directly following these meetings, the Sheriff will be available for questions and comments.
When: January 21, 2014 to April 1, 2014, 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM (Tuesday evenings)
Where: Walla Walla Police Department, 54 E Moore, Walla Walla
Brochure - includes application form.
The Citizen's Academy is 10+ weeks of classes covering everything you would want to know about law enforcement in the Walla Walla Valley.
Classes are taught by members of Walla Walla's Finest, from dispatch, patrol and animal control to judges and K9 units. You will go on tours of the WWPD, the Juvenile Justice Center, Superior Court, Sheriff's Office and the County Jail. You will go on a four hour ride-a-long with a Walla Walla Police Office and spend a special Saturday event at the Firing Rage. Visit our Gallery page for photos of the last Citizen's Academy class day at the firing range.
Space is limited so submit your application early.