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Snohomish County organizations team up for Night Out Against Crime

TULALIP — The Tulalip Amphitheatre hosted its second annual National Night Out Against Crime Aug. 3, as the Marysville and Tulalip Tribal police departments teamed up with other area law enforcement, emergency response and community organizations.

Half an hour before the event officially started at 6 p.m., Tulalip Tribal Police Chief Jay Goss was already greeting visitors as they browsed through the many information booths on site.

“With any event like this, its value is that it gives our citizens an opportunity to meet and greet those who provide them with these services, and speak to them on a one-on-one basis,” Goss said. “They can get to know us as friends and neighbors, outside of crimes or other traumatic events.”

The Marysville Kiwanis returned to the Night Out Against Crime to dispense their usual free hot dogs and sodas. The Marysville American Legion was joined for the first time at this year’s Night Out by its Ladies Auxiliary, while the American Red Cross and Department of Emergency Management for Snohomish County dispensed safety tips for homes and neighborhoods.

Goss warned event attendees that the abuse of prescription narcotics has emerged as a nationwide trend over the course of the past decade, and that it’s impacted North Snohomish County as well. At the same time, members of the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club promoted their own upcoming safety fair and carnival, Aug. 26 from noon to 4 p.m., while Ray Baron Sr., director of Project Lifesaver with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, used the Night Out to try and recruit new volunteers for the Snohomish County Citizens Patrol.

“We have eight people, but five of them are down due to surgeries and sickness,” Baron said. “We’re assigned various geographic areas from Everett to the North County line and east to Camano Island. We act as eyes and ears for the sheriff’s deputies, calling things in and acting as a deterrent to crimes. That’s why we have black-and-white cars like the deputies, so that people will see us out there.”

Baron encouraged those interested in learning more or getting involved to call him at 425-328-6180.

The Tulalip Amateur Radio Club made their debut at this year’s Night Out, as Dale Heaton, the club’s training officer, explained how “ham” radio operators have assisted in coordinating emergency aid in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake.

“We’re non-commercial and strictly hobbyists,” said Heaton, whose club members have all received Community Emergency Response Team training and become certified CERT trainers themselves. “We’re here to share our skills in case emergencies occur.”

Heaton invited those who are interested to log onto the Tulalip Amateur Radio Club’s website at http://tribalhams.net.

Sherman Pruitt, a senior officer with the Tulalip Tribal Police, let Marysville’s 6-year-old Seth Montero take the wheel of a patrol car and gave him a Tribal Police badge sticker to help him feel more comfortable around the police.

“When you wear this badge, that means you’ve got my back, okay?” Pruitt told Montero, kneeling to talk to him at eye-level before high-fiving him.

“I wanted him to meet the police so he wouldn’t be afraid of them,” said Montero’s mom, Trisha. “They’re cool guys. I like coming to these Nights Out for the awareness and togetherness of the community planning and neighborhood watches.”

Snohomish County Search and Rescue volunteer Carl Johnson showed off one of Search and Rescue’s two hovercrafts to curious children like Joel, Adam, Julia and Abigail Hutsell. The Hutsells live in Maple Valley and just happened to be visiting their grandparents, Marysville residents Diana and Larry Gardner, who brought them to the Night Out.

“They have lots of really cool stuff,” Julia Hutsell said as K-9 handlers allowed children to pet Search and Rescue’s training dogs. “I like how little kids could pet the dogs and get to learn about safety.”

Larry Gardner praised the accessibility of the public officials who attended the event, including state Rep. John McCoy, Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick, Marysville Police Chief Rick Smith and the former and current Marysville mayors, Dennis Kendall and Jon Nehring.

“This is a fantastic event,” Nehring said. “It’s great to be able to conduct this in partnership with the Tulalip Tribes, and Marysville looks forward to hosting it next year.”

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