Tribes host National Night Out

TULALIP — The Aug. 8 “Summer Jubilee” wasn’t the only community service event held at the Tulalip Amphitheatre recently, as the Tulalip Tribal Police staged their first National Night Out Against Crime there Aug. 4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

“This is a huge statement of support for the police and the community, working together to help each other, as well as our children, especially with the challenges of drugs and alcohol,” Tulalip Tribes Chair Mel Sheldon said. “My hands are up to all of you.”

State Rep. John McCoy praised the event for raising awareness of partnerships between communities and law enforcement, and noted that the cross-commissioning of tribal police officers, that he helped work through the state Legislature, is now working its way through Congress on the federal level.

The Department of Emergency Management for Snohomish County was one of many agencies with information tables at the event, with Diana Rose representing DEM for the county and Rochelle James serving as emergency management coordinator for the Tribes. Rose was disseminating brochures on subjects such as how to map one’s neighborhood, graffiti prevention tips, phone numbers for public safety and other county departments, and the differences between dialing 9-1-1 on a cell phone versus a land-line.

“Unlike a land-line, police don’t automatically know where you’re at when you’re calling from a cell phone,” Rose said.

James was passing out pamphlets on how to respond to pandemic flu, most notably the “swine flu.”

“It’s still around, so people need to wash and sanitize their hands, cover their coughs and stay home when they’re sick,” James said. “It sounds basic, but simple things help minimize its spread.”

Detective David Chitwood, of the Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force, hoped to increase awareness about the dangers of supposedly “safe” drugs, such as marijuana.

“People think, ‘Oh, marijuana’s okay, so why not legalize it?’” Chitwood said. “What they don’t realize is the damage it does to your lungs and brain cells. It can put as much tar in your lungs as smoking cigarettes.”

Chitwood also handed out leaflets with pictures of various types of drugs, including prescription drugs, and drug paraphernalia, so that parents could recognize such items if they saw them in their children’s possession.

“People think Granite Falls is a meth capital, but there’s more of it in Marysville than in Granite Falls, and more of it in Everett than in Marysville,” Chitwood said. “Drugs know no boundaries.”

Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County and Narcotics Anonymous both focused on youth in their information and displays. The Domestic Violence Services table featured coloring sheets with the message “Hands are not for hitting” to promote non-violent behavior, while Narcotics Anonymous offered booklets on recognizing possible signs of addiction in young people.

Local residents Norene and Shane Warbus appreciated the activities that were available for younger children, from the “Dunk a Cop” tank to padded sumo-suit wrestling, but they also welcomed the education that they all received.

“I was fascinated when the Drug Task Force folks told us how rampant prescription drug abuse is,” Norene Warbus said. “When your house is broken into, you might check and think that nothing is missing, but I never would have thought to check my medicine cabinet. I love that people can come out to family events like this, and see the police in a good light.”

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