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City to hire graffiti eraser; new police officers sworn in; local traffic update

City to hire graffiti eraser

Federal Way plans to hire a part-time employee to paint over graffiti this summer.

City Manager Neal Beets announced June 19 at the City Council meeting that graffiti remains a problem in Federal Way. The city is serious about removing freshly painted graffiti within 48 hours of its discovery, he said.

Although the two graffiti paint-outs the city has headed were successful, there needs to be more resources dedicated to the problem, he said. The city plans to hire a part-time employee whose job will be to paint over graffiti tagging in Federal Way.

Details of the hiring are still being worked through, but the city is likely to hire a high school or college student who desires some extra cash, Beets said.

In March, Federal Way City Council unanimously voted to classify graffiti tagging as a public nuisance. Upon a second offense, graffiti artists could face up to five days in jail. Possessing and purchasing the tools necessary for graffiti with the intent of using those tools to do just that is also illegal in Federal Way.

Fighting domestic violence

The Federal Way Police Department and the city celebrated an award June 19 at the City Council meeting for the department’s efforts to combat domestic violence.

The department’s Domestic Violence Initiative won the award June 13 from the Association of Washington Cities. The association, which is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation that represents Washington’s cities and towns before state agencies, awarded the city an Municipal Excellence Award in the public safety category during an annual conference in Tacoma.

Federal Way’s Domestic Violence Initiative was one of seven entrants, out of 67, to receive an award. Each category had one winner.

The initiative included changing police practices in how domestic violence is documented when children are present. It also focused on teaching police what evidence is needed to bring domestic violence perpetrators to justice. As part of the initiative, the city also passed a law June 20, 2006, making domestic violence in the presence of a child and domestic violence-related strangulation gross misdemeanors punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

In addition to these actions, the city held a domestic violence forum March 28, 2007.

Police staff Cathy Williams and Michelle Landon were recognized at the meeting for their contributions to the Domestic Violence Initiative.

In Federal Way, domestic violence remains among the top five reasons people call for police services, Police Chief Brian Wilson said at the meeting.

New police officers sworn in

Two new police officers promised to truly, honestly and diligently uphold the law and serve Federal Way residents June 19 when they were sworn in at the City Council meeting.

Officers Jeff Vanderveer and Richard Adams, from Connecticut and Hawaii respectively, both have previous police experience. Vanderveer has been an officer for 10 years and was a patrol supervisor in Connecticut. Adams has been an officer for five years and has a black belt in karate.

Police Chief Brian Wilson recognized Sandy Templeton for her accomplishments and promotion from an officer to a Lieutenant at the meeting. Templeton has been an officer for 14 years, and has been with Federal Way for eight years. She has experience in criminal investigations and as a patrol supervisor.

With the addition of Vanderveer and Adams, the police have now hired more than half of the 18 officers it plans to hire as a result of Proposition One, which voters passed last November.

Two more officers were hired June 19 — Melissa Johnson and Eric Mattson, said Melanie McAllester, police administrative commander. They will enter the department as entry-level officers.

A conditional offer was extended to Joseph Schmit. However, Schmit is scheduled to deploy to Iraq soon and the department is not sure when he will be available to hire, McAllester said.

The department is still looking to fill seven police officer positions.

Some of the recently hired officers will soon be able to uphold their duties on the streets on Federal Way.

The department was notified June 19 that officers Joell Giger and Josh McConnell, both hired April 17, will be able to attend the police training academy in July, McAllester said. More officers will still likely be sent in August, she said.

Pac Hwy construction updates

Qwest will remove abandoned manholes on the west side of Pacific Highway South between South 288th St and 18th Avenue South beginning June 25. The removals are expected to be completed before July 4.

Construction of a temporary access road east of Pacific Highway South near the Overlook Apartments, 29645 18th Ave. S., and South Dash Point Road began June 21. This road will allow for construction of the large soldier pile retaining wall.

Sawcutting on the east side of Pacific Highway South to allow for a drainage trench, and the removal of pavement to allow for future widening of the highway, began June 21 and will continue throughout the week beginning June 25. This work will cross driveways, but access to all properties will be maintained.

Joint utility trench construction will begin June 27 in front of the My Lan Restaurant, 29426 Pacific Highway S. It will proceed generally northward from there.

Utility vaults will be installed, followed by the construction of a trench for conduits between the vaults beginning the first week of July.

This work will cross driveways. Access to all properties will be maintained during joint utility trench construction.

On July 2, SCI, Infrastructure will begin building the large soldier pile retaining wall near the Overlook Apartments.

No work will be done July 4 in honor of Independence Day.

Avoid junction at I-5/SR 18 on June 29-30

Some motorists will have to use alternate routes to reach Highway 18 and Interstate 5 on June 29 when Federal Way will conclude paving at the intersection of State Route 161 and Highway 18.

State Route 161 and 16th Avenue South will be closed to through traffic from 10 p.m. Friday, June 29, to 10 a.m. Saturday, June 30, while the paving of the north side of the intersection at State Route 161 and South 348th Street is completed.

Drivers traveling north on State Route 161 will be detoured around the intersection at South 356th Street.

Drivers traveling south on Pacific Highway will be detoured at South 340th Street where Pacific Highway South intersects with 16th Avenue South.

During this same time, traffic traveling east and west on South 348th Street and Highway 18 will be shifted to accommodate the paving. Two eastbound lanes and one westbound lane will remain open while paving is being finished.

Paving on the south side of the same intersection was completed June 22.

The paving is dependent upon the weather and will be postponed if it rains.

For complete details on the SR 161/SR 18 Intersection Improvement Project being conducted by Federal Way visit www.cityoffederalway.com/Page.aspx?page=665.

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