Dear Federal Way police chief …

Letter to the editor

To Chief of Police Andy Hwang,

l was terrorized on Saturday afternoon, September 5, by the Federal Way Police Department. They do this on a regular basis around my house. I am tired of it. It is not their job to go around terrorizing innocent people in their homes while they are trying to catch suspects. They certainly could have found another way to get my attention than to call me out of my house for me to face an AR-15. And they wonder why good people are so fed up with them.

We arrived home from running errands to see the police with their lights flashing next door. It would have been nice to have them intervene at that point and tell us it might be best to leave and come back later. You could have had someone come to my door later to properly assess the situation instead of asking me while I was on my front porch.

It is terrifying to suddenly notice a man in army fatigues holding an AR-15 with vehicles and officers surrounding the perimeter of my home hollering at me from the street, ”How many people are inside?” You could have gotten my attention many ways without having me just suddenly notice that my house is now surrounded by patrol cars with all your lights flashing.

Later, when I thought the situation was safe, I went out and a female, blond-haired officer sharply told me to go back inside. No one was communicating with us. I think your suspect was very aware that you were there. You don’t want to put yourself in harm’s way, but you sure put me there.

You chased that guy for hours. It seems like you purposefully set it up to chase him to somewhere close to my house. When I first moved here in 2014, you took someone down at gunpoint in my front yard. Since then there have been similar situations including police chases down our street ending in someone’s death. This is trauma to those of us who live here. You as officers are doing your work, but this isn’t working. You can’t keep traumatizing the neighborhoods, then leave when you are done without telling those you have traumatized that they are actually safe now.

You claim to be “nationally accredited.” You even have that posted on the side of your patrol cars. But your officers are certainly not accredited in communicating with the public in high-stress situations.

We’re already stressed out about the pandemic and the economy. Please let the citizens of Federal Way know that you will work at improving communication with the public, especially in stressful times.

I appreciate the work that you do. I appreciate that you are accredited. But I also hope you will continue to do that good work without traumatizing neighborhoods while doing your job.

Jim and Jennie Donahe

Federal Way

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