Since 2008, the Mountlake Terrace Police Department has hosted a public open house, giving residents and visitors an opportunity to tour the police station and see aspects of law enforcement work. City officials had scheduled this year’s open house to coincide with National Police Week later this month, but have now scrubbed the event due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
“Staffing shortages, workload and activity in general are the reasons this year’s event was cancelled,” said Police Chief Greg Wilson.
The open house had been slated for May 15 and was to include a memorial and color guard ceremony for fallen police officers, tours of the station, looks inside police cars and the station’s jail cell, and opportunities to ask officers about their duties.
The police department currently has two vacancies among its 28 commissioned personnel positions. At the May 1 city council work/study session, Wilson said that the vacancies and “some injuries to personnel” have forced him to shift some duties and responsibilities around among department officers.
The department’s Commander of Operations Division position is also currently vacant following the May 2 firing of former Commander Don Duncan, who was arrested and charged with driving under the Influence on Feb. 1.
While this year’s open house has been cancelled, city officials urged residents who would like a tour of the police station to schedule a date and time by calling the Police Department at 425-670-8260.
Both Wilson and Mountlake Terrace City Manager Arlene Fisher said police department open house events will not be eliminated from the city’s calendar completely. “We will certainly hold these in the future,” Fisher said.