Buckley chief reports high arrest rates

Arrest rates were high last year for a town the size of Buckley, according to Police Chief Jim Arsanto.

The chief issued his annual report to members of the City Council during their Jan. 12 meeting.

The Buckley police officers made 527 arrests during the course of the year, a figure which includes adult and juvenile felonies and misdemeanors and warrant arrests. The department arrested 97 drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. These numbers are high for a town the size of Buckley, Arsanto said.

Neighboring Enumclaw had comparable numbers, with 520 adults arrested, 51 juvenile arrests and 93 DUI arrests.

Bookings into the Buckley jail are one source of revenue for the city, because neighboring cities pay to use the facility. The jail billed $341,517 to other cities and organizations in 2009. The city of Pacific was the greatest revenue generator, paying Buckley $69,882. Neighboring Bonney Lake was billed $60,648.

Council member Randy Reed asked why the arrest numbers appear to be so high.

“A lot of it certainly has to do with the fact that we have a judge that believes in incarceration for offenses,” Arsanto said. “He handed out 313 criminal citations last year to people going into court.”

Mayor Pat Johnson saw the high arrest rates as a positive thing.

“Pretty soon we’ll have a reputation that we don’t mess around in Buckley,” she said.

Buckley police will receive two new patrol cars this year, swapping out older vehicles in the fleet. The replacement is in keeping with the police department’s rotation schedule at about six years and 80,000 miles.

The vehicles will be four-wheel drive models to better handle the hills of Carbonado, a contracted patrol area for the police department.

In other action, the council:

• voted to remodel the vandalized Taylor house near the sewage treatment plant. The insurance payout was higher for a remodel than to tear it down.

• appointed Reed to the position of mayor pro tem.

• appointed Councilman James Montgomery as Johnson’s alternate to a position on the Pierce County Regional Council.

• renewed an agreement with the Department of Emergency Services to provide Buckley with various educational, planning and support services related to the city’s emergency management functions.

• approved a contract with Emergency Medical Services billing services, allowing the fire department to charge for patient transport services.

• updated a memorandum of understanding allowing the American Red Cross to stage and stockpile disaster relief supplies at Buckley Hall.

• renewed an ongoing contract with Pierce County for 911 services.

• approved an interlocal agreement with Bonney Lake, Sumner and the Sumner School District to submit an application for a Resource Conservation Manager Grant through the state Department of Commerce to hire a resource conservation manager.

• accepted completion of the project to remove debris from the access road to a section of the water transmission main a mile and a half out of town leading to the South Prairie River.

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