Notes from Shoreline Council meeting September 27, 2021

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
September 27, 2021

Notes by Pam Cross

Deputy Mayor Scully called the remote meeting to order at 7:00pm.
Mayor Hall was absent.

Approval of the Agenda
Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry


While case rates continue to decline, we are still at a level of very high transmission during this fifth wave of COVID-19 infections.


There is one week left to vote for your favorite Welcoming Shoreline Logo



Saturday, October 2, 2021, 10:00am
Explore the North City neighborhood taking a look at some of the many changes to the area, with the option of checking out nearby North City Park after the walk.
Walk is approximately 3.0 miles / 2 hours
Walk Rating: Moderate, with one steep hill
Meet at: North City Elementary School, 816 NE 190th St, Shoreline, WA 98155



We are also seeking creative designs from Shoreline residents for 2-4 glass objects to be blown and sculpted by Raya Friday and team during the event above! $100 for selected designs plus credit in exhibitions. Deadline October 5 at noon. Attend a Zoom webinar for tips and design details on Sept. 28 at 7pm (check here for link on the day of the webinar.) Full details here

Council Reports

Councilmember Roberts - this week the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) allocated the distribution of $901 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to the region’s transit agencies to help alleviate impacts from the pandemic. This includes monies to King County Transit and also Everett Transit, Pierce Transit, and the Washington State Ferries. Transit agencies serving the Bremerton and Marysville urbanized areas had been previously approved for these funds in July.

Public Comment

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline
I continue to encourage oversight and transparency regarding the operations of the Enhanced Shelter.
The parking lot appears to be occupied by people who may be well served by the shelter. We should continue with the proactive approach of getting these people shelter.

Vivian Korneliussen, Shoreline
I support requiring all new housing to use electricity instead of natural gas. Natural gas is a fossil fuel and inside the home gas appliances emit toxic particulate matter causing lung damage.

Approval of the Consent Calendar
Consent Calendar approved unanimously (6-0)

Action Item 8(a) Public Hearing and Discussion of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funding and Contingency Plan for 2022

For 2022, the City Manager recommends use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to support continued operation of the Interlocal Agreement with King County for administration of our grants, continued support to the Minor Home Repair Program and to hold the remainder in contingency.

Staff presentation by Bethany Wolbrecht-Dunn, Community Services Manager

The 2021-2022 Biennial Budget already approved reflects the estimated CDBG.

The City has an Interlocal Agreement with King County for the administration and management of the City’s CDBG grant. Per this agreement, the majority of the CDBG funds are used for 11 human service agencies to deliver services through 24 separate programs to Shoreline residents, as well as provide for capital projects that support projects for low- and moderate-income persons. These include major and minor home repair and a housing stability project which is an eviction protection program.

Deputy Mayor Scully opens the Public Hearing.
No Public Comments


This will come back to Council on the consent calendar October 4.

Study Item 9(a) Discussion on 2021 Legislative Impacts on Policing

For full details go to Council Meeting at The staff report includes links to all of the legislative changes.

Presentation by Christina Arcidy, City Manager’s Office Management Analyst

The 2021 State Legislative Session passed over 100 new bills regarding law enforcement. This presentation will review the highlights of their impact on policing to understand how day-to-day operations have changed, what pieces of legislation the City is currently seeking clarity on, and how these changes may impact the City’s 2022 Legislative priorities.

There may be a need for more clarity regarding the new bills. Some bills may have unintended consequences.

The following speakers were introduced:
  • Erin Overbey, King County Sheriff’s Office Legal Advisor, who will discuss the legislative changes
  • Jesse Anderson, King County Sheriff’s Office Chief of Patrol Operations, who will address practical considerations
  • Sarah Roberts, City of Shoreline Prosecutor and
  • Shoreline Police Chief Shawn Ledford, both of whom are available to answer questions

Chief Anderson
A lot of our King County Sheriff’s Office current practices and policies are reflected in this legislation. Some of the wording comes directly from our policies and were sought out by members of the legislative body.

We’ve been doing most of this for a while. Although this isn’t all new, it tests our ability to adapt to change. Eastern Washington policing will be facing a total change of practice. The Puget Sound area has been leading the way with updating their policies to become a little more in line with where we need to be. We support LEAD, RADAR, and designated crisis responders. We are now taking it to a higher level. We had hoped to be farther along before this legislation but we don’t have enough people in place to do so.

We need some clarity so that law enforcement can be consistent in our application of these laws statewide. Not everyone is interpreting the laws the same way and we want to get it right.

We are not going to stop responding to calls for service. But we will follow legislation so our ability to do certain things may be limited. We will spend more time on de-escalation. We are being asked to leave once we have done everything that we are allowed to do. That can be hard to do. But we want to make this work and will continue to work with the legislature to maybe fine-tune a few things that we think might need some help.

NOTE from PCross: I have done my best to separate the comments of each speaker for this joint presentation.

HB 1310: Use of Force

Erin Overbey
There are only four distinct times we can use physical force. When it is necessary to:
  1. Protect against criminal conduct where there is probable cause to make an arrest; or
  2. Effect an arrest; or
  3. Prevent an escape as defined in RCW9A.76; or
  4. Protect against imminent threat of bodily harm to the deputy, another person, or the person against whom force being used.
Chief Anderson
We have added one additional limitation. An officer, absent other factors, shall not use obstructing a law enforcement officer as the sole justification for using physical force. We didn’t want that to become a “work around” to what the law is. We recognized long ago that the King County Prosecutor’s office has not liked the use of obstructing and is unlikely to file charges on that basis.

If we have a witness description of the suspect and see someone walking away from the area who exactly fits that description, we may have probable cause. But generally the description is too generic because witnesses remember only certain things, so it does not meet the test of probable cause to use force. Keeping someone there while we get the witness to identify them becomes more of challenge because we have to take a hands off approach. If they don’t want to stay, they can simply walk away.

We’re not sure why “escape” is on the list. Unless it has to do with Corrections and people escaping prisons or jails.

Erin Overbey

Use of force has always included a duty of reasonable care. The legislature has provided more clarity and included a list of characteristics and conditions including medical conditions, signs of mental or behavioral impairments, age, language barriers, physical disabilities and so forth. Officers are required to use the least amount of force necessary. De-escalation tactics are to be exhausted before using any force.

Chief Anderson
We are already doing this but sometimes things move along a little bit faster. Deputies need to be reminded to take as much time as necessary. When we’ve tried everything we possible can and there is no threat of imminent harm and no crime is being committed or is about to be committed, then it’s time for police to leave the area. This is a tough one because we’re not used to just leaving a situation.

Erin Overbey
Use of physical force must be terminated as soon as the necessity for such force ends.
Physical force has been defined to include hitting or striking with any body part or an object, use of any chemical agent, and any intentional physical interaction that could reasonably be expected to cause pain or injury.

Deadly force use is even more limited and can be used only when necessary to protect against an imminent threat of serious physical injury or death to the officer or another person. After determining deadly force is safe and feasible, deputies shall identify themselves and issue a verbal warning before discharging their weapon.

A section of the new law limits the use of military equipment. Anything that might fall under military equipment has been removed from all cars until it is a little more clear what is considered military equipment.

HB 1054: Prohibitions

Erin Overbey
The following are prohibited: shooting at a moving vehicle (exception for imminent threat); warning shots; shooting from a moving vehicle, except as a last resort; any application to the neck restricting blood or air flow (choke holds, sleeper holds, carotid submission holds, lateral vascular neck restraint).

More restrictive use of “hot pursuit.” The bill prohibits a vehicular pursuit unless the officer has probable cause that a crime (violent or sex offense) has/is committed or that there is a reasonable suspicion of a DUI and there is previously observed dangerous driving posing an imminent threat of serious injury or death to the public.

Chief Anderson
These prohibitions are very close to our current policies. Why is this one “reasonable suspicion” instead of probable cause? Because appearance of impaired driving could be from a medical condition and not inebriation. We don’t want to engage in a pursuit only to find out they were having a diabetic reaction or seizure. However when we spot an impaired driver hitting the guard rail or cars multiple times, or driving the wrong way on the freeway, they clearly pose an imminent threat to the public. Those pursuits are authorized.

Erin Overbey
The Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA) permits investigators (called Designated Mental Health Professionals, or DMHPs) to detain individuals who, as a result of a mental illness, are gravely disabled or may be a danger to themselves or others.

It is not clear whether any degree of physical force can be used when there is an involuntary treatment requirement. We have advised our people that there must be probable cause of a crime or imminent threat to the deputy or another person. This seems to contradict that a peace officer may take a person into custody. In the past we would have helped physically restrain the individual and help put them onto a gurney for transport to a hospital. We are no longer clear whether we have the authority to do that. We have told our deputies not to use any degree of physical force.

Chief Anderson
This is a problem. When a person is in crisis, the professionals do not want law enforcement involved. We are ok with that. But please have somebody else in place to help these folks. There needs to be some kind of mechanism to get that person away from their home, from weapons, and get them into a secure environment where a mental health professional can provide them with treatment. The police are the ones with training, but if you don’t want us there then there has to be somebody else. However, there is not a long line of professional mental health givers with masters degrees who want to come out to this kind of call at 2am

I can give you two examples from my experience. There was a person in crisis and there was a court order to take him into custody and to the hospital. Police were called, but he refused to go. Since there was nothing more we could do, we had to leave. He eventually set the apartment complex on fire.
A couple of weeks ago there was a family dispute/domestic violence call. An army vet was suffering from PTSD as well as some other issues. His mother called for assistance. We knew he had access to weapons. We asked the mother to leave so we could meet with her. We made numerous phone calls for assistance. Against our multiple urgent requests not to return to the home, she insisted on going back. Later she was found deceased inside the home.

Erin Overbey
Investigative Detentions (Terry Stops). Current law does not allow for use of physical force during an investigative stop - when a deputy has “reasonable suspicion” a crime has been committed. Deputies may continue with these stops and conduct a pat down search for weapons (frisk) provided it does not require a use of physical force.

Chief Anderson
But if they want to leave, there is nothing we can do to force them to stay there.

HB 5066: Duty to Intervene

HB 5476

Sarah Roberts

In April of this year, Washington State Supreme Court struck down the law regarding felony possession of drugs. At that time they determined that the law, as it was written, was unconstitutional.


This was a very complicated staff report. As a layperson I found it difficult trying to understand the definitions and don’t envy officers having to interpret them. I found a lot of this distressing. Persons matching descriptions can’t be detained? Instead of Interpreting and developing policies - could there be more use of common sense?
  • Reply: I’m having difficulty with them too. It’s not what we’re accustomed to. We had to recognize probable cause. We are having to rewire our thinking. Deputies are wary of moving forward with detaining people. We will be letting people who are responsible go. Obviously this is not an intended consequence.
You have no ability to question somebody - and if they leave - there’s nothing you can do.
  • Reply: Right. Just like they figured out that we can’t pursue them, they will figure out all they need to do is just walk away. A deputy risks losing their job/commission and even prosecution. Nobody wants to guess wrong.
I hope we can have some time to talk to our representatives and senator. We don’t want to make it too easy for people to commit the crimes. We don’t want to send the message “You can do whatever you want! Especially if you commit property crimes.”
  • Reply: we’ll get there. Military weapons could be handled in one meeting. But we need statewide definitions and training, clarification for mental health issues, and we need the authority to apply minimal amount of force to help in those situations.
I am concerned about the crisis responder - they need to have backup by the deputies. It’s a big deal.
  • Reply: I think we’ve made a lot of progress there. But we need something specific for mentally ill people. This is a huge red flag for us. They are taking police out of that. I think right now we have to be extra careful when there’s so much criticism across the country. Some are obvious - some are not. We need to get people to know we’re not the enemy portrayed.
You’ve given us a lot to think about. I appreciate the personal stories of what has happened in the real world. Thanks for the great and balanced presentation.

Chief Ledford
We’ve always worked to keep the community safe. Right now we are following the letter of the law. We recognize it’s not a crime to be mentally ill. We cannot always interpret whether self injury is a serious suicide risk. This area will continue to be a challenge as we further develop this model.

Council retired to an Executive Session. No Action expected.

Meeting adjourned.


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