Image of Police Chief Ed VanValey

Renton Chief of Police Ed VanValey regularly gives updates to the community on police response to COVID-19.

Please use the "Language" button at the top of this page to translate.


June 26, 2020

To our Renton Community,

Washington law enforcement agencies continue to focus on education and engagement regarding state orders related to the coronavirus crisis. The statewide face covering order is a public health and safety measure, it is not a mandate for law enforcement to detain, cite or arrest violators but rather an evidence-based and safety focused directive meant to slow the spread of a potentially deadly disease.

Renton Police will continue to communicate with and encourage our community to make safety-focused decisions and follow all health-based directives from the Governor as well as State and local health officials. We believe matters of public health are best handled through advisement and education, and not the use of criminal enforcement.

It is important to remember some people cannot wear a mask (and are exempt) because of a medical condition. Please avoid confronting others or engaging in an aggressive manner. Your safety is paramount and I do not want anyone putting themselves at risk.

We will continue to address the very real public health threat of COVID 19, as we also work to safely reopen our economic, social and civic systems.

We trust our residents, businesses, elected leaders, health officials, and each other to do what is necessary during this unique time of shared medical vulnerability and gradual return to social and economic normalcy.

Here's more information on the Governor’s order. 

For information on mask requirements for police and other first responders please refer to safety recommendations provided by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

Sincerely,

Chief E. VanValey

June 5, 2020

Renton Chief of Police Ed VanValey regularly gives updates to the community on police response to COVID-19.

Please use the "Language" button at the top of this page to translate.


June 5, 2020

Image of Police Chief Ed VanValeyGood Afternoon,

It has been a busy week and I wanted to take a moment to thank our community for your continued support of the police department. While not surprised, I am always impressed by your commitment to making this community better. I am proud of your response and thankful for your many messages. Renton, you do care, I can see it. Thank you.

I have received many questions about policies and practices that Renton police have in place regarding our training, use-of-force policies, de-escalation techniques and body-worn cameras. The Renton Police Department is committed to working together to provide professional and unbiased law enforcement services to our community.

Training

Our department has been training officers in de-escalation and crisis intervention tactics for many years. Since 2014, the city has required that all police department employees attend biennial training on implicit bias and inclusion. These classes are taught by a local consultant who is a noted trainer in this field. In addition to this, we ensure all state-mandated crisis intervention training provided by the Washington State Law Enforcement Academy is completed each year.

Use-of-Force/De-Escalation Training

The subject of police use of force is a highly complex issue; however, our expectation on when and why our officers use force is not. Our officers are trained to only use force when it is necessary to stop a person’s dangerous or resistive actions, such as a weapon or physical fighting. The level of force must be in balance with level of danger to the officer or others, the level of resistance of the subject, and the seriousness of the crime being investigated. We train our officers to consider all of the force options available to them and to choose the level that will most effectively control the subject while minimizing physical contact in order to prevent injuries to all involved. Once the subject is safely controlled, continuing force is no longer authorized.

The only factor that drives our officers’ decision to use force is the subject's actions or threats. If the subject is not demonstrating resistive or threatening behavior, our officers are trained in verbal tactics intended to slow the pace of an escalating event, reduce tension between everyone involved, and open lines of effective communication. These verbal de-escalation skills safely resolve the vast majority of our calls involving conflict without the need of force being used.

Body Worn Camera Program

In 2016, the Renton Police Department began exploring the idea of implementing a body worn camera program. We saw body worn cameras as a potential key to improving and strengthening relationships within our community. The intent of which also included the likelihood of enhancing officer safety, increasing transparency, identifying performance and/or training issues, and providing greater accountability to the public.

In the spring of 2016, we initiated a pilot program to test and evaluate body worn camera systems. The department selected a specific model because we were currently using their in-car video system and their body worn cameras meet our needs for usability and performance. We drafted policy and compared cost options, which included the impact the program would have on several departments within the city. The proposal was created for a phased implementation to mitigate projected operational costs of nearly $1 million per year.

The purchase of body worn cameras is on our list of budget proposals for the 2021-2022 budget this year. Budget proposal preparations were temporarily suspended as we worked through the impacts of the pandemic and its effects on city resources. We believe body worn cameras are an essential tool to improve and strengthen police community relations, and enhance officer safety. We will continue our work with the city council and mayor to implement this program.

I understand that this will create questions regarding this information above. I ask that you visit our police department website now, and in the coming weeks, as we work to post more detailed information with definitions and explanations about use of force, policies, 8 Can’t Wait, community oversight and other topics we know are important to you.

Sincerely,

Chief E. VanValey

 

May 28, 2020

Renton Chief of Police Ed VanValey regularly gives updates to the community on police response to COVID-19.

Please use the "Language" button at the top of this page to translate.


May 28, 2020

To Our Renton Community,

Image of Police Chief Ed VanValeyThe death of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this week was tragic, disturbing and further broadens the gap of trust between Law Enforcement and the African American community. How could it not? The actions shown in that video are not encouraged, accepted or consistent with the training, values and expectations of the Renton Police Department.

Proper use of force and physical restraint is training that is revisited several times throughout the year within our department, with the focus being the SAFE apprehension or detention of the individual we are contacting, if that is what is necessary. Restraining an individual for the safety of themselves and/or our officers is sometimes part of the job, but we approach these types of contacts with the utmost caution and professionalism.

When something like this occurs in the country, we understand it can sometimes paint all law enforcement members with a broad brush. Renton Police take our responsibility to the community and the profession seriously and have worked hard at building a solid reputation when it comes to how we treat all of our community members. Every person we encounter deserves and will receive our respect and fair treatment. That is our expectation, our practice and our promise.

If you have any questions, or would like information regarding the training Renton Officers receive, please reach out to our Training Officer, Bob Dreher, at rdreher@rentonwa.gov

Sincerely,

Chief E. VanValey

April 17, 2020

Renton Chief of Police Ed VanValey regularly gives updates to the community on police response to COVID-19.

Please use the "Language" button at the top of this page to translate.


April 17, 2020

To Our Renton Community,

Image of Police Chief Ed VanValeyIn an ongoing effort to reduce and slow the spread of the coronavirus through the homeless shelter population, King County has negotiated with three local hotels to serve as temporary shelter locations for people experiencing homelessness. The City of Renton’s’ Red Lion Hotel, located at 1 S Grady Way, was selected as one of these locations and housing placement began last week.

These are not isolation and quarantine facilities and the people who are moving there are presumed to be well. The Renton Police Department is working closely with the director of the homeless shelter to mitigate the impact this will have to our community, local business owners and residents. The hotels will not be open to other guests during this time.

Details regarding how the shelter will be setup are as follows:

Size: 200 individuals

Timeline: The city is asking for a short term stay of 60 days (virus spread dependent).

Security: Parking lot will have temporary fencing and contracted unarmed security guards onsite, 24/7. Residents are free to come and go (No COVID-19 patients are being brought to this facility). The fencing is to control others who are not part of the program from going in and out.

Protocols: The director of the shelter has initiated protocols for 911 reporting which require a staff member meet police officers in the lobby (should we be called) to give us any available information and escort to the location.

Staff: Medical, counseling, crisis contact team and other social services will be onsite. 

Our department has taken steps to place officers on site and are initiating extra patrols of the area on a daily basis. We understand everyone is under unique pressures, circumstances and hardships as a result of this pandemic, and the idea of thinning homeless numbers in high concentrated areas to minimize exposure is logical.

If you look at the priorities of service and saving lives, this was a move made to support that priority. We had no alternative but to accept the move to Renton and we will do what we need to do to lessen the impact and keep everyone safe. Renton Police Department is committed to the safety of our community and this continues to be our top priority.

Sincerely,

Chief E. VanValey

March 27, 2020

 

Renton Chief of Police Ed VanValey regularly gives updates to the community on police response to COVID-19.

Please use the "Language" button at the top of this page to translate.


March 27, 2020

To Our Renton Community,

Image of Police Chief Ed VanValeyThis past week Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay at Home” order was issued as well as updates to the “Essential Business List”. We would like to thank our community for their continued support and appreciate everyone who has made adjustments in their lives to follow this order and are staying at home as much as possible.

In my last message I reviewed with you what law enforcement’s role would be in supporting this new directive. I wanted to reinforce my message to you that our primary role is to help educate how to comply with the orders to stay at home; not detain, ticket or arrest anyone.

  1. We view our role more as one of education. Educating residents on how to keep themselves safe, how to keep their families safe and most importantly, to keep the rest of the community safe, especially our vulnerable populations.

  2. The Governor continues to update its “Essential Business” List. Some businesses have provided employee’s letters to support their need to be out or as proof their job has been labeled essential. At this time Renton Police Department is not requiring anyone to show them a special pass, letter or license stating they are essential.

  3. For information on which businesses are considered essential, or other information related to the governor's order, visit his resources page. If you have questions related to the “Stay at Home” order email coronavirus@kingcounty.gov. If you feel the need to report a violation please call our non-emergency number at 425-235-2121.

During the past few weeks there have been reports from the media that some agencies are reporting cases of harassment targeting the Asian community due to Covid-19 (Coronavirus). While we in Renton have not experienced any reported hate crimes of this nature, we don’t want to let the possibility of it occurring go unnoticed or unaddressed. The Renton Police Department has a zero tolerance when addressing hate crimes. Zero. I am asking the Renton Community to report such crimes to their local police department should they become aware of or witness an incident.

Our community has shown they understand the severity of the situation and are doing all they can to keep themselves, their families and neighbors safe and healthy. Renton Police Department is committed to the same and want you to know your safety continues to be our top priority.

Sincerely,

Chief E. VanValey

March 23, 2020

March 23, 202

To Our Renton Community,

Image of Police Chief Ed VanValeyWe appreciate your questions and perspectives on how local law enforcement is working to ensure public safety during this difficult time. Due to Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay at Home” order issued on March 23rd, I wanted to share with you what law enforcements role will be in supporting this new directive. Law enforcement's primary role is to help educate people about how to comply with orders to stay at home. We are not being asked to detain, arrest, ticket or establish checkpoints for compliance. I hope the following guidelines will answer some of your questions:

  • We view our role more as one of education. Educating residents on how to keep themselves safe, how to keep their families safe and most importantly, to keep the rest of the community safe, especially our vulnerable populations.

  • We understand some people need to carry out essential services such as:

  • Safety and security
  • Food, water, shelter
  • Health and medical
  • Energy (power and fuel)
  • Communications
  • Transportation
  • When officers encounter people not complying with an order, we will remind them, as appropriate, of the recommendation and restrictions.

  • Rumors of individuals or businesses needing "passes" or "licenses" to conduct essential services are not true.

As each of us move through this unprecedented situation, remember, we will be doing this together. Our commitment to you and your safety has not and will not change. Renton and its community, its businesses, and guests continue to be our priority. Take care of each other, your neighbors and yourselves, and have no doubt, we will get through this.

Sincerely,

Chief E. VanValey

March 20, 2020

March 20, 202

To Our Renton Community,

Image of Police Chief Ed VanValeyIn these challenging times, we want to thank you for your continued strength and efforts to practice the safe methods and recommendations by the WA state DOH and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We should all be doing our part and want you to know that the Renton Police Department continues its dedication to you and to the safety of our community.

  • There have been no changes or reductions in our staffing of patrol officers. Officers continue to respond to emergency 911 calls. They have all been issued Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are following recommended

    safety procedures.

  • For non-emergency calls officers continue to have the option of taking reports via a phone call or referring to online reporting. We encourage you to use online reporting when possible to assist in the practice of “social distancing”. Online reporting details can be found at rentonwa.gov/policereport. When in doubt, please call 911 or non-emergency at 425-235-2121, a dispatcher will assist you.

  • Please continue to follow us on social media @rentonpdwa for current and updated information. This will provide you a way to reach out to our department personnel with questions via posts, comments, or messaging.

The safety of our community will continue to be our top priority, as well as protecting our officers who are out there serving the public. Take care of your families, your neighbors and yourselves. Renton is a close and strong community, and remember, we’re all in this together.

Sincerely,

Chief E. VanValey

March 13, 2020

March 13, 202

To Our Renton Community:

Image of Police Chief Ed VanValeyWe know there continues to be a flood of information communicated to you daily, if not almost hourly, in regards to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. We want to ensure you that the Renton Police Department is continuing to follow all recommendations made by King County Department of Public Health and our local and national government, while also making sure we continue to provide a high standard of police services to our community.

The security and protection of our community will continue to be our top priority, as well as protecting our officers who are out there serving the public. The best way we can do this is by keeping you informed on current police procedures, police response, and how best to file a police report during this time where “social distancing” is recommended:

  • If there is an “in-progress” incident our 911 communication center will continue to dispatch officers based on the priority of the call. Our officers have all been issued Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are following recommended sanitizing procedures.

  • If there is an incident that has already happened and no one is in immediate danger, please call the non-emergency number at 425-235-2121. Our officers have the discretion of taking this report in person, by phone or they may refer you to online reporting.

  • We encourage you to use online reporting if possible to assist in the practice of “social distancing”. Online reporting details can be found at rentonwa.gov/policereport. When in doubt, please call 911 as our dispatchers will assist in directing you or dispatching officers.

The Renton Police Department’s number one priority is safety and at this time it is unknown how the impact of COVID-19 will continue to affect our community. Please continue to follow us on social media @rentonpdwa for current and updated information. This will also provide a way for you to reach out to our department personnel with questions via posts, comments, or messaging.

We will continue to reach out to our community as needed for updates or changes to services or procedures. As a community, please know that we are all in this together.

Sincerely,

Chief E. VanValey

City of Renton | All Rights Reserved | Powered by CivicLive | © 2020 Intrado Corporation. | Disclaimer