By Mellow DeTray

Here’s our recap of the Kent City Council meeting held Tuesday night, May 16, 2023:

National Police Week: May 15–24

This week is designated in honor of the officers who serve and protect the community. It’s a difficult job, and one with many responsibilities, hazards, and sacrifices. May 15th is National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and at this meeting Mayor Dana Ralph and Chief Rafael Padilla honored the three officers lost in the line of duty throughout Kent’s history.

National Public Works Week: May 21–27

This proclamation recognizes the hard work of another set of people essential to the city, public works employees. Mayor Ralph explained that these people often are called upon in the middle of the night, keeping facilities, infrastructure, and services going. Kent’s public works department is interested in hiring dedicated young people, applications encouraged.

Public Safety Report

Police Chief Padilla gave the Life Saving Award to Corrections Officer Michael Anderson and Nurse Katie Dean, who were able to save the life of an unresponsive inmate by administering three doses of Narcan. Also, new police officer Tina Allen was welcomed to the force and sworn in.

12 of the 20 total Flock Safety Cameras have been installed at strategic points throughout the city, and they have already been utilized to help find a man with dementia who had a silver alert out for him. The Flock cameras will increase effectiveness in solving violent crimes, car thefts, and locating missing adults and children. They utilize an automatic license plate reader that sends alerts in real time to officers, giving them the location of wanted vehicles. Data will be expunged from the system after 30 days, and will not be used for common traffic violations.

Gun Buyback Event is June 3

The Kent Police Department will be hosting a Gun Buyback event on June 3, 2023, from 10 a.m.– 2 p.m., at the joint Kent Police/Fire Training Center. Up to ten guns per vehicle will be exchanged for gift cards of various value; for example $100 for revolvers, shotguns, and rifles, and $250 for AK-47s and machine guns. More details can be found here.

Illegal Street Racing

Illegal street racing has been ramping up for the season, and new state legislation will give police another tool in fighting this dangerous activity: vehicles involved in street racing can now be impounded. Police are also utilizing technology to catch the racers, including drones and Flock cameras. Chief Padilla encouraged business owners in industrial areas to do what they can to secure their parking areas at night, and recommended actively-monitored security cameras that will alert 911 in real time should an illegal street racing event occur.

Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 16 years raising her family in the region. She has volunteered at many local establishments over the years, including the Burien Library, Burien Actors Theatre, and Hot Feet Fitness. For many years she published a moderately popular cooking & lifestyle blog, and she had a brief stint in political journalism during a local election. Clear and informative writing has always been a side hobby of Mellow’s and she looks forward to bringing you unbiased coverage of City Council meetings.

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