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APD honors officers, citizens


File Photo

Arlington police officer Seth Kinney, center, shows his K9 partner Oso to some of the locals at the 2015 Arlington National Night Out on Aug. 4, 2015.

The Arlington Police Department recently honored local officers and citizens who went above and beyond in helping to keep the community safe as part of their 2015 Awards ceremony.

"This is something we used to try and do on an annual basis," said Jonathan Ventura, deputy chief of police at the Arlington Police Department.

"It's good to recognized the officers and citizens for things that they don't always get recognition for," he said.

The department's Officer of the Year for 2015 was Seth Kinney, who was recognized for his work in relaunching the department's K9 unit and other contributions.

"He was nominated by his peers, so it's not just me but many of his peers that thought he was worthy of recognition," said Ventura.

Previously the department had two K9 units that were funded by a grant from the Arlington Airport. However, after Initiative 502 passed and marijuana was legalized in the state, the dogs became less useful since they had been trained to sniff out marijuana.

"They had some functionality still, but eventually they were phased out and retired," said Ventura.

At the time the department didn't have the funds to restart the unit.

"We had other challenges and so funding a new K9 unit was not our biggest priority, but officer Kinney refused to accept that for an answer," he said.

Kinney helped raise money through local business and community groups, and was eventually able to re-launch the unit. He even spent time training at the county.

Currently the Arlington Police Department has two K9 units again.

The first dog brought in, named Oso, also had some natural tracking ability according to Kinney. "We trusted his judgment and brought in an outside professional to test Oso," said Ventura, and it turned out Oso could become a dog that is capable of tracking people across distances.

Currently Kinney is at a 400-hour training for Oso to become one of those patrol dogs.

Beyond his work with the K9 unit though, Ventura said that Kinney is an excellent police officer that is well liked by his peers.

"He always comes to work with a great attitude. Everyone knows this job takes its toll on everybody, but he always takes his time to help out his fellow officers," Ventura said.

When Snohomish County was switching to a new emergency dispatch system this year, Kinney helped work with many officers to help make the change.

"Each agency had some growing pains in the transition," said Ventura.

"When we needed help he really went out of his way to provide hundreds of hours of training to our officers," he said. Kinney helped local officers and other county officers as well.

Local citizens were also recognized for their work with the department.

Sandra Matthews is one local citizen who worked with the department to stop local crime.

"Our mission is to serve the public, but we are really ineffective unless we have a relationship with the public as well," said Ventura.

When public safety director Bruce Stedman started he pushed for his "All-In" campaign because he wanted people to get involved and not feel like they were bothering the police by calling them, said Ventura.

Matthews is someone who called the police when she saw something that "didn't look right, didn't feel right," in her neighborhood, said Ventura.

"It was amazing to catch a burglary in progress because of help from the public," said Ventura.

Other award winners include Yvonne Hoover and Ray Coleman who were recognized for their efforts in providing statistical analysis for the department. Rich Stommel was recognized for helping start a Citizen Volunteer Patrol program. Judy Ness was recognized for helping start the city's Pooch Patrol program.


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