July 30, 2019
Meeting was called to order by Carol Johnson at 7:30am. Mark N. led the flag salute.
Thought of the Day:
Peggy gave a history moment.
Edna moved to accept July 23 meeting minutes, seconded by Jack. Motion passed.
Noon Kiwanis is collecting 2020 calendars.
Clallam County Fair is in 2 weeks.
Program: Mark Nichols, Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney
Mark reviewed data comparing 2014 to 2019 to date.
Males 58-64 years old are the highest rated suicide category mostly by health diagnosis, job loss or relationship loss. Nine homicides over late 2018/early 2019 is concerning. Suicides are dropping, accidental death rates are climbing. They do differentiate between purposeful and accidental death.
There is an increase in competency claims and use of the insanity deense and an increase in Involuntary Treatment Act referrals and commitments. There is a need for a mental/behavioral health court. They are working on a MAT protocol. In researching other counties, they found a large challenge is affordable housing.
SB 5819 and SB 5848 failed in early spring. The common theme involved thinning the prison population and saving money. The state has quietly shut down 5 – 7 prisons over the recent years.
Mark discussed resiliency training. Prosecutor and coroner positions do not have resources available to them like other law enforcement professionals. Suggestions by membership were to add 911 operators and collaborate with OMC for their training.
Dick P. moved to extend the meeting up to 15 minutes, seconded by Steve B. Motion passed.
It is taking too. long for evidence testing. Mark is the Chair of the Forensics Investigations Council. He will develop a concerted lobbying effort to fund the crime lab so it can do its job. There is a 5 to 7 month turnaround for blood test results from the recent 6 year pile-up. People have a right to a speedy trial, but they will not have results back. At the quadruple homicide the AFT provided results in days because they are fully funded.
Clallam County has one of the worst time-to-trial stats. They are the only jurisdiction in the state that has a Superior Court that doesn’t follow the omnibus rules which is the requirement of a hearing at which deadlines are set. Without that there is no goal for people to aspire to. It’s an ongoing conversation.
Mark believes the blood test backlog began when marijuana was legalized. Now there is a staffing shortage. State patrol crime lab performs the simple test that normally would take 24 hours, and now inside 30 days they will have results. The only way to test for marijuana is to draw blood.
When asked how to address crime before it develops, Mark answered that a mental health court is needed, and to engage more with kids.
Next week program is Clallam County Fair Manager.
Meeting adjourned at 8:50am.