November 14, 2017
Meeting was called to order at 7:33am. Steve Bearman led the flag salute.
Matthew R. moved and Jack G. seconded acceptance of minutes for November 6. Motion carried.
Steve B. announced that Peninsula College has a college internship program that includes many areas. Call Steve or Kevin for more information. He said a speaker/program bureau is available on cyber security. Contact him for more information.
Kevin reminded members that the annual Christmas Party will be on December 12 at Joshua’s. Several people will be honored but you have to come to find out who they are.
Kevin called for volunteers or the Audit and Nominating Committees. PABA Past President John Brewer will chair the Nominating Committee. Let Kevin know if you are interested in running for an office or working on one of the committees. (PABA President, Vice President, Secretary and 2 Board Positions will be on the ballot.)
Mark Nichols, Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney, in a power point presentation “CRIME AND MORALITY IN CLALLAM COUNTY”, explained the Office’s mission statement, “Seek the just result”. He compared the number of felonies for 2014 and 2017 to date that were referred 854/525 , that were charged 502/352; that were declined 219/72 and that went to a jury 14/10.
He said declined cases are when there is not enough evidence to pursue the case. Cases can be and are sent back for more investigation, feedback and non-review.
Mark said it is hard to compare Clallam with other counties because not all jurisdictions defined the entries the same way. Rules require that an Omnibus hearing be held even though Clallam doesn’t always schedule them. Plea bargaining, and bench trials help bring down the number of cases. He said several upcoming cases are complex and will be time consuming and expensive since they involve the taking of a life.
He said the consolidation of the Municipal court services withPort Angeles and Sequim have proven successful. There is now standardization of service, representation through an elected prosecutor, cost savings and “one stop shopping”.
The Office is also the ex officio coroner whose mission is to determine manner and cause of death and to train staff to ehlp in that determination.
Statistics for 2017, so far, show:
Suicide 21 (15 male/6 female), Homicide 2, Accident 15 and Drug OD 9 (Clallam is the 3rd highest county in state for OD.)
Suicides involved a 15, 16 and 18 year old, one in their 20’s, two in their 30’s, one in their 40’s and the rest 50 to 80 years old. Causes seem to center around a loss in the family, financial problems or they were terminal.
Q & A:
Q: Are Death by Dignity figured included in Suicide figures?
Q: Are they due to public health problems? Who is at risk?
A: Office is now looking at statistics and problems are working with Peninsula Behavior and the West End to coordinate efforts.
A: Federal and State and then non-county entities end up paying for the rest. Some Hargrove tax money is available.
7/21 gunshot to the head; 5/21 by hanging; 3/21 bridge jumping; 3/21 asphyxiation, and 3/21 by table saw, inhalation of a toxic product and driving off a cliff. (Drug overdoses are: 5 by meth, 2 by opiate and 2 by a combination of meth, opiate and alcohol.)
Contact www.Clallam.net/Prosecutor/ if you would like more information.
Q & A:
Q: Case load vs. indigent costs?
A: The Washington State Supreme Court has set the standards as to amount of time to handle and defend one case vs how many cases can be handled at one time. Clallam County has seen an uptick in violent crime and sexual assault. Several upcoming cases will push staff and time. The Prosecutor’s Office does not have market control or competition to share load and wealth.
(Matthew R moved and Kevin H seconded extending meeting for another 15 minutes. Motion carried.)
Q: How does he handle the stress and sometimes gruesome scenes?
A: “I FISH”. All employees have special training and can seek mental health counseling help if they feel they need it. The Office also has access to the Chaplain Brigade which is always there to help.
Nov 21: Don Corson, Founder of Camaraderie Cellars
There might also be reps from Soroptomists selling their coupon book (still on $10.00) and from Kiwanis selling nuts (still only $20.00).
Meeting adjourned at 8:47am.