First responders await training in ‘behavioral health 101,’ due late 2022 / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click screenshot of slide from during the May 17, 2022 Whatcom County Justice Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting to access a recording of the meeting on the County website

May 19, 2022 Dena Jensen

Ever think, here in the year 2022 in Bellingham and Whatcom County, folks have got to be off-base who are claiming that law enforcement officers, paramedics, EMT’s (emergency medical technicians) or firefighters don’t have sufficient knowledge of behavioral health concepts and approaches to properly serve the needs of community members? 

Continue reading

How can we be confident we won’t just build another Whatcom County Jail? / Letter to the Justice Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee

May 11, 2022 Dena Jensen

Next week, on Monday, May 16, 2022, City of Bellingham is hosting their town hall meeting on Public Safety. Here is the link to attend that town hall: https://cob.org/event/cctownhall-05162022

In advance of that forum the Bellingham City Council received some presentations yesterday from the Whatcom County Prosecutor and from Bellingham Police Department’s Deputy Chief related to crime. 

Based on material I heard in those presentations I sent the email below to the Whatcom County Justice Project’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee. This is the email address people can use to contact them: SAC@co.whatcom.wa.us

Continue reading

Get involved in the Whatcom County Justice Project needs assessment / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the image of white text on a vibrant pink background to access a PDF version

May 2, 2022 Dena Jensen

As people are becoming more and more aware, Whatcom County is moving forward in various government meetings towards a needs assessment for what they are calling a  “public health, safety and justice facility.” In general, that facility is acknowledged to be a new jail in combination with mental and behavioral health services.

Continue reading

Who is going to help us make the sheriff obsolete? / Noisy Waters Northwest

Screen Shot 2019-10-19 at 4.06.59 PM

Click the graphic to access the February 16, 2018 GQ persepective by by Drew Magary, “The Case Against Sheriffs”

October 19, 2019  Dena Jensen

“The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office.” – Jeff Sessions, February 12, 2018

If you read GQ correspondent, Drew Magary’s perspective piece from February of 2018, “The Case Against Sheriffs,” a social climate that embraces overtly racist and violent Sheriffs, a sampling of which Magary highlights, is not one found in Whatcom County.
Continue reading

Regarding the 9/23/19 Whatcom County Justice Updates event and addressing issues related to trust / Email to the IPRTF, Dena Jensen

Screen shot of a slide with black and gray lettering on a white background and the Whatcom County, Washington seal carrying an image of sky, snowy mountains, and snowy foreground, included in the Whatcom County Justice Updates slideshow, presented at the 9/23/19 event by the same name

September 25, 2019 Dena Jensen

Here is a link at which you can access the video of the September 23, 2019 Whatcom County Justice Updates event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLQVQef10mo

Below is the email I sent to members of the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force today regarding that event:

To: jnixon@co.whatcom.wa.us <jnixon@co.whatcom.wa.us>
Cc: Barry Buchanan <bbuchana@co.whatcom.wa.us>
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 01:57:18 PM PDT
Subject: Regarding the 9/23/19 Whatcom County Justice Updates event and addressing issues related to trust

Dear Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force Members:

I recently watched the video of the Whatcom County Justice Updates event that was held on Monday, September 23, 2019.  I wanted to address the issue of trust that was one of the focuses of the meeting. 

Continue reading