Timeline material on the delinquent proposed life safety renovations for the Whatcom County Jail / Noisy Waters Northwest

October 9, 2019 Dena Jensen

As Whatcom County moves forward with the beginning phases of their Public Health and Public Safety Initiative regarding behavioral health services, incarceration, and justice reform needs in Whatcom County — discussed in a September 19, 2019 post here on Noisy Waters Northwest — I thought it would be good for us to have some historical background and a list of materials related to the County’s progress in addressing critical life safety renovations at the existing downtown Whatcom County Jail.

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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. 

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Some things voters should know about Sheriff Bill Elfo / Noisy Waters Northwest

Screen shot of Sheriff Bill Elfo’s photo on the 2015 Whatcom County Jail mailer that was sent out to voters that year

August 22, 2019 Dena Jensen

Here’s a quick recap of some key information regarding Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo who is seeking reelection this year.

Sheriff Elfo supported Minutemen in 2005

In 2005, Sheriff Bill Elfo affirmed his support of the Minutemen vigilante group, which had formed around that time and was associated with the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. This was in response to publicity about people entering Arizona illegally. That year about 100 Minutemen volunteers were recruited here in Washington State.

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Why there was reform to talk about at the Whatcom County Community Justice Forum / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic image of the Whatcom County Courthouse with people on the steps and a branch in the foreground to access audio recording of the Whatcom Community Justice Forum on Soundcloud

July 26, 2019 Dena Jensen

I listened to the KGMI recording of the Whatcom Community Justice Forum today. There was a lot of good information presented, however it did seem rather like a giant campaign ad for Sheriff Elfo with a final plug for a new jail thrown in at the end. There was actually less focus on a new jail in the forum, though, than there was when Sheriff Elfo was on KGMI’s Saturday Morning Live radio broadcast last weekend.  

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‘26,000 bucks a door is just a hard pill to swallow’: delinquent renovations of the Whatcom County Jail / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic to access the YouTube video of the Whatcom County Council March 12, 2019 meeting.

March 20, 2019 Dena Jensen

County Council Member Rud Browne expressed the sentiment twice at the Whatcom County Council March 12, 2019 regular meeting during the Council committee reports segment near the end of the meeting. One exact quote was: “Yeah, so anyway, anyway, so, I just, 26,000 bucks a door is just a hard pill to swallow.”

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Notes on Whatcom County Council 1/15/19 discussion on repealing code regarding correctional facility standards / Noisy Waters Northwest

Screenshot of files received through a Public Records Request of correctional standards, policy, and procedure materials that were provided to the Whatcom County Council by Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks at the 1/15/19 Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee meeting

February 22, 2019 Dena Jensen

I have written a couple posts now on the part of the January 15, 2019 meeting of Whatcom County Council’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee related to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s proposal to repeal and replace Whatcom County Code (WCC) 1.28 regarding correctional facility standards.

According to the documents supplied to the Council Members on the committee and the presentation given by Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks, the Title 289 Washington Administrative Code (WAC), which Whatcom County had adopted as WCC 1.28, had been deemed obsolete and was done away with in 2006.

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Partial transcription of Undersheriff Park’s 1/15/19 presentation to Whatcom County Council Members / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic to access the 11/21/18 Memo written by Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo regarding the request to repeal and replace WCC 1.28

I transcribed a portion of the presentation at the 1/15/18 Whatcom County Council Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee meeting given by Jeff Parks, Undersheriff, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. The presentation was regarding an agenda item for the committee that I have discussed in a previous blog post.

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