Whatcom mayors press for new jail ahead of services / Noisy Waters Northwest

September 6, 2022 Dena Jensen

September 9, 2022 is the next meeting of the Justice Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee. They need to know the public wants to participate in decisions about mental and behavioral health services for our community and a potential new jail. This is their email address: sac@co.whatcom.wa.us. Here is a link to the Sept. 9 agenda: https://www.whatcomcounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/68996/Agenda—SAC-Group-Discussion—Sept-9-2022

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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? 

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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

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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.

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Advisory committee members sought for Whatcom County public health, safety, and justice needs assessment / Noisy Waters Northwest

Screen Shot 2020-01-19 at 5.25.09 PM

Click the graphic to access this page on the Whatcom County website

January 19, 2020  Dena Jensen
At the January 14, 2020 Whatcom County Council Special Committee of the Whole Meeting, there was “Discussion regarding Whatcom County public health, safety, and justice needs assessment.” The discussion takes place during the first hour of the meeting. Here is a link to the audio: http://whatcom.granicus.com/player/clip/256?view_id=1

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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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