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Washington Voices

Fence adds safety at Liberty Lake police station

Thu., June 9, 2011

People who have visited the Liberty Lake Police Department recently may have noticed a new fence on the back side of the building. The fence was put in to limit access to the areas where officers enter and leave the building on foot and in police cars.

“It’s a very nice fence,” said Police Chief Brian Asmus. Original estimates put the cost of the fence at $30,000, but Asmus completed it for half that by providing the labor. “Our officers were doing a lot of the manual labor.”

The gate on the east side of the fence area is still open for now, however. “The gates are open because we haven’t gotten the electronic components yet,” Asmus said. “Those were ordered last week.”

The fence will add a measure of safety for officers and the public. There have been several near-misses between police cars and pedestrians as the cars exit the garage in the back of the station. People recently arrested have also been spotted parked there, making officers wary.

Liberty Lake officers were kept hopping from May 31 to June 6. There were several vehicle prowlings reported, with residents reporting money and GPS units missing from unlocked cars. The incidents were reported in the 19500 block of East Nora Avenue and the 1800 block of Meyers Road.

In an incident that police do not believe is related, someone forcibly broke into two cars at the George Gee dealership on East Mission Avenue and removed the navigation systems. The damage was discovered on May 26. “The people were very surgical in how they removed the systems,” Asmus said. “They were the built-in ones.”

Detective Ray Bourgeois was on patrol in the area of the 25000 block of East Hawkstone Loop the afternoon of May 31 when he spotted a car parked near a construction storage area. When Bourgeois approached, the car drove off quickly, Asmus said. Another officer was able to get ahead of the car and stop it. Several metal items, including fence posts and pipes, were loaded in the car. The driver told police he was a former employee of the construction company and had permission to remove the items, Asmus said.

“The owner said he’d never heard of him,” Asmus said. The driver, a 37-year-old Coeur d’Alene man, and his passenger, a 35-year-old Post Falls woman, were arrested and charged with third-degree theft.

A resident in the 1800 block of North Glenbook Road reported on June 3 that a maple tree had been damaged by a car. It appeared that a car had hit the tree, crossed the sidewalk and driven into a grassy swale, Asmus said.

Another of Liberty Lake’s trees took a hit on June 4 at Harvard Road and Mission Avenue. A driver was heading south on Harvard and apparently fell asleep, Asmus said. The car ran over a tree and the median before coming to a stop facing north in the southbound lane. The driver was cited for negligent driving.

During the week officers gave out two citations for speeding and two for negligent driving. Additional citations were given for license and plates required and illegal use of studded tires.

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