The Patrol Division is responsible for general policing activities around the City of Tukwila and responding to calls from people in crisis. On average, the Division annually handles around 30,000+ calls for service and document around 9,000 of them with case reports.
In the summer of 2012, the Neighborhood Resource Center was opened in a new location on Tukwila International Blvd. This additional resource is critical in enabling patrol officers to complete case reports and conduct surveillance of suspicious activities thereby preventing street crimes and victimization of citizens. Citizens have also made use of the NRC to report crimes to officers and obtain information about available resources as well. Patrol division officers have the opportunity to contribute numerous hours for community service projects including Shop with a Cop, Special Olympics, DARE instruction for the elementary schools, community outreach to immigrant groups, fundraising for the Tukwila Pantry food bank, Christmas caroling, and handing out candy canes during the holiday season.
Marine Unit (Collateral Duty)
In 2010, in conjunction with Tukwila Fire Department, the Tukwila Police Department started its first Police Boat/ Marine Program. The Marine Unit is comprised of several officers and detectives as collateral duty in addition to their normal duties within the department. Under the supervision of Sergeants Rory Mettlin and Bill Devlin, the unit is responsible for police-related issues and flooding emergencies that can occur on the Duwamish/Green River.
The officers are all trained and proficient with the many technical aspects of boat operations, river patrol, and rescue. The officers train throughout the year to operate the two boats on the Duwamish/Green River and are specifically trained and equipped to handle the many challenges and obstacles that the Duwamish/Green River presents. Boat patrol officers respond to various incidents on the river. They assist in rescues and searches, and also help other city employees and departments with requests for transport or assistance on the river.
The Traffic Unit currently consists of a Sergeant and four full time traffic officers. The Traffic Unit responds to multiple serious injury and fatality collision investigations a year. Members of the Traffic Unit provide numerous hours of school zone safety patrol and speeding enforcement, as well as handling follow-up investigations for hit-and- run collisions.
The Traffic Unit also coordinated the Volunteer Traffic Enforcement Program.
The Police Department’s K9 unit serves in the Patrol Division. Due to budgetary issues, there is currently no K9 unit serving the patrol division. Our only current K9 Apollo came into service in 2017 after being rescued from a shelter and trained by a trainer for narcotic detection. Apollo is trained in narcotic interdiction and works with a detective on narcotic interdiction investigations.
Major Crimes Unit
The Major Crimes Unit (MCU) is comprised of two Sergeants, nine detectives, one support specialist, and one domestic violence victim advocate. MCU detectives are responsible for investigating a broad range of crimes and other activities that occur in the City of Tukwila. These include homicide, robbery, burglary, felony assault, crimes against children and the elderly, felony theft, fraud, forgery, sexual assault, missing persons, and matters relating to registered sex offenders.
All of the detectives are assigned a â€˜primary’ discipline from those listed above, and case assignments are based on workload priorities, solvability factors, and community-targeted criminal behavior. The detectives are available 24 hours a day for call-outs and crime scene investigations. MCU detectives also conduct pre-employment background investigations on people seeking jobs with the Tukwila Police Department.
MCU encourages the public to assist with major criminal investigations by contacting the Tukwila Police Department with any information or tips that pertain to any ongoing investigation. If you believe that you have information that would help the MCU investigate a crime, please contact the Tukwila Police Department at (206) 433-1808. Any person who has information regarding a crime, but wishes to remain anonymous may call Seattle/King County Crime Stoppers at (206) 343-2020.
Tukwila Anti-Crime Team
The Tukwila Anti-Crime Team (TAC Team) is comprised of a sergeant and three detectives. The unit’s primary responsibility is to investigate drug and prostitution crimes that affect the citizenry of Tukwila. The unit also addresses other crimes as assigned, often relying on special equipment and undercover skills to conduct those investigations.
They maintain a number of regional and federal partnerships including the “Innocence Lost” Task Force which is aimed at addressing the growing problem of domestic sex trafficking of children in the United States. Another federal partnership is the Valley Narcotics Enforcement Team, or VNET, which consists of valley agency detectives working with the DEA to combat narcotics related crime in the region.
Professional Standards Unit
The Professional Standards Unit (PSU) is responsible for Department-wide training, crime prevention, school safety and collaboration through the school resource officer, accreditation, and other ancillary duties. A regular event that the Professional Standards Unit is involved with is the National Night Out Against Crime, an annual event that unites neighborhoods.
Crime Prevention is a part of the Professional Standards Unit and works directly with residents and businesses to provide them with additional skills and experience to prevent crime in Tukwila.
In addition, the Crime Prevention Team staffs informational booths at City of Tukwila events, such as the Touch-A-Truck, the 4th at the Fort and the Children’s Festival and partners with several local businesses to provide information at their safety-related events. This team also works closely with apartment building managers to gain a Crime Free Multi-Housing certification for a rental property.
Community Policing Team
The Community Policing Team (CPT) is a proactive team that splits its time equally between the central business district and the Tukwila International Blvd corridor. The main goal of the CPT is to establish a relationship between the Tukwila Police and residents and business owners, allowing for a more proactive police role in the community.
The CPT primarily works out of the new Neighborhood Resource Center, which was opened on the August 8th, 2012. The team is now fully staffed with a sergeant, five officers, and three volunteers. The team patrols both areas using foot, bicycles, and vehicle patrols. The CPT partnered with the Crime Prevention Resource Team, the Tukwila Community Center, the Tukwila Explorers, and Westfield Mall for their annual Food and Toy drive, which collected food and money for the Tukwila Pantry and the Tukwila Community Center’s children’s giving programs. They also participated in the annual Touch-A-Truck safety fair.
The Tukwila Police Department’s Records Division operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and assists residents and businesses in Tukwila in a variety of ways. The Division processes firearms-related licenses and applications, professional licenses, and public disclosure requests. The Records Division also provides fingerprinting services to the public, assists with community education programs, and takes found property cases.
In addition to serving the residents of Tukwila, the Records Division provides support to our commissioned staff. They work in tandem with officers on the street to assist with their patrol duties. The Division routinely provides searches of local, state, federal, and even international databases to assist officers and detectives with locating information pertinent to their investigations and cases. When processing case reports, the Records Division must ensure accurate, complete, and timely information processing. Information is routinely entered into various local, state and federal databases. These entries include stolen and impounded vehicles, warrants, protection orders, missing persons, and stolen and recovered articles.
Valley SWAT (Collateral Duty)
The Tukwila Police Department participates in a regional Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team known as Valley SWAT which is comprised of officers from Tukwila, Renton, Kent, Auburn, Federal Way and the Port of Seattle. Tukwila officers that are assigned to the Valley SWAT team are not full-time SWAT team members. Members participate on the team as a collateral duty, in addition to their full-time assignments within the police department. They undergo initial and ongoing specialized training to maintain their collateral position as members of Valley SWAT.
The team also includes multiple officers that are trained as Hostage Negotiators. Hostage Negotiators undergo extensive training in de-escalation, crisis intervention and crisis communication to bring about peaceful resolutions to SWAT operations.
The team is trained and well-equipped to respond and effectively resolve a variety of high-risk situations. These situations include arrest and search warrants, barricaded subjects, hostage rescue, active shooter incidents, acts of terrorism, in-progress workplace or school violence, and dignitary protection.
Valley Civil Disturbance Unit (Collateral Duty)
The Tukwila PD Civil Disturbance Unit is part of the multiagency Valley Civil Disturbance Unit (VCDU). VCDU trains with other departments in the Green River Valley, and deploys regionally to handle incidents of civil unrest. The Tukwila Police Department has fifteen officers that serve as members of the Valley Civil Disturbance Unit as collateral duty in addition to their full-time assignments within the police department.
This team responds to the need of any city in the region that requires a well-trained and organized police presence proficient in crowd control for any type of large protest or gathering. The team members have specialized training and experience in less lethal munitions, chemical crowd-control agents, safe removal of protesters and protestor devices, as well as bicycle response.
Auto Theft Task Force
The PATROL Auto Theft Taskforce is a multi-jurisdictional auto theft task force in the Puget Sound area of with 19 participating agencies, including the Tukwila Police Department. It is part of the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority (WATPA) and is funded by a WAPTA grant. Due to staffing issues, the Tukwila Police Department does not currently have a detective assigned to the ATTF
The task force has been together as a unit since July, 2010, and is responsible for the investigation of complex auto theft cases and the presentation of auto theft training to other law enforcement agencies throughout the region. Additionally, Task Force cases have extended beyond Washington State into all of the West Coast, including Canada and Mexico. In June of 2012, the Executive Board for the Taskforce, which consists of the Chiefs and Sheriffs of the participating agencies, assigned Commander Drever of the Tukwila Police Department to act as administrative oversight for the unit as the Taskforce Commander. A Tukwila sergeant also currently serves as the unit’s supervisor as of 2013, and a Tukwila Detective was assigned in 2015. The PATROL Auto Theft Taskforce is considered a leader in Washington State in Auto Theft Investigation, and members of the team are sought after by other agencies for conducting training on a national level.
The Tukwila Police Department has a detective assigned to the Valley Narcotics Enforcement Taskforce (VNET). This taskforce is comprised of three Drug Enforcement Administration agents and detectives from the cities of Tukwila, Auburn, Kent, Renton, Federal Way, Seattle, and Port of Seattle Police Departments. Also assigned to the group is a prosecutor from the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
The mission of VNET is to target major narcotic rings that are operating in the South King County area. This combination of federal and local law enforcement officers is able to handle high-level drug investigations that would be too strenuous on local police resources. VNET is a good example of how partnering with other law enforcement agencies is a great way to use scarce resources in addressing a significant crime problem.
The training section coordinates and tracks all training conducted for the Department. For existing staff, the state requires all officers to attend 24 hours of in-service training every year. In the Department’s effort to provide highly-trained personnel to the community we serve, that requirement is often greatly exceeded.
The officers train hard to maintain weapons proficiency, overcome physical resistance, safely operate emergency vehicles and many other courses to maintain core proficiencies. In addition to core in-service training, most officers attend many hours of extra training to develop expertise in many areas of law enforcement including gang enforcement, interrogation techniques, SWAT, civil disturbance, and crisis communications teams and on-line crimes. The training section also maintains the certification of in-house trainers for firearms, defensive tactics and emergency vehicle operations.
The primary duty of the Evidence Division is to ensure the proper security and chain of custody for property and evidence items taken in by the Tukwila Police Department. Once items are turned into the Evidence Division, they are tracked using a bar coding system. Maintaining and properly documenting the chain of custody is imperative to guarding the integrity of the Department’s property and evidence system.
Evidence personnel also offer support to commissioned officers by assisting with crime scene processing and the collection of evidence. Even with minimal staffing (one full-time Evidence Technician, one Evidence Alternate, and the Records Manager who oversees both the Records and Evidence Divisions), evidence personnel are available 24 hours a day to assist other divisions with any forensic or evidence packaging questions.
The Evidence Division operates within a continuous cycle of receiving, storing and disposing of items taken into custody. Items are purged when they are no longer needed as evidence due to the expiration of the statute of limitations for the associated crime. This involves a lengthy process of researching the status of related case reports, coordinating disposition approval with various officers, detectives, prosecutors, and other personnel, researching court dockets, and researching sentencing information. Destruction of these items must also be done in accordance with various local, state, and federal laws. Certain new or gently-used items are routinely disposed of through donation to Treehouse, a non-profit organization that supports local children in foster care. Bicycles are also donated to a non-profit organization called BikeWorks. Items may also be sent to a law enforcement internet auctioneer, the proceeds of which go to the City’s General Fund.