One of the major chronic problems of our Western Washington cities has
been homelessness. Around Veteran’s Day an encampment of homeless returned to the Bellingham City Hall area and set up their tents.
If the reader will remember in an article here by the Fourth Corner; County Councilman Browne assured protestors who wished to defund the police that their were already several resources funded to help homeless and many other’s in our community.
From “Homeless Outreach” to “Interim Housing” to “Housing Support Services” and many more organizations were funded to help solve a problem even when those living in these tents do not want to take advantage of the openings in shelters like the Light House Mission and others.
A November 20th Letter to Employees at the Courthouse shows that the homeless have reappeared and may be dangerous. Thus it may not be time to defund our police and sheriff’s department just yet.
Date: November 20, 2020 at 1:33:38 PM PST
Cc: DL-Staff_ALL <DL-Staff_ALL@whatcom.onmicrosoft.com>
Message to all County Employees Assigned to work areas near the courthouse
All staff please note the message below from Sheriff Elfo:
“The Sheriff’s Office recently confirmed that county employees traveling to and from their workplaces at and near the courthouse as well as commonly used parking areas have been accosted over the past week by people presumed to be associated with the homeless camp at Bellingham City Hall. Incidents included threats to kill, chasing employees, blocking employees from existing vehicles verbal abuse and other threatening behaviors.
If a county employee develops concerns regarding their personal safety or are a victim of a crime, they should remove themselves from the area if possible and call 9-1-1 (do not exit your vehicle-drive away). If the Bellingham Police indicate they cannot or will not respond, please request that a Deputy Sheriff be dispatched.
I have spoken to the Police Department regarding these incidents and they will arrange extra patrols during the period immediately preceding the start and end of the work day.”
Sheriff Bill Elfo
Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office
Phone 360-778-6600 / 360-778-6606 (direct)
311 Grand Avenue • Bellingham, WA • 98225
EXCELLENCE, INTEGRITY, TEAMWORK