News / Events
2015 News Archive
Dec 16 - WWPD Citizen Academy
The 2016 Citizens Academy classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, starting February 11th, with graduation on April 29th.
Registration is free and the deadline is January 29, 2016; Class is limited to 30 participants, 18 or over. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Nov 22 - Walla Walla Sheriff's Office Social Media Launch
The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office announces their launch of new social media platforms. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Nov 20 - Walla Walla "Swift Water Dog Rescue Team"
Huge Thank-you to the “WWPD Swift Water Dog Rescue Team” Brent Baldwin, Sgt. Ralston and Kevin Huxoll
These two wet, matted, flea infested dogs are lucky to be alive after the heroic effort of the team!
Oct 30 - No Shave November
WWPD is participating in the American Cancer Society’s No Shave November. Officers and staff involved are allowed to grow beards for the month of November in exchange for helping raise money for the American Cancer Society and three other cancer charities.
Last Year Team Walla Walla Police Department raised over $2,450 for cancer charities and are confident they will surpass that amount this year with your help! Click on the link below and make a donation to the team or your favorite Officer! https://www.no-shave.org/team/wallawallapolice (We will be posting an "after" photo the first of December.)
Oct 30 - Pedestrian Dies After Being Struck by Car
A Walla Walla man has died from injuries suffered after being struck by a vehicle last night on Isaacs Avenue at the intersection of Cedar. James A. Kooreny, 77, Walla Walla, was crossing Isaacs last night at about 6:45 p.m. when he was hit by a vehicle driven by Heather A. Tarnasky, 42, Walla Walla. Kooreny was transported to Providence St. Mary Medical Center and died a short time later. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Oct 26 - Investigation Continues into Gang Homicide
Detectives are continuing their investigation into a gang-related shooting that left one man dead and another in the hospital. Four arrests have been made in the shooting that took place Saturday night in the parking lot behind The Green Lantern tavern. The victims were shot after they were jumped in the parking lot by a group of suspected gang members after leaving the tavern. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Oct 25 - Fatal Vehicle Pedestrian Collision
The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office is saddened to report that Walla Walla High School drama teacher Brian Senter was struck and killed by a vehicle last night. Mr. Senter was 50 years old. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Oct 6 - WWSO Reserve Deputy Sheriff Program Announcement
From Sheriff John Turner:
The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the position of Reserve Deputy Sheriff.
The complete application packet with instructions on how to apply is attached and will be posted later this week on the Sheriff’s Office website http://www.co.walla-walla.wa.us/departments/she/index.shtml. Hard copies of this application packet are also available at the Sheriff’s Office front desk during business hours. Applications for Reserve Deputy Sheriff will be accepted from now until the close of business on Friday October 23, 2015. Any prior applications or interest submitted will not be considered so that all interested applicants have an equal opportunity to compete for these positions.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone for their patience and support while our new Reserve Deputy Sheriff Program was being built. This new program will include a selection process over the next three months with the Reserve Academy starting in January of 2016. There will be an initial scale down selection process utilizing the written assessment applicant packet. Successful candidates passing the assessment scale down will be invited to a meeting where the remainder selection process and commitment required to be a Reserve Deputy Sheriff will be explained.
We would appreciate your help in spreading the word of this opportunity by forwarding this information and posting to your on-line social media. Thanks in advance for helping us to get top-notch applicants who wish to serve our great community.
Please refer questions to Chief Administrative Deputy Shanda Zessin at 509.524.5400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct 2 - Crime Free Rental Housing Seminar
Crime Free Rental Housing Property Management Seminar. This is a FREE training opportunity provided by the Walla Walla Police Department. All Property managers (owners), Tenants, and Neighbors of rental property are encouraged to attend. You must register by contacting Officer Tim Bennett, email@example.com or 524-4381
Oct 1 - Drive-By Shooting Leads to Arrest of 4 Gang Members
Walla Walla Police have arrested four known gang members after a drive-by shooting in the 200 block of East Cherry Street last night at 11:07 p.m. Numerous 9-1-1 calls were received of shots being fired and Patrol Officers also heard the sound of gunfire coming from the area. Within 3 minutes of the report, officers located the suspect vehicle leaving the area. A “high-risk felony stop” was conducted on the vehicle in the 300 block of N. 2nd Ave. The four suspects were taken into custody without incident. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Sept 18 - Service, Pride and Integrity
We received the following from Walla Walla Police Chief Scott Bieber:
Jim Dumont shared this story with me: Another example of Service, Pride and Integrity in action. Thank you Sergeants Ralston and Bayne.
The other day Kevin Bayne, off duty, and Mike Ralston, on duty, were stopped in Pioneer Park Circle trying to get a young girls purse down out of a tree that one of her “friends” had thrown up there. So when I pull up here is Bayne, in his personal vehicle with his son in the back seat, standing on the roof of his vehicle with a pole trying to reach a purse. (Kevin is a little height challenged as you may know) and he can’t reach the purse by maybe 2 or 3”. So Ralston, aka MacGyver, takes the pole and wraps an extension on to it using police yellow tape. Bayne is then able to reach the purse for the girl. What a amazing moment for the teenagers to learn that police are there to help and assist not just be enforcement. (Nancy Clark photograph)
Sept 3 - Gang Member Arrested on Rape Charges, Firearms Recovered
SWAT Team members and Detectives from the Walla Walla Police Department served a search warrant at 1166 W. Elm yesterday around 11:00 a.m. The team was able to take the sole occupant, Johnny Gonzalez, 22, into custody without incident when he came outside as the officers were approaching the home.
The search warrant was issued as part of a rape investigation which alleges Gonzalez was having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Gonzalez, a known gang member and convicted felon, was interviewed by Detectives before being lodged in jail for Rape of a Child 2nd Degree. He admitted to having sex with the girl during the interview. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Aug 27 - Dog Walker Watch Program
Dog Walker Watch is a crime awareness program that encourages dog walkers throughout the area to assist as extra eyes and ears in ongoing crime prevention efforts. This program trains you how to effectively observe and report criminal activity while you take your best friend out for a walk.
On September 8th at 7:00 pm we will be hosting a meeting for anyone interested in participating in this free program. Please join us and become a partner in this national crime prevention program.
Aug 10 - Investigation Continues into Saturday's Double Homicide
Detectives are continuing their investigation into the shooting deaths of Janette Rojas Balderas, 34, and Jon Cody Cano, 38, both of 40 E. Walnut St. Calls came in to 9-1-1 just after midnight, Saturday morning, of shots being heard in the area of East Walnut and 2nd Ave. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Aug 8 - Information about Gentlemen of the Road Events
Below please find maps furnished by the City of Walla Walla regarding street closures downtown. The city is planning to close the streets indicated on the maps beginning the morning of Thursday, August 13. Downtown events begin at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 14th; on Friday, August 15th downtown stages open at 11 a.m. (First Avenue and Spokane Street are the locations) – see below for entry information to downtown in general. For more information on the concert and scheduling, there will be a 68 page insert in Sunday August 9th’s Union-Bulletin.
For people wanting to enter the downtown venue during the event, admission will be free when no bands are playing (see above). There will be a $5.00 entrance fee during the time when the bands are playing.
- Traffic Control Points, Downtown Venue
- Traffic Control Points, Pedestrian Walkways, FAQs
- Thursday August 13th - Downtown Stages
- Friday August 14th - Main Stage Whitman College Athletic Field Schedule
- Friday August 14th - Downtown Stages
- Saturday August 15th - Main Stage Whitman College Athletic Field Schedule
- Saturday August 15th - Downtown Band Schedule
Jul 31 - KLOVE's Becky Hansen talks with Sheriff Turner and WWCSAR VP Beyer
K-LOVE's Becky Hansen talked to Sheriff John Turner and WWCSAR Vice President Tom Beyer about our award winning Walla Walla County Search & Rescue team. For a limited time you can listen to the audio of that discussion here.
Jul 28 - Walla Walla Walks Against Drunk Driving Registration
Walla Walla Walks Against Drunk Driving annual event will take place Saturday, September 12, 2015. This year the event will be held along Mill Creek starting at the WWCC parking lot off Tausick Way. The 1-mile walkers will walk west along the creek to Eastgate Lions Park, the 5k people will run along the creek and the 10 k people will run up to Bennington Lake (see map). Register early and receive a discount!
Jul 15 - K9 Gudy receives new bullet and stab resistant vest
Press Release from Walla County Sheriff’s Office:
Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office K9 Gudy has received a ballistic vest thanks to a non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., and the Staten Island Companion Dog Training Club in New York. On March 14, the Staten Island Companion Dog Training Club AKC Rally Trial raised $4,750 for 5 K9s vests. The other K9s that will be receiving an award will be K9 Bert of Ithaca Police Department NY, K9 Dozer of Ulster County Sheriff’s Office NY, K9 Arko of Paterson Police Department NJ, and K9 Bear of Williamson County Sheriff’s Office TN.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950.00 and has a 5 year warranty. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially life-saving body armor for their four legged K9 Officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1,517 law enforcement dogs in 49 states with protective vests since 2009 at a cost of over $1.4 million dollars.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. announces their signature tank top is now available online for a $20.00 donation at www.vik9s.org. Proceeds will provide bullet and stab protective vests, for police dogs actively working without the potentially lifesaving equipment.
The organization orders the U.S. made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, MA who also does the custom embroidery on the body armor. Vests are manufacturer by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
New K9 graduates as well as K9's with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement dogs who are US employed, certified and at least 19 months of age.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations accepted via mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718 or via the website: www.vik9s.org.
K9 Gudy is a 5 year old German Shepherd. He is certified in patrol work and is assigned to Deputy Dale Preas. Deputy Preas has been a handler with the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office since December 2012. K9 Gudy was purchased from Adlerhorst International, Inc. in Riverside, California. He began his formal police training in February 2013 and completed 400 hours of training with his handler in order to pass his certifications to work in Washington State. On April 11, 2013, K9 Gudy & Deputy Preas certified to Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commissions (CJTC) standards and also certified as Generalist Dog Team with the Washington State Police Canine Association (WSPCA). Since that certification this team has completed in excess of 320 hours of ongoing training to remain proficient.
Gudy loves chasing and chewing on his kong toy in his yard and especially loves his police training days. He is very protective of his handler partner; together they are a great team and were recently showcased at the Walla Walla Sheriff’s Foundation annual dinner. Gudy has a strong drive to find criminals and does not like them to evade capture. Several felony arrests have been attributed to this canine team. K9 Gudy has proved to be an outstanding police canine and valuable partner to our community.
WWSO Deputy Dale Preas commented, “Gudy and I wish to sincerely thank everyone involved in getting us this bullet & stab resistant vest. It’s so nice to know there are folks who care, and great to know I now have a vest I can put on Gudy to keep him safer when he’s out working to keep us all safer.”
Jul 9 - Transient arrested after threatening officer with knife
Officers were dispatched to the area of 1st Avenue and Main Street at about 4:30 p.m. yesterday, for a report of a subject brandishing a knife. As the first officer on the scene began to walk towards the subject, he immediately attempted to flee the area. The subject, later identified as 45 year old Glenn E. Denison, transient, refused to stop when requested by the officer. When the officer caught up to him and attempted to stop him from leaving, Denison brought the knife up and pointed it at the officer in a threatening manner. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Jun 8 - Body found in park identified
Walla Walla PD Press Release:
The identity of the deceased subject found Sunday morning in Eastgate Lions Park, 2130 Tacoma Street, has been identified as 61 year old Santana J. Castillo. Castillo’s body was found in the Northwest section of the park, near Fire Station #2. Witnesses contacted firefighters at the station who checked on him and contacted law enforcement.
Castillo lived nearby and had last been seen alive at the park at about 10:00 p.m. Saturday night. There were no signs of assault and it is believed Castillo had numerous health issues.
In an effort to help facilitate a virtual neighborhood watch program and help foster neighbor-to-neighbor communications, the Walla Walla Police Department has partnered with Nextdoor (www.nextdoor.com), the private social network for neighborhoods. The Walla Walla Police Department’s Nextdoor account officially launched last week, May 28th, 2015.
Nextdoor is free for the residents and the City. Each Walla Walla neighborhood has its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. Residents can use their website to get to know their neighbors, ask questions, and exchange local advice and recommendations. For example, neighbors use Nextdoor to share information about neighborhood watch and safety issues, local events, school activities, upcoming garage sales, lost pets, and much more. Please see Press Release for additional information.
May 28 - Police Department hosts Block Watch Meeting
Chief Bieber and several members of his staff held a meeting for residents from the area around W. Chestnut and Eagan Streets where there has been a recent spike in gang related crime. Volunteers from Walla Walla Area Crime Watch distributed flyers for the Wednesday meeting the previous evening. The event attracted 60 concerned residents from the affected area. Some in attendance expressed fear about living in the neighborhood as a result of the increasing gang activity. Please see Press Release for additional information.
(Note - The City of Walla Walla has signed on with NextDoor to share information with local neighborhoods. If your neighborhood is not already a NextDoor neighborhood, sign up today. NextDoor - The private social network for your neighborhood.)
May 26 - 3rd Annual Battle of the Badge
Tickets sales are once again approaching a complete sellout, with fewer than 600 tickets left as of May 22nd. Tickets are only available at the Sweets Shoppe on Main Street and may not be available at the gate on game day. Please see Press Release for additional information.
May 24 - WWSO Search & Rescue Fundraiser
On Friday May 29th WWSO Search & Rescue is teaming up with Panda Express to raise funds. Panda Express will donate 20% of sales to WWCSSAR as long as a FLYER is handed in at the time of order. Please print out the flyer and show our award winning Search and Rescue Team your support.
May 22 - Second Arrest Made in Drive-by Shooting
Detectives made a 2nd arrest in last week’s drive-by shootings. Clemente Garcia-Cerda, 928 Edith Ave., was taken into custody without incident shortly after noon today in the 100 block of SW 6th in College Place by Gang Detectives of the Walla Walla Police Department. Please see Press Release for additional information.
May 18 - One Victim Hospitalized after Two Sunday Shootings
Detectives are investigating two separate shootings that occurred Sunday evening, the second one sending a 25-year-old gang affiliate to a hospital for treatment of 3 gunshot wounds.
The first report was called in at 5:33 p.m. of several shots being fired in the area of 4th Avenue and Chestnut Street. Witnesses gave conflicting information about a possible suspect vehicle, or if a vehicle was involved in the shooting. It appeared the target of the shooting is a multi-family rental located in the 200 block of West Chestnut. There were no injuries reported and no arrests have been made at this time. Please see Press Release for additional information.
May 8 - Gunshot Victim in Serious Condition
Detectives are continuing their investigation into yesterday’s shooting of a 28-year-old male. The shooting was reported to 911 at 8:37 a.m. by an anonymous caller. The victim, Corey J. Reece, suffered a gunshot wound to the chest while inside the residence at 609 W. Moore. He remains in serious condition after being transported to a Seattle area hospital for surgery. Please see Press Release for additional information.
May 6 - Blue Light in Memory of Sgt. Greg Moore
Walla Walla area residents and supporters of law enforcement are invited to honor the memory and show support to the family of Sergeant Greg Moore of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, by displaying a blue light on their front porch or in a window thru Saturday. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Apr 30 - Robbery Suspect Arrested
Detectives served a search warrant and arrested one suspect in a robbery that took place in the 1500 block of Isaacs Avenue on April 5th. Michael L. Davey, 54, was taken into custody without incident by SWAT Team members shortly after 8:00 a.m. today in a shed in the 1900 block of J Street. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Apr 28 - Local Testing for Deputy Sheriff & Corrections Officer
Do you know someone looking for a excellent career? Public Safety Testing will be holding local testing for Deputy Sheriff and Corrections Officer positions in Walla Walla on Monday June 15, 2015. Please click here for additional information.
Apr 11 - WWSO K9 Gudy Awarded a Ballistic Vest from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office K9 Gudy has been awarded a ballistic vest thanks to a non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., and the Staten Island Companion Dog Training Club in NY AKC Rally Trial which on March 14 raised $4,750 for five K9s vests. The other K9s that will be receiving an award will be K9 Bert of the Ithaca Police Department NY, K9 Dozer of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office NY, K9 Arko of the Patterson Police Department NJ, and K9 Bear of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, TN. Please see Press Release for additional information and photos.
Apr - Chief for a Day Nominations
Chief for a Day Application Form
We are looking nominations for Chief for a Day. In particular we are looking for children with disabilities or a chronic health condition, grades 4 through 8. Please keep in mind that these children must be able to tolerate loud noises, wear a uniform, be able to sit through the swearing in ceremony and ride in a parade. Please see our Gallery page for previous years events.
Judges will be selecting 8 kids as “Chief for a Day”. Participating agencies are:
Walla Walla Police Dept, College Place Police Dept, Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Washington State Penitentiary, Milton Freewater Police Dept, and Walla Walla City Fire, and Walla Walla County Fire District 4.
Apr 1 - WWPD Welcomes Two New Officers
Travis Goodwin and Mike Bump became the newest Police Officers to join WWPD this evening, after being sworn in during a ceremony in the Chuck Fulton Community Room. The wives of both officers were present during the recitation of the oath before Mayor Jerry Cummins.
Goodwin came to WWPD from the Walla Walla Sheriff’s Office, where he had been a Deputy Sheriff for the past 10 years. He had served 4 years in the United States Marine Corps after graduating from Walla Walla High School in 1998.
Bump has been in law enforcement for the past 4 years as an Officer and Narcotics Detective with the Milton-Freewater Police Department. Prior to that, he worked for WWPD as a Code Enforcement Officer until that position was eliminated. Bump also grew up in Walla Walla, graduating from Wa-Hi in 1996.
“Bump and Goodwin will each be assigned to one of four Patrol squads, filling staffing voids within the Patrol Division,” stated Chief Scott Bieber.
Apr 1 - Bicycle Safety Emphasis Partrol
The police department’s second traffic safety emphasis of the year will be April 1st-May 15th. Through education and enforcement, officers will be focused on keeping bicyclists and pedestrians safe while walking and riding around town. Please see the Press Release for additional information. Also see Bike Safety tips for bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
Apr 1 - Text to 911
Kitsap County announced today that it has begun phasing in Text-to-9-1-1 service. However, Walla Walla County is not accepting text messages to 9-1-1 at this time.
Currently, only Kitsap County is operationally “live” with Text-to-9-1-1 Service in Washington State. King and Snohomish Counties on the west side are still in the testing phase prior to implementation. No counties on the East side of the state are yet operational with this service. Although a final implementation date has not yet been set, we are estimating that this service will be available later this year. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Mar 23 - Walla Walla PD Purchases K9 Farel
Today the City of Walla Walla purchased canine "Farel," a 4 year old Belgium Malinois certified in Washington State as a patrol canine, from the County of Walla Walla for ten thousand dollars. This transaction was precipitated by the lateral transfer of Farel's handler, Deputy Travis Goodwin, from the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office to the Walla Walla Police Department effective April 1, 2015. Sheriff John Turner and Police Chief Scott Bieber felt it was in the community's best interest that the seasoned K-9 unit remain serving together as a team.
After April 1st, K-9 Farel and his handler will be primarily assigned to patrol the City of Walla Walla, however due to mutual aid, the team will remain available to respond and serve all areas of Walla Walla County when K-9 services are needed.Please see Press Release for additional information.
Mar 9 - State Penitentiary Program Donates 37 Bikes
Inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary refurbished 37 bicycles to be given away to area families through Walla Walla Area Crime Watch. Many of the bicycles came from local law enforcement agencies as unlicensed, abandoned, and probably stolen. Without a bicycle license, it is nearly impossible to return the bikes to their rightful owners. Please see press release for additional information.
Pictured in the photo below left to right: Correctional Specialist Robert Branscum, Crime Watch President Dave Raappana, Officer Tim Bennett, WWPD Sgt. Mike Ralston, Crime Prevention Specialist Vicki Ruley, and Blue Mountain Action Council Housing Director Ted Koehler.
Feb 28 - Chief Deputy John King Calls it a Career
From the Walla Walla Union Bulletin: Looking back on nearly 36 years in a law enforcement career he retired from on Friday, John King has learned a few things about differences between big-city and rural county police work. Please visit the Walla Walla Union Bulletin to read the entire article, or click here to view a copy of the article.
Feb 18 - Newest Police Officer Starts With Over 7 Years Experience
Luke Watson became the newest member of the Walla Walla Police Department last night, after being sworn in at a ceremony in the Fulton Community Room. With his wife by his side, Watson received the oath from Mayor Jerry Cummins. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Feb 6 - 214 Officer of the Year
The local Masonic Lodge—Blue Mountain Lodge #13, paid tribute to 4 local law enforcement officers, selected by their respective agencies, as the “2014 Law Enforcement Officers of the Year”. The selection is based, in part, by the officer’s work ethic, productivity, and compassion.
This year’s honorees are Trooper Shawn Williams, Washington State Patrol; Ashley Daschofsky, College Place Police Dept; Deputy Richard Schram, Walla Walla Sheriff’s Office; and Officer Gunner Fulmer, Walla Walla Police Dept. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Feb 3 - WWPD Picks up a new K-9
The newest member of the Walla Walla Police Department became officially certified for active duty last week. K-9 “Pick” is a 2 year old, female, Black Lab. She is trained only in drug detection and alerts on odors from Cocaine, Methamphetamine, and Heroin. Please see Press Release for additional information and photo.
Jan 29 - Distracted Driving Emphasis
Walla Walla Police will be looking to change the behavior of drivers who choose to talk/text/surf on their mobile devices while driving on City streets. The emphasis will include officers assigned to their normal patrol shifts, and extra officers from area agencies working together during high visibility emphasis patrols geared at targeting distracted drivers. These extra patrols are made possible through grants from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to the Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Task Force. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Jan 20 - Witnesses Sought in Downtown Luring Case
Detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying possible victims and/or witnesses in Saturday’s luring case. Daniel I. Moreinis, 44, transient from Colorado, was arrested on probable cause for Luring and Criminal Impersonation 2nd Degree, after approaching a young girl in the area of Alder and 1st Avenue around 11:10 a.m. Please see Press Release for additional information.
Jan 15 - Bicycle Municipal Code
Last year there were 154 bicycles stolen (see map) in Walla Walla, 137 bicycles were recovered by WWPD but only 6 bicycles could be returned to their rightful owners. Thirteen bicycles were donated with the remainder going to auction. College Place had 26 bicycle thefts of which 14 were recovered and only 3 returned to their owners. The Sheriff’s Office had 18 bicycles reported stolen. Our goal is to have all recovered bikes returned to their proper owners. Please see Press Release for additional information. (Image on the left is City of Walla Walla bike theft location map for 2014.)