Randy’s Rundown: March 23, Richland Council Workshop Explained

Police body and dashboard cameras top the agenda.  The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. Go to the agenda to link to Zoom. Interim City Manager Jon Amundson confirms that the meeting can also be seen on Spectrum 192. When it is shown there, a tape usually becomes available the next day on Richland City View.

1.Discussion regarding Operational and Budgetary Impacts of Body Worn and Vehicle Cameras – John Bruce, Chief of Police.  We can assume that the value to public safety of the body and dashboard cameras is undisputed because the only discussion here seems to be “operational and budgetary.” Pasco Police have used the cameras for a couple of years, and they haven’t broken the bank there. 

On February 1, 2021, Richland Police Officer Christian Jabri shoot a man on a pedestrian path along the Highway 240 bypass. The Special Investigative Unit has not submitted their report to Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller and Bruce. Without cameras it will be difficult to tell what actually happened there. The police did not file any charges against the man who was shot.

Recently Miller came out in favor of body cameras and dashboard cameras.  “For reviewing cases involving deadly force by police officers, the use of body cameras would be beneficial not only for the integrity of the investigation but also for the decedent’s family and involved police officers,” Miller wrote in an Aug. 20 letter.

A recent Herald article reported figures obtained from the local police departments on “use of force.” The Richland Police Department used forced three times more often than Pasco.  Does that have something to do with Pasco’s cameras?

The Observer asked Interim City Manager Jon Amundson and Police Chief John Bruce to confirm the Herald’s numbers since Councilmember Bob Thompson questioned them.  So far there have been no responses.

2. Update on the Proposed Development Agreement on Tracts D & E, 22 Acres of City-Owned Property located on Bradley Boulevard – Kerwin Jensen, Development Services Director.  

The city has a grandiose plan for this area that includes a million-dollar dock built by American Cruise Lines (ACL). In case you have forgotten, the city gave ACL priority right to use the Lee Street Dock for 15 years for $45,000 the first year. The contract does not require ACL to build a new dock.  The city will maintain the Lee Street dock for 15 years and the total cost to ACL will be less than the cost of permitting and constructing a new dock and maintaining it. With that deal would you build a dock?

3. Horn Rapids Water Rights Status, West Richland Wholesale Service Expansion Request, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Irrigation Service Request – Pete Rogalsky, Public Works Director

Water, water, water…. When will the Columbia River be sucked dry?  Not a meeting goes by without a discussion about more spending on Horn Rapids.

4. 2021 Legislative Transportation Advocacy Update – Additional Project Suggestion – Pete Rogalsky, Public Works Director

The state and the federal government are planning infrastructure improvement programs. We need to get our wish list in now.  When former President Trump asked each state to submit their project priorities, SeaTac was at the top of the list along with improvements to Interstate 5.  Broadband expansion was the top project on the east side.