West Seattleites honored at SPD Citizen Appreciation Awards

That short video clip shows Cindi Barker, of Morgan Community Association and so many other endeavors, accepting a Seattle Police Department Citizen Appreciation Award from Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske tonight at City Hall (and toward the end of the clip, you see Mark Howard from the Emergency Preparedness Bureau). Cindi was honored for her tireless emergency-preparedness work, from the West Seattle-wide preparedness meeting in summer 2007, to the neighborhood-meeting-place events this spring/summer). Cindi was one of six West Seattleites (by our count) receiving the annual awards tonight, including your WSB co-publishers, and there were dozens more from around the city, including some with amazing stories:


That’s a table full of cheerily wrapped candy-filled coffee mugs inscribed Seattle Police Department/Citizen Appreciation Awards/Thanks for making a difference! Every recipient got a mug and a certificate, plus a photo with the chief, and in most cases also the Police Department leader who put in the original nomination. In our case, that was Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen (at right with us and the chief):


Junior Member of the Team took that photo; forgive us the quality — his photographic skills are fine but our camera is almost dead, and we are sure the official police photographer’s photo will look MUCH nicer. Meantime, the other West Seattleites honored tonight — who weren’t able to be there — were Cindy Pestka for Operation SOS: Seniors Organizing Seniors (a unique emergency-preparedness effort), and the unexpected crimefighting duo of Husky Deli‘s Jack Miller and Mashiko‘s Chris Collier, who made citywide headlines for chasing a mugger back in May.

We heard many other stories of heroism tonight, like those of these young heroes who tried to save the life of a man who collapsed on a bus:


And there were some interesting sights, too, like the K-9 officer who joined his/her handlers in honoring retired SPD sergeant T.C. Miller, who spends time helping with training (we didn’t catch it on video but it was a funny moment when the K-9 officer kept barking to interrupt the narrative about Miller’s honor):


policewoman.jpgThat narrative, by the way, was read by SPD’s Cathy Wenderoth (photo left) – who organized the whole thing. The logistics of collecting nominations and then coordinating a big event — with more than 80 honorees, plus the chief, the mayor, precinct leaders from all over the city, and refreshments too! — left us thinking Wenderoth deserves an award herself! Oh, one more West Seattle sighting to report – Mayor Nickels showed up for a few words at the very start:


mattscott.jpgOne more note: WSB wasn’t the only neighborhood-level news site honored tonight — our friends at CentralDistrictNews.com, brothers Matt (left) and Scott Durham, received Citizen Appreciation Awards too. Their site, like this one, incorporates not just official police information, but also direct reports from people who live in the area — a vital way to get word out as fast as possible — and also a way to expand coverage with many more eyes and ears when “breaking news” happens.

We are glad that Chief Kerlikowske and his department recognize that working with sites like theirs and ours is as important as working with “old media” — sometimes, we’ll be presumptive enough to say, even more so, since we all report in “real time,” and minutes can make a difference in a crime/safety situation. And we also thank Lt. Paulsen, Captain Joe Kessler, and the rest of the Southwest Precinct team for being so great to work with — it’s a view of police work that we never had before, having spent the preceding decade as a TV-news manager in an office, a couple layers removed from the actual work of journalism, and therefore — till WSB — from the joy of dealing directly with the people who make a difference.

1 Reply to "West Seattleites honored at SPD Citizen Appreciation Awards"

  • acemotel August 20, 2008 (11:43 am)

    Cindi Barker is very cool.

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