Joint Statement from Police Chief Harris and City Manager, Coming up at Council, and City Honors Veterans

View as a webpage

this week in kirkland

November 14, 2019

city of kirkland washington

Joint Statement from Police Chief Cherie Harris and City Manager Kurt Triplett

This statement is in response to concerns that have been expressed by the YMCA related to the arrest of a young suspect by the Kirkland Police Department at the Kirkland Teen Union Building (KTUB) in Kirkland on September 5, 2019.  First, the City is dedicated to being a safe, welcoming and inclusive community. Over the last year the City has taken a number of actions to further that commitment. The City is also dedicated to continuing our commitment to community policing, including building relationships with Kirkland’s young people. We believe that through further dialogue with the YMCA, our Kirkland Youth Council, school resource officers, teens, and community members we can continue to have a healthy and safe environment for all Kirkland residents.

As background, a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Juanita High School was notified by school district staff at approximately 12:41 p.m. on September 5 that a group of young men was trespassing on school property and planning an assault against a student at the school. The SRO was told that the young men had been asked to leave the campus multiple times by staff. The SRO initiated an investigation, and the young men fled school property.

Throughout the day, four calls came into the 9-1-1 dispatch center involving the same group of young men. One call involved a package theft that was called in by a homeowner after watching the theft via his video doorbell. The homeowner provided a photo of the person, who was wearing a red shirt and khaki pants. That photo was distributed to all police officers on duty, including the arresting officer. Subsequent calls involved a theft of a tip jar from a local business and the theft of personal property from an individual at the transit station.  Later that afternoon, the victim of the theft at the transit station told officers that a young man matching the description the police had been receiving throughout the day, including the image captured by the video doorbell, had entered KTUB.

KTUB is a City owned facility operated under contract by the YMCA. Police officers were given access to the building by a teen. There were no staff at the front desk, but officers immediately spoke to an intern that walked the officers back to the location of the young man. That young man was then arrested inside of KTUB. During the arrest, the young man attempted to pull away from the officer and was taken to the ground, where he was placed into handcuffs without further incident or injury. During the incident, however, one officer admits to swearing. This is not acceptable behavior in this situation. The Kirkland Police Department acknowledges this and will respond appropriately.  

After the arrest, Kirkland police officers discovered that the young man had an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant in Everett. Officers from the Everett Police Department travelled to meet our officers in order to take the young man into custody.  Kirkland Police also filed charges against the young man for theft in the third degree, a gross misdemeanor.  These are the facts leading up to the arrest as we understand them today.

Later in September, the City Manager and the Mayor were notified of concerns that the staff of the YMCA had regarding the arrest of the young man. The City takes these types of concerns very seriously. After being notified by the YMCA, Police Chief Cherie Harris initiated an investigation into the arrest. The investigation includes a formal use of force review, interviews of witnesses, a review of the police report, 9-1-1 calls, and multiple video recordings from KTUB. One key element of the investigation is the Chief’s need to carefully review the YMCA’s videos. Those videos were provided to the City on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 29 and are now being reviewed as part of the Chief’s investigation. When the Chief completes her investigation, all findings, including the 9-1-1 calls and transcripts and the videos, will be released to the public and made available online on the City’s website. The posted videos will have the faces of minors redacted as required by law.

On October 9, the Mayor, City Manager and City Attorney met with the Executive Director of the YMCA, as well as YMCA staff and board members, to better understand their concerns. Over the following weeks, Kirkland staff also provided the YMCA with background information about the 9-1-1 calls, the status of the Chief’s investigation, and the video the City’s cameras at KTUB recorded.  This same group met again Friday, November 1 and discussed positive joint actions that Kirkland and the YMCA could undertake to help ensure that KTUB is a safe place for Kirkland teens, KTUB staff and the broader community.

The City has been a strong partner with the YMCA for many years and is confident that concerns from this event can be addressed in a collaborative fashion. Some of this work has already begun. On November 6, an SRO, a neighborhood resource officer (NRO), and a Kirkland Police captain met with KTUB staff to continue the work to strengthen our relationship.

The YMCA and the City have also outlined future potential actions that could be taken to develop better systems for responding to these types of situations, as well as strategies for building stronger relationships between teens and law enforcement.  Possible additional actions include a meeting between the City and the YMCA board, the evaluation of potential changes to police practices for responding to situations at KTUB and strategies for being more deliberate about creating positive opportunities for police officers to engage with young people and KTUB staff. The City and the YMCA are also discussing a possible forum at KTUB for teens, parents, KTUB staff, police and City officials, where they can discuss strategies for ensuring positive outcomes when teens interact with police officers.

We understand that it is human nature to experience events differently based on our backgrounds and circumstances. We take very seriously the ways in which this event was experienced by KTUB staff and youth.  Kirkland is committed to continuing an ongoing dialogue to increase understanding of our differing perspectives and make any necessary changes to create deeper, stronger relationships.

Both parties clearly desire to partner to create an atmosphere where police, teens, KTUB staff and community members feel safe, and where both agencies have clear expectations and communication when similar situations arise.  The City is dedicated to making this partnership successful.

To view the 9-1-1 calls and all videos from the arrest, please visit the City website. 

Coming up at City Council

City Council

Next Tuesday, November 19 will be the City Council's final meeting for the month of November. The full agenda for that evening will be on the City website on Friday. Here is a quick preview of some of the highlights:

Joint Study Session with Senior Council 

The Kirkland Senior Council will hold a joint session with the City Council starting at 6:00 p.m. on November 19. The Senior Council is completing its seventeenth year with great success and members are eager to share their 2019 accomplishments and engage the City Council in conversation about the needs of older adults in the community. Additional topics to be discussed include items such as disability access for private and public property and House Bill 1406/Affordable Housing for Seniors. 

Citywide Connections Map 

The City Council will consider the Connections map as part of the annual update to the Comprehensive Plan. Earlier this year the City Council directed staff to create a single, citywide transportation connections map that shows all the potential street and pathway connections, and to create the map in consultation with Kirkland’s residents, businesses, and other stakeholders. When complete, the Citywide Transportation Connections map will illustrate Kirkland’s vision for an transportation network with improved access for firefighters and police officers, traffic flow for those driving or bicycling throughout Kirkland, and connections for those on foot or with mobility assistance devices. More information is available on the City website.  

Joint Letter of Commitments: Climate Change Actions in King County

City Council will receive a presentation on changes to a previously approved version of a King County Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) document titled “Joint Letter of Commitment: Climate Change Actions in King County.”  Staff recommends that the Council review and discuss the document.  

City Honors Veterans - Part Two

Nathen Hower

In honor of Veterans Day on Monday, we decided to shine a spotlight on a few of our City staff who have served or are serving in the United States Military. While it was not possible to capture the story of every City employee with military service, we tried to collect a compelling blend of service experiences to aptly demonstrate the many different pathways that exist for those interested in serving their country. Please enjoy our second and final installment of this two-part series!

Streets and Grounds Manager Nathen Hower

Streets and Grounds Manager Nathen Hower served in the U.S. Navy as an Engineman on the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that is among the largest warships in the world. He served on active duty from 1995 to 1999, and currently serves as a reservist.

Nathen joined the Navy through the delayed entry program, which enabled him to enlist while he was still a student at Lynwood High School. After graduating in 1995 he traveled to Naval Station Great Lakes in Chicago, Illinois for boot camp, followed by additional training in basic engineering. From there he reported directly to Naval Air Station Alameda in California and boarded the USS Carl Vinson, where he maintained operational systems for heat, air conditioning, potable and distilled water and other essential services and shipboard resources. 

After leaving the military on July 4, 1999, Nathen obtained a degree in diesel and heavy equipment at Lake Washington Technical College, reenlisting in the Navy as a reservist in 2012. Hired by the City of Kirkland in September of this year, Nathen brings extensive public sector experience from over 10 years at King County.


Senior Project Engineer Anneke Davis

Kirkland Senior Project Engineer Anneke Davis served as a commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after earning a U.S. Army scholarship that allowed her to pursue her educational goals.  

Originally from Olympia, Anneke was still in high school when she applied for the scholarship, which carried with it an eight-year service commitment. After graduating from high school, she traveled to Melbourne, Florida to attend the Florida Institute of Technology, where she was part of the Florida Tech Army ROTC. This meant that in addition to her regular college courses, she participated in a general military science curriculum that included extensive physical fitness training, leadership labs and various other field training opportunities.

In between her junior and senior year, she attended the ROTC’s Advanced Camp, a rigorous, month-long training regimen meant to assess her ability to lead. She successfully completed the transformation “from college student to Army Officer,” graduating in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

Anneke’s unit was deployed in 2003, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. She was among the first troops to set foot in Iraq. Anneke was in Iraq for a total of six months, returning home and leaving active duty in 2004. She fulfilled the balance of her service commitment as a reservist.

As a civilian, Anneke has worked in civil engineering in both the private and public sector. She came to Kirkland in 2016 as she was drawn to the idea of working in her own community. She enjoys watching projects she’s worked on take form and start to breathe life.

Please join us in thanking Anneke and Nathen for their service to our country!

Traffic Alerts November 14 to November 20

third street

Each week we will provide an ongoing list of Kirkland’s capital projects that will affect traffic. We will list new projects first. 

Goat Hill Stormwater Upgrade

Grade Incorporated expects to repave by Nov. 15 the remaining section along 116th Avenue Northeast its crews dug into to install a new stormwater system. The contractor will re-establish the street section’s travel lanes with permanent marking when weather permits. The contractor’s work will periodically affect traffic, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Visit

Goat Hill

Washington State Awards City $150,000 Grant to Complete Station Area Plan Around I-405/NE 85th Street Bus Rapid Transit Station

The Washington State Department of Commerce has awarded the City $150,000 in grant funding to help meet long range goals to increase the housing supply, bolster walkability and improve access to transit around Sound Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station at NE 85th Street and I-405, which is scheduled to open in 2024.

This award will assist the City in completing a Station Area Plan encompassing neighborhoods extending up to 1/2-mile around the planned BRT Station. The Station Area Plan, which is currently underway and scheduled for completion in 2021, aims to maximize the area’s mixed-use landscape by enhancing its transition to a walkable, transit-oriented pedestrian corridor through increased residential density, heightened pedestrian safety and improved connections to speedy, innovative transit services.

The award is integral to the City’s goals of sustainably increasing its housing supply in areas well-served by transit that are appropriate for increased growth. Additionally, the grant enables the City to undertake a more robust environmental review of project alternatives while helping residents visualize how the neighborhood surrounding the BRT station will look and feel in the future.

The grant award was made possible by the Washington State Legislature through E2SHB 1923, which created the funding source to help cities increase urban residential building capacity through streamlined regulations.

Your Input is Needed to Guide the Future of RapidRide Service in Kirkland

King County Metro is launching an online survey to better understand community needs and priorities for future RapidRide service between Bellevue and Kirkland. Take the survey to Have a Say on where Metro brings more frequent and reliable service. The survey deadline is November 26. More information is available on the King County Metro website

metro bus have a say

Upcoming Events


During the month of November, the collection of extra yard waste will be free for single family residences in Kirkland.

Please help us prevent flooding in your neighborhood by cleaning leaves off storm drains and out of streets. Fallen leaves pile up on storm drains and on our streets, blocking rainwater from draining, which can lead to localized flooding. City crews work hard to keep storm drains clear of leaves, but with over 12,000 drains in Kirkland, we could use your help!