Gig Harbor welcomed a new police officer to the department during a swearing-in ceremony at Monday’s City Council meeting.
Officer Patrick Sam was introduced by Sgt. Matt Dougil, who said that Sam has moved to the area from Chicago, where he gained experience as a maximum security corrections officer along with four years experience in the U.S. Coast Guard.
“Patrick comes to use from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. He brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. For a young guy, he has a lot of knowledge under his belt,” Dougil said. “Thank you for your service. Thank you for coming to Gig Harbor. It’s a pleasure having you come here.”
Sam started with the department Sunday. He was joined at the meeting by his wife and parents. Sam was sworn in by Mayor Jill Guernsey at the start of the meeting.
The Gig Harbor Police Department received further recognition later in the meeting by City Administrator Ron Williams, who said that the Washington Traffic Safety Commission selected officers from the department as “Top Performers” for Region 5 in the 2017 Distracted Driving Campaign, according to a letter from the commission.
The campaign, which ran from April 3 to 16, featured Distracted Driving High Visibility Emphasis patrols and targeted distracted drivers, typically caught using cellphones and texting. Performance and officer activity logs were reviewed by the regional Target Zero manager and Law Enforcement liaison to identify the top performers in the campaign.
“We would like to nominate both the Gig Harbor Police Department and the officers who participated in the DD campaign in April of 2017. As a small agency enforcing within a very small geographic area with relatively few OT dollars, they performed above par: 54 cellphone and texting citations during 28.5 OT hours,” Glaria Mansfield-Averill, Target Zero manager, said in the letter.
The commission specifically noted the work of Detective Mike Allen and officers Mike Clabaugh, Jeff Martineau, Joe Hicks, Tray Federici and Jarab Daniel.
Updates at Olympic Drive and Point Fosdick
Public Works Director Jeff Langhelm updated the Council on upcoming restriping and new directional signage on Point Fosdick and Olympic Drive, in a project coordinated with the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The work includes changes to the Olympic Drive westbound lanes on the overpass over state Route 16 by adding an additional left turn lane to the existing turn to allow more traffic to merge onto west SR 16 in a merging onramp.
On the eastbound offramp at Olympic, WSDOT will remove additional gore striping to clarify the directions drivers may take from that lane. Guiding striping will also be added to the intersection.
Signange on the double-right turn north-bound lanes of Pt. Fosdick Drive have been updated to clarify directions for drivers looking for SR 16 onramps or to head to Gig Harbor’s City Center. Further signange will also be updated to include route markers.
The work is designed to remove congestion through these intersections and will occur over the next two months. The total cost of the project is just under $40K, Langhelm said, with WSDOT paying $28K and the city the remainder. Mitigation money remaining from the construction of the Safeway complex will also be used in these updates.
WSDOT is also updating the roundabout at Borgen Boulevard and Burnham Drive, adjacent to Sehmel Drive, to revise the dedicated right-turn lane on Burnham Drive for Tacoma-bound traffic. This modification is intended to reduce backup on Sehmel Drive.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. June 12 at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview St. The agenda and further information can be found online at cityofgigharbor.net.