The following police services are offered by the Mercer Island Police Department:
Police Patrol Section
The patrol section responds to approximately 16,000 calls for service each year. It is staffed by four patrol sergeants and fifteen police officers. The response time for emergency calls for police is outstanding, with the average response being less than six minutes.
The Island’s crime index, a measure of the crime rate per thousand citizens, is one of the lowest in the state. Mercer Island is a community that does not experience a high rate of serious crimes such as robberies, rapes, and assaults. During the year 2012, Mercer Island police officers issued 3,270 citations, made 277 arrests, and investigated 139 traffic accidents.
All new officers start their career in the Patrol section. Patrol officers are able to receive specialized training in areas such as Field Training for new officers and traffic accident investigation. Later, they may move to assignments in the Investigations Unit, School Resource Officer, Narcotics Investigation and Emergency Management. The Department additionally has many specialized units in which officers may participate while working as patrol officers, such as Marine Patrol, Dive Team, Special Operations Team, and Bicycle Patrol.
Typically, each officer is trained for several other assignments in addition to their patrol work. This is how the Department is able to provide such a high level of service to the community with a limited number of officers.
The Mercer Island Police implemented a bicycle patrol in 1993 and it currently consists of one supervisor and eight officers.
There is one police bicycle instructor, certified by the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association (LEBA), who conducts the initial 35 plus hours training course and training updates. Officers must pass a written test and cycling tests which include numerous agility maneuvers, tactical dismounts, ascending and descending stairways, firearms, and police tactical procedures.
Officers are supplied a mountain bicycle and the appropriate equipment, to include a light system for night operation. The officers are also equipped with inclement weather gear, and some of the training sessions address the challenges of riding in bad weather. The bike patrol assignments are part-time and officers carry their bikes with them on specially mounted bike racks on the patrol cars. One or more times during the shift an officer will patrol using the bicycle. The primary areas of coverage are the Central Business District, city parks, bicycle/pedestrian paths and school grounds. While on bike patrol, officers assist citizens and businesses, respond to calls, work traffic control, and are frequently used in addressing specific concerns such as drug/alcohol violations, arson watch, vehicle prowl, and more. Being able to move swiftly and silently has proven to be a great law enforcement asset. In addition to the enforcement of laws, officers also conduct safety rodeos for kids, address bicycle/pedestrian safety issues and work special events. The bicycle patrol is a year round function.
Click here to go to "Safer Journey" an interactive program that takes the user through various pedestrian safety scenarios encountered every day across America. It has been developed to improve the level of pedestrian knowledge for all road users (including schools, driver education groups, enforcement, etc.) and safety practitioners.
Special Operations Team
The Department maintains a tactical team that is trained and equipped to respond to situations beyond the scope of normal patrol duties, such as a barricaded gunman, dignitary protection, and high-risk warrant service. They may also be called to assist other agencies in dealing with large disturbances such as the Seattle World Trade Organization protests.
The team is comprised of eight officers who volunteer for the extra duty, which is in addition to their normal assignments. Upon selection, they must successfully complete SWAT school, pass a physical-conditioning test semi-annually, and attend monthly training drills to remain on the team.
School Resource Officer
The Department created a School Resource Officer (SRO) position in early 1996. The SRO is a uniformed police officer who works in the schools on Mercer Island and is primarily responsible for representing the MIPD at Mercer Island High School, Crest Learning Center, and Islander Middle School.
The officer’s purpose is to interact with the community by improving working relationships with staff and by providing students with a positive role model and personal involvement with law enforcement. SRO’s have found themselves instructing classes on such topics as search and seizure laws, laws regarding Driving Under the Influence and Minor in Possession of Alcohol, and other Law Enforcement related topics. Students take advantage of the SRO’s presence in the schools by asking questions and just getting to know a real police officer. The SRO commonly eats lunch with students or staff.
The SRO takes initial reports on some crimes that occur on school grounds during the school day, and acts as a liaison between the School District Security Officer and the MIPD. The SRO is assigned to the Department’s Investigations Section, and in addition to his or her duties at the schools, often conducts follow-up investigations on cases where juveniles are victims or suspects.
You may reach our SRO, Detective Art Munoz, at 206-275-7929 or Art.Munoz@mercergov.org.
Sex Offender Information
The Community Protection Act of 1990 (which mandates sex offender registration) allows law enforcement agencies to track where sex offenders live. There are currently two websites which provide information on where level 2 and level 3 sex offenders live, as well as provide general and informative content regarding sex offenders in general. These websites allow citizens to input an area code or other general information and receive information regarding specific information of level 2 and level 3 registered sex offenders.
The King County Sheriff's Office releases information on registered sex offenders in King County in accordance with the Community Protection Act of 1990 and related statutes. This information is not intended to create alarm or panic. The intent is to inform citizens and to enhance community safety and awareness.
These individuals have served the sentence imposed by the courts and in compliance with the Community Protection Act, have advised the King County Sheriff's Office that they will be living in King County. Please note, these individuals are not wanted by the police at this time. In addition, because there are no court ordered restrictions regarding their residency, neither the King County Sheriff's Office nor the Mercer Island Police Department have the legal authority to direct where a sex offender may or may not live.
Citizen abuse of this information to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders will not be tolerated. In fact, such abuse could end law enforcement's ability to notify the public.
For more information about sex offenders in our community, please click on the link below:
King County Sheriff's Sex Offender Search Website: http://www.icrimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=54473&disc=
Mercer Island Police Officers are available for employment in an off-duty capacity. Officers are most commonly hired to work security assignments for school events, traffic control and private events.
If you are interested in hiring an off-duty police officer, or would like additional information, call or email Sergeant Mike Seifert firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 275-7910.