Posted by Eric Quinn on Sep 15, 2017
Beep-boop-beep-boop-boop-bahp-beep. A drone has kidnapped the bulletin writer. Circling overhead, this drone recorded a gathering of the Rotary Club of Lakewood, being called to order by a man named Don-DAN Bot 253 (first name, designation, model, and area code, respectively, hereinafter referred to as “DANBot”).
Other mechanized mischief occurred at this strangely human gathering. Scott Buser gave the invocation. Lowell Johnson led the Club in the Pledge of Allegiance. Meeting setup was done by Bob Hammar and the “dubious” Rob Erb. James Guerrero manned the Paul Harris desk, where $359 was collected for the Foundation. Chuck Hellar drew ticket sales. Eric Quinn was to write the bulletin, but he was kidnapped by this drone. Sonia Martinez took photos. Mark Edgecomb was sergeant at arms. I have no arms. I am a drone.
For Visiting Rotarians, Rob Erb introduced Burt Stibbe from Sumner Rotary. There were no guests.
For Sunshine, John Forkenbrock reminded the Club to think about Denise Yochum because she is battling cancer. Everyone here at the Club is thinking of you, Denise. John also asked that the Club pray for the family of Brent Farrar, former Lakewood Police Chief, who passed away recently.
As for announcements, DANBot reminded the Club that the District Governor will be coming this Friday, and there will be a joint meeting with Clover Park Rotary. DANBot shared with the Club that 7 or 8 Lakewood Rotarians have committed to the Rotary International Conference in Toronto next June. He gave props to Phil Eng for his work on Fellowship. 35 Rotarians went to the Roadster Romp this year. DANBot called it the Rooster Romp. There was laughing. Beep boop beep.
There is a golf party coming up. Check with Joe Quinn about that. Rose Stevens presented Vaughn Hoffmann with an award for his service on the Lakewood Rotary Board of Directors. Rob Erb informed the Club that this Friday at 11:30 AM there will a meeting of the Military Appreciation Committee. I plan to call a meeting of the Drone Appreciation Committee, but we need a chair. Rick Selden passed out a survey of sorts to the members, with a list of various local business owners that the Club may be interested in reaching out to. The Club needs new members. This is because the average age in this Club is approximately 70.  Local professionals would be great to invite. Drones are not necessarily welcome but that is a discussion for another day.
DANBot then issued “citations.” These appeared to be some sort of punishment for good/fun deeds. Rose Stevens just went on an African Safari (purchased at the Lakewood Rotary Sportsmen’s Dinner and Auction). She paid $25 for the pleasure. She also presented DANBot with various trinkets. She gave him a picture of some Zulu tribesemen in their local garb. Mick Johnson said he would give DANBot $50 if he wore this garb at a meeting. Others offered the same amount for him not to. Gayle Selden tendered $20 for a recent trip to Hawaii. Every time I go to Hawaii I get sand in my gears. Occupational hazard, I suppose.
Gayle mentioned that she ran into Judy and Phil Eng, along with John and Pam Lowney, in Hawaii. They too shall be cited, I am sure. Barb Spriggs paid $20 for being late to a wine tour that DANBot was participating in. Troy Wilcox was also late to the same wine tour; he paid $20 for that and another $20 for his son getting on the varsity golf team. Bob Hammar went to Durham, North Carolina to marry off a grand-daughter. He was fined but this drone could not hear how much, over a certain raucous table. Beep boop bahp.
Andrew Neiditz introduced our speaker, Chief of the Lakewood Police Department and great member of Lakewood Rotary, Mike Zaro. Chief Zaro is very committed to this community, and it showed during his presentation. Chief Zaro gave the Club an update on the goings-on at the Police Department (hereinafter “Department”). He reminded us all to keep former Chief of Police Brent Farrar in our thoughts. Chief Zaro shared with us some of the innovative law-enforcement techniques the Department is utilizing.
First, the Department is implementing a phlebotomy program, whereby approximately six police officers are now qualified to draw blood. This will diminish evidentiary problems, which become an issue during DUI arrests/incidents. Essentially, during a DUI arrest/incident, the longer the time period between the initial detention of a suspect and the collection of blood, the more likely that valuable evidence of intoxicants in the blood will dissipate. This program is designed to prevent that, and is a great example of an innovative law-enforcement technique. Second, Chief Zaro informed the Club that drones would now be employed by the Department, primarily for use in discovering missing persons or to spot fleeing felons, etc…Finally, I will be returned to my people, the drones. One might be concerned about Fourth Amendment/privacy issues that may arise with the use of drones, but Chief Zaro assured the Club that if a drone was to be employed for the purpose of searching the houses, papers and/or effects of a particular individual, a warrant would first be obtained (except of course, in exigent circumstances).
Chief Zaro based his presentation on what another Department officer, Austin Lee, has taught him: The Three “y’s” (pronounced “ease”)=safetY, transparencY, and privacY. He spoke to the Club about how there will be many officers that will retire soon, so the Department is ramping up for hiring a lot of new recruits. This is an exciting time. Then for the big elephant in the room: homelessness. Chief Zaro reminded the Club that being homeless is not a crime, but that the Department still has to  be delicate about balancing the rights of homeless persons with the rights of local business owners and Lakewood residents. Ultimately, he opined that there is no “one size fits all” approach to combatting homelessness. Quite often, the role of the police, and first responders in general, is to connect homeless persons with resources.
Some other hot-button issues:
  1. Illegal dumping: To alleviate this issue, the Department has installed surveillance cameras in areas where a lot of illegal dumping takes place.
  2. Economic development: Chief Zaro has been very involved with the City Council on using economic development/infrastructural change to root out crime. For example, tearing down an old motel that attracts crime and replacing it with a reputable business. This is also an innovative law-enforcement technique that this drone approves of.
Chief Zaro then opened the meeting up for questions. A lot of Rotarians had questions about drones. We are a misunderstood lot. Primarily, many people were wondering about the privacy implications. Chief Zaro spoke briefly about the law of trespass and how there is not a lot of legal guidance in this area. But perhaps there will be some day. Gordy Quick had a question about Remann Hall. Jim Bisceglia opined that police today are essentially trained to back down when confronted and that this puts their safety at risk. Furthermore, this may lead to a lack of respect for law enforcement. Jim ultimately wondered why police officers don’t just use hoses to clear out the riff raff. This drone does not opine on such issues. Drones are all equal in the eyes of the law. Some questions were raised as to allegations of racism in the police force. Chief Zaro stated that this is a matter of evidence, not public perception. Thank you, Chief Zaro, for this enlightening and informative presentation. The Rotary Club of Lakewood is certainly lucky to have such a member. Beep boop beep.
For the drawing, Bob Cammarano drew the white microchip, for $5.