On February 20, 2019, the College Place Police Department (CPPD) participated in a combined emergency response exercise involving stakeholders from the entire community. The DHS/TSA Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service organized the training exercise in partnership with the Richland Police Bomb Squad, the Walla Walla Sheriff’s Office and the College Place Fire Department. The College Place School District and CHS Primeland also collaborated with the exercise.
At around 10:00, the CPPD School Resource Officer was advised of a suspicious vehicle parked near the high school parking lot. Upon inspection, the officer discovered what appeared to be a suspicious device attached to a cylinder truck containing what was believed to be Anhydrous Ammonia (which is commonly used as a fertilizer). Upon discovery, the school district simulated emergency response protocols while area law enforcement and fire personnel conducted a unified response.
The Richland Bomb Squad responded to the scene and rendered the suspicious device safe using a water charge. The explosive device “prop” was a pressure cooker device similar to the type used during the 2013 Boston Marathon attack. Overall, the coordination and response was timely and efficient says Tomaras. This was a great exercise to hold within our community to bolster collaboration and interoperability between agencies says Tomaras.
Occupied Burglary - Suspect in Custody
The College Place Police Department was investigating the burglary of a College Place residence targeted twice during the same week. The first burglary occurred on January 8th when the suspects entered an unlocked door to the garage around 4:30 AM. The second incident occurred on January 12th at around 4:45 AM. The homeowners were home during both incidents. The residence is located near 12th and Bade.
Following the initial press release, numerous tips led to the identification of two suspects shown captured on the residential video security system. Through further investigation, Detective Fortin from the College Place Police Department established probable cause to make an arrest. Suspect(s) photos and vehicle information was shared with area law enforcement in an attempt to locate.
Last evening (2/7/19) around 8:42 PM, an officer from the Walla Walla Police Department recognized the suspects driving near the 1600 block of Isaacs Avenue in Walla Walla and conducted a traffic stop, subsequently taking both suspects into custody without incident.
Tips from the community along with the assistance from multiple agencies helped with the investigation and apprehension of these two individuals says Chief Tomaras. Mikael Butler, age 20 and Makayla Cantu, age 20 are being held at the Walla Walla County corrections facility for charges of residential burglary.
You may see College Place Police Officers growing beards during the month of November. Officers have committed to help raise cancer awareness while raising money to support the battle against cancer. Beginning November 1st, participating officers will grow beards in support of a National campaign referred to as “No-Shave November”.
Officers who are generally held to strict grooming standards will be authorized to grow facial hair during the month of November in support of the fund raising campaign. Chief Tomaras comments, “If we are going to participate, we need to help raise money.” Officers participating have agreed to a $50 individual buy-in to get it started. We have a goal to raise $500 says Tomaras.
Tomaras sends out a challenge to the Walla Walla Police Department and the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office to participate. Let us see who can raise more money says Tomaras.
If you would like to donate, you may visit the College Place Police Department “No-Shave November” team link and donate online: https://no-shave.org/team/Police
The College Place Police Department Unveils a New Look
The College Place High School graphics arts class designed our patch. The new car graphics were designed by members of the police department. The officers formed a design team, came up with some options and voted on the new design.
The new look will be affixed to recently acquired used patrol cars from the Washington State Patrol. In an effort to save taxpayers money, the used patrol cars were purchased at one-fourth the cost of a new vehicle. The old car graphics will be replaced slowly through attrition.
Armed Robbery Suspects Apprehended
On July 3, 2018 at around 7:30 PM, two College Place Officers were on patrol at SE 8th and South College Avenue when the store clerk of the College Place Food Mart flagged them down reporting he had just been robbed at gunpoint. The clerk described the suspect as a Hispanic male wearing a blue bandana over his face while displaying a handgun. The clerk reported the suspect fleeing the scene with two other Hispanic males in what appeared to be a 90’s gold Chevy Sedan.
Minutes later officers from Walla Walla Police Department and the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s office stopped a vehicle matching the description occupied by three Hispanic males (in College Place on C Street at Deccio). All three suspects were taken into custody. Store security footage and neighborhood witnesses positively identified the vehicle and suspects.
A 25-year-old male suspect and a 23-year-old male suspect were booked into the Walla Walla County Corrections for suspicion of armed robbery. There is an ongoing investigation toward the involvement of the third party. A search warrant will be conducted on the vehicle. Additional information will be forthcoming.
On July 5, a search warrant on the suspect vehicle revealed a black air soft pistol and $442 in cash believed connected to the robbery.
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