This week, Des Moines Police Chief Ken Thomas released the following report for September, 2022:

Police Department Report to the Des Moines Community

Chief’s Message:
The following message is an update on our department activities for the month of September.

As your Chief I gave out two awards for outstanding service in support of the Des Moines Police Department at the September City Council meeting.

The first was to Des Moines resident Nadya Curtis for her continued dedication to officer health and safety.

Nadya volunteers on several police boards, hosts a large national night out, supports Police events, hosts dinner for officers once a year, and on a monthly basis delivers snacks, fruit and sweets for staff to refuel! Thank you Nadya for all your support!

The next Chief’s award was to retired Washington State Patrol Officer Kirk Merrill for helping an Officer in need.

On July 7th, DMPD Officer Coppedge was patrolling the Redondo area of Des Moines. While driving near Redondo Way South and Sound View Drive, Officer Coppedge observed a subject damage another person’s parked vehicle by throwing a large rock at it, later determined to be related to domestic violence. He contacted the subject, who was intoxicated, and attempted to make an arrest.

The individual failed to follow commands, repeatedly refused to remove his hands from his pockets and then resisted arrest. Both Officer Coppedge and the suspect ended up on the ground, with the officer unable to handcuff him during a struggle. The suspect continued to disregard commands and was actively pulling away and resisting.

Officer Coppedge then heard a voice from above him, offer assistance. Mr. Merrill had seen the altercation, stopped and identified himself as a retired WSP Trooper and helped contain the suspect so that he could be handcuffed.

The suspect was later transported to jail and he was booked for Malicious Mischief, Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer, and Resisting Arrest.

Without Mr. Merrill’s assistance during this arrest, especially during the critical period prior to the suspect being secured, it is anyone’s guess as to what might have occurred. Fortunately, neither the officer nor the suspect suffered injuries during this arrest.

We continue to be busy out on the streets and have gone thru some organizational changes.

One of the changes is the promotion of Detective Johnny Tyler to Sergeant. Sergeant Tyler has been with DMPD since July of 2017 and is a member of the SWAT team. He served as a Washington State Trooper before coming to DMPD.

Congratulations Sergeant Tyler!

We are honored to serve the residents of Des Moines and will continue to do our very best to keep you safe.


Special Investigations Unit:
DMPD assisted Homeland Security and the DEA on October 5th with a search warrant of a drug dealer’s residence. The warrant yielded fentanyl, methamphetamines, three firearms and two arrests were made.

Getting People Services Team
We continue to provide outreach and develop further resources in our area. Both of our GPS Team Members attended 40 hours of CIT training at the academy.

We also had a success story involving a frequent 911 caller. After multiple calls and attempts, we were able to get this gentleman into treatment at the VA Hospital. We then reached out to his family back east and they agreed to take him into their home since he was being evicted from his apartment.

We held a Block Watch Captain’s meeting at the station and had a great turn out with positive comments from the group.

Code Enforcement
We spent a considerable amount of time this month working with two problem hotels, Red Lion and the Legend.

We held meetings with owners of both hotels along with the city attorney in order to get both hotels into compliance.

A major issue was the requirement for both hotels to have armed security for 12 hours per night.

We are reviewing a contract to ensure both hotels are in compliance with this ordinance.

Code Enforcement continues to actively address code issues along Pacific Hwy S, as a part of our ongoing Pacific Hwy Safety Emphasis. After several failed attempts to get two overnight lodging facilities comply with our Overnight Lodgings ordinance, a total of $46,170 of infractions were issued to the owners. If compliance is still not obtained, criminal charges will be filed.

Patrol Team

Welfare Check
Des Moines Beach Park. A mother and her Autistic daughter were hanging out on the shore in front of the beach park and were not recognizing the tide was coming in around them. They became stranded on the Sandbar as the daughter would not cross or enter the water.

Officer Duncan dropped her gun belt and vest and treaded through the thigh deep water to the couple on the sandbar. Duncan established a rapport with the daughter and she agreed to hold her hand and walk across the water to the shoreline to safety.

Incident Calls
Calls for Service (year to date) 14,553

September 2022:

    • Shootings 4
    • Collisions 62
    • Alarms 59
    • Auto Theft/Recoveries 57
    • Domestic Violence 42
    • Sex Offences 7
    • Thefts 48
    • Mental Health type calls for service 290

Enforcement HOT SPOTS
Hot spot enforcement has continued in Redondo, the Marina District and at the entrance to Des Moines at KDM/Pacific Highway (Midway).

Midway (Sept 1-Oct 1)

Total Patrol Hours 473

    • # Arrests/Citations 22
    • # of Warnings Issued 118
    • #Traffic Stops 87
    • # Suspicious Vehicles/persons 389
    • # offered social services 118

Redondo/Marina (Sept 1-Oct 1)

Total Patrol Hours 134

    • # Traffic Stops 5
    • # Parking Citations 9
    • # Non-Traffic Warnings 164

Redondo Emphasis
During the month of September/late August we had FOUR special emphasis patrols conducted in Redondo. Both uniformed and plain clothes officers participated. This resulted in:

    • 31 loud muffler tickets,
    • 9 for loud music from a vehicle,
    • 3 smoking of Marijuana in public,
    • 10 tickets for speeding and numerous other traffic violations

Including but not limited to multiple tickets for no insurance and driving without a license as well as others for passing in no passing zone and not having a child in a car seat.

We also gave numerous warnings to vehicles parking illegally in the lot. Warnings were given so we could continue to focus on the loud/modified exhaust.

Verdant Auto Sales donated a car full of skateboards to the Police Department to hand out to children in crisis and a Des Moines resident donated helmets!

Animal Control
Des Moines C.A.R.E.S. responded to 9 emergency calls in September and took in 21 animals from Des Moines.
Congratulations to Officer Miller who graduated and received certification from the State Animal Control Association! Officer Miller adds this Certificate to his National Accreditation. Great Work Officer Miller!

To Contact Animal Control Officer Miller:

Our dedicated traffic officer reported these statistics for the month of September, in addition to boat launch and parking violations:

    • Infractions 56
    • Accident Reports 4

New DMPD Officer!
One new lateral Officer began work on October 1st. Officer Bonjukian has served on the Algona Police Force for 3 years and worked for ValleyCom 911 before that. He enjoys flying Cessna’s and riding motorcycles in his spare time. Welcome Officer Bonjukian!

Utility Box Art Project
Collaboration between Code Enforcement, other City staff and the Des Moines Arts Commission resulted in the installation of public art in September on five traffic signal cabinets throughout the City that were chronic graffiti targets.

Utility Box Public Art Programs are shown to reduce instances of vandalism and graffiti because it shows ownership of the space, gives the sense the space is cared for and draws more eyes to the space admiring the art, making it less likely for them to be vandalized undetected.

The process is already underway for the next five locations! More information can be found at


We are excited to announce that the South King County Valley Police Agencies (Renton, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Tukwila, and the Port of Seattle) have partnered to host their first Diversity in Law Enforcement Career Workshop on Saturday, November 5, 2022 in Renton, WA.

This FREE workshop aims to address the real and perceived barriers of those seeking a career in law enforcement and provide strategies to successfully navigate the hiring process.

Workshop participants will begin the day with various guest speakers and then will rotate through four breakout sessions.

We are committed to recruiting participants who reflect the diversity of South King County, such as people who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, women, bilingual individuals, and those with no prior law enforcement experience.

Register at: RSVP is required!