The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Town of Steilacoom and Pacific Lutheran University are joining forces with Santa and his deputies to brighten the holidays for several apartment communities in Parkland and Spanaway Dec. 8-9.
Deputies from the Neighborhood Patrol Unit will accompany Santa and Mrs. Claus and their elves and Frosty the Snowman in a tour of apartment complexes between 5 and 9 p.m. both days. Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be arriving at each location by sleigh, and their helpers will be handing out candy canes to the children. Adults will receive informational material about county resources available to them.
The unit, headed by Lt. Roger Gooch and Sgt. Paul Schneider, includes seven deputies who formerly worked in the City of Lakewood. Each deputy is assigned to and accountable for a particular residential community and provides information on such topics as adding street lights or stop signs, addressing crime in the area, slowing down speeding cars and reporting meth labs.
“They educate the public in crime prevention and help create neighborhoods out of communities by encouraging attendance at Neighborhood Action Team (block watch) meetings, helping with graffiti removal, addressing gang and truancy issues and becoming the contact person whenever a neighborhood has a problem,” said project coordinator Judi Holley of the Sheriff’s department. Residents and the deputies develop a personal relationship, just like the former “cops that walked a beat,” she added.
The holiday party is a first time event. “The community response has been so positive that we are thinking it will become an annual event,” Holley said.
The schedule of events includes the following:
Thursday, Dec. 8 – Lakeshore Apts, 5 p.m.; Woodmark, 5:20; Drake, 5:40; Sandman, 6:05; Sedona Village, 6:30; Sienna Park, 6:55; Ainsworth Court, 7:15; Willow Park, 7:35 p.m.; Miramonte, 7:55; PLU, 8:25.
Friday, Dec. 9 – Westminster Tower, 5 p.m.; Tahoma View, 5:20; Monterra, 5:35; Autumnwood, 6; Nantucket Gate, 6:20; Kensington Gate, 6:20; Stillwood, 7:10; Coventry Court, 7:45.