Police chief honors citizens for taking a bite out of crime

September 3, 2015

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 3, 2015

At the Aug. 18 Newcastle City Council meeting, Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine honored two people who helped police take a bite out of crime.

King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bruce Nielsen and observant resident Jeff Garlock each received special certificates for their contributions to the community.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Longtime King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bruce Nielsen (middle) is flanked by Mayor Steve Buri and Police Chief Melinda Irvine after the duo honored him for his service to Newcastle over the years.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Longtime King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bruce Nielsen (middle) is flanked by Mayor Steve Buri and Police Chief Melinda Irvine after the duo honored him for his service to Newcastle over the years.

Nielsen retired from the King County Sheriff’s Office after a 34-year career earlier this year. He dedicated about 30 of those years to the Newcastle area, both before and after it became an incorporated city, Irvine said.

Even after Newcastle became a city in 1994, Nielsen, who was subsequently assigned to unincorporated King County, kept an eye on the city.

“The beauty of the partnership with the sheriff’s office is the officers in Newcastle share the radio with unincorporated deputies, so everyone knows what is going on because a criminal who hits Newcastle is likely to also hit the unincorporated area of the county and vice versa,” Irvine said.

Nielsen and Deputy Scott McDonald, now a Newcastle officer, helped stop a prolific ring of car break-ins in 2009, Irvine said. They located the suspect one early morning, and through their investigation, interview of the man and follow-up, he was later identified as the man that stole from several Newcastle residents.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Newcastle resident Jeff Garlock (middle) is flanked by Mayor Steve Buri and Police Chief Melinda Irvine after he received a certificate for helping police take a bite out of crime at the Aug. 19 City Council meeting.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Newcastle resident Jeff Garlock (middle) is flanked by Mayor Steve Buri and Police Chief Melinda Irvine after he received a certificate for helping police take a bite out of crime at the Aug. 19 City Council meeting.

The thief was ultimately charged with burglary, breaking into vehicles and trafficking stolen property.

“Deputy Nielsen was always willing to assist city officers when he was available,” Irvine said.

Newcastle resident Jeff Garlock, the other honoree, moved to the city just over a year ago, but his observant eye and vigilant reporting has already been a big help to local officers.

Irvine credits his regular reporting of suspicious activity as a key to the city reducing its crime rate. He was directly instrumental in helping to recover two stolen cars, Irvine said.

“Jeff is an example of how important our partnerships with everyone in Newcastle are to us,” Irvine said. “Officers cannot be everywhere at once, so citizens reporting suspicious activity can be very helpful.”

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