I just heard over the scanner Seattle Emergency Operations Center do a city, and multi-agency wide radio check. At least we know that part to the communications plan is working. I’m not sure if this is a common test. I just put in the talkgroup ID’s during the snow.
I typically listen to my scanner on Friday and Saturday nights, to keep up with the buzz going on in the city. Last night, around 1:00 AM, I heard one of the most riveting and heart sinking calls I have ever heard. Apparently the call started well before 1:00 AM when SPD were notified of two girls, 5 and 13 years old, went missing in the Holly Park area. From what I could gather, both girls left the house and walked over to a friend’s house. While there, the 13 year old called her boyfriend to come pick them up. After they were picked up, they headed to the house of the boyfriend’s cousin. After hours of searching, and tracking down leads, including the friend who saw them last, and the boyfriend who was no longer with the two girls, they were eventually found around 4:00 AM.
During that time, the parents were blamelessly panicked, calling friends, driving to homes the girls may have gone to. SPD officers stayed with the parents throughout, trying to piece together as much information as possible. When the search really picked up, requests were made for Guardian 1 (King Cnty Helicopter), two spare units from other precincts, the gang unit, and one other special police unit to join in, canvassing the area of South Park and Georgetown, neighborhoods believed to be where the girls may have gone. At one point, police units resorted to lighting up their overheads, and using their PA’s to call out the names of the girls.
Information was conflicting and led SPD units to leads that were as old as 5 to 30 minutes. Finally, the boyfriend gave up crucial details, leading SPD to the home of his cousin. Within 10 minutes of broadcasting that information, around 4:00 AM, the call came in that the two girls were found, safe and sound.
I wanted to share this story, hopefully before (if at all) the local news picks it up, because not only was this the best possible outcome to such a call, but it was one of the best responses I have ever heard from SPD. Their teamwork was phenomenal, and their tactics were beyond the call of duty. Normally, an officer’s shift at night ends at 3:00 AM. Last night, every unit, every officer that was logged on the call stayed for however long was needed and did whatever it took to find these girls.
A job, really and exceptionally, well done.