Thurston County Commissioners hear report on Party Patrol

Thurston County’s Party Intervention Patrol, which recently nabbed about 75 underage drinkers during two separate busts in Lacey and Olympia’s west side, could be coming to a neighborhood near you.

The multi-agency effort — which includes the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Patrol, local police agencies, Crime Stoppers, Educational Service District 113 and Target Zero — will resume busting parties in the spring, just in time for high school prom and graduation season, according to Jerry Noviello, Target Zero manager for Thurston County.

He gave a presentation about the project and other Target Zero efforts Tuesday during the Thurston County Board of Commissioners meeting.

The goal of Party Intervention Patrol is to keep young impaired drivers off the road, Noviello said.

After a bust, underage drinkers are shuttled via Thurston County Jail transport vans to the county Public Heath and Social Services office, where they meet one-on-one with a licensed chemical dependency professional. Even if they’re 18 or older, they’re are encouraged to call their parents to come pick them up, Noviello said.

“Our project is very different than traditional enforcement,” he told the commissioners. He said the program is designed “to try to give them some tools and have them recognize that there’s a problem going on.”

Another goal of Party Intervention Patrol is to deter people from hosting or supplying alcohol to minors.

“Whoever is furnishing the alcohol for the party is arrested and booked into jail for the night,” Noviello said.

Target Zero also does compliance checks that are designed to deter retailers from selling alcohol and marijuana to those younger than 21, Noviello said.

The program, which receives funding from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, also works with South Sound schools to help curb distracted driving, he said.

One of its newest efforts is a speed reduction program that includes mobile signs that show a driver their rate versus the posted limit.

Noviello said the mobile signs collect data on traffic patterns, but they also change drivers’ habits because they’re a visual reminder to slow down.

Speeding is the second-leading cause of vehicular fatalities in Thurston County, he said. Last year, it was the top cause, Noviello added.

In other news, the commissioners:

Discussed the dedication

“It’s the last link in this north to south county lovely award-winning trail,” said commission chairwoman Karen Valenzuela.

The event will feature a ribbon cutting, a celebratory walk across the bridge and cake. It is open to the public.

Accepted Gov. Jay Inslee’s

The county and all seven cities and towns participated in the Sustainable Thurston process, Valenzuela said.

Approved $29,000 in historic preservation

The county sets aside $1 of each $5 document recording fee to support the historic preservation grant program.

Commissioner Cathy Wolfe noted that each of the grants was $5,000 or less.