Vancouver Police Chief statement on Officer Donald Sahota

Memorial Service scheduled for Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota02/05/22

Vancouver, Wash. –The memorial service for Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota will be held:

Date:             Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Time:              1:00 p.m.

Location:         ilani Casino Resort (1 Cowlitz Way, Ridgefield, WA)

This service is open to the public. 

All attendees will be required to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines detailed below. Verification tables to confirm vaccination status or negative COVID testing proof will be set up outside the event space.  Once verification has been confirmed, attendees will receive a wristband which will allow entrance to the event space. Each attendee will need to have their own wristband issued and no one will be admitted without a wristband. There will NOT be COVID testing conducted at the event site.  

COVID-19 GUIDELINES:

Proof of being fully vaccinated (does not need to include booster) against COVID-19:

  • original vaccination card 
  • printed copy of original vaccination card or digital copy of original vaccination card (picture on phone or other device). 
  • Washington State Digital COVID-19 Verification Record QR code
  • Final dose of vaccine must be administered two weeks prior to the show. Card must include the name of the person vaccinated, the type of vaccination provided, and the date of the final dose was administered.

         OR

Provide proof of negative COVID-19 diagnostic (Rapid Antigen or PCR) test result taken within 72 hours of the event. 

AND

To slow the spread of COVID-19, face masks are required. KN95’s will be available on-site.

Entry requirements and venue protocols are subject to change. Children 11 years and younger do not need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

MEMORIAL PROCESSION ROUTE INFORMATION

The following is the official route for the emergency vehicle procession for fallen Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota.  The anticipated start time for the procession will be at 10:30 am on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

The vehicle procession will consist of as many as 400 emergency vehicles from law enforcement and EMS agencies from around the state and neighboring states. 

The procession will start on NE 78th Street, in front of Crossroads Community Church and end at the ilani Casino Resort. Again, anticipated start time will be 10:30 am.

  • proceeds from Crossroads Community Church, west on NE 78 Street, turning north (right) on NE Andresen Road; 
  • proceeds north on NE Andresen Road, turning east (right) on NE Padden Parkway;
  • proceeds east on NE Padden Parkway, turning north (left) on NB Interstate 205 on-ramp; 
  • Proceeds north on Interstate 205, merging north on Interstate 5 to La Center/Cowlitz Way exit (Exit 16);
  • Officer Sahota’s motorcade will join the procession at 179th Street;
  • Honorary Fly Over just north of 179th Street as Officer Sahota’s motorcade joins the procession;
  • proceeds west (via roundabout) on La Center Road/Cowlitz Way;

Procession will end at ilani Casino Resort.

PROCESSION SAFETY INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC

Any members of the public wishing to view the procession are encouraged to do so at any point along the procession route, with the following exceptions:

  • Congregating along Interstate 5 is prohibited by law and is generally discouraged due to hazards and narrow shoulders;
  • If motorists encounter the procession on Interstate 205 or Interstate 5 they are requested to pull over to the right side of the roadway and stop until the procession passes.  Please do not attempt to cut into or interfere with the procession;
  • There are numerous overpasses that will be along the procession route.  If citizens wish to view the procession, please do not park vehicles or stand in the roadway;
  • During the procession, motorists should expect short delays along northbound on-ramps along Interstate 205 and Interstate 5 as the procession moves towards the LaCenter/Cowlitz Way exit (Exit 16).

The Vancouver Police Department appreciates your continued support and cooperation as we honor the life and service of Officer Donald Sahota.  

A bank account has been set up for monetary donations for the Sahota family. Anyone wishing to make a donation can visit a Chase bank branch donate to the Officer Sahota Memorial Fund. 

Cards or letters can be mailed to:
Vancouver Police HQ
605 E Evergreen Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98661

Cards or letters to the Sahota family sent to the Vancouver Police Department will be forwarded to them. 

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Media Walk-through for Officer Sahota memorial02/04/22

Vancouver, Wash. – An in-person briefing/walk-through for media covering/attending the Officer Don Sahota Memorial Service will occur on:

Date:             Monday, February 7, 2022

Time:               2:00 pm 

Location:         ilani Resort Casino (1 Cowlitz Way, Ridgefield, WA)

Media members attending this briefing will meet the PIO team at the entrance to the event center at the ilani Resort. The briefing will cover event expectations and protocols.  Verification stations will also be available the day of the event. There will NOT be any COVID testing onsite. 

Media attending the Officer Don Sahota Memorial will be required to follow COVID-19 Guidelines:

Ilani Resort COVID-19 Guidelines

 Proof of being fully vaccinated (does not need to include booster) against COVID-19: 

  • Original vaccination card  
  • Printed copy of original vaccination card or digital copy of original vaccination card (picture on phone or other device).  
  • Washington State Digital COVID-19 Verification Record QR code 
  • Final dose of vaccine must be administered two weeks prior to the show. Card must include the name of the person vaccinated, the type of vaccination provided, and the date of the final dose was administered.  

OR  

 Provide proof of negative COVID-19 diagnostic (Rapid Antigen or PCR) test result taken within 72 hours of the event. If agency has internal testing ability or home test kits, those can be utilized. 

AND 

 To slow the spread of COVID-19, face masks are required. KN95’s will be available on-site. 

Entry requirements and venue protocols are subject to change. Children 11 years and younger do not need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. 

  

Information related to the specifics on the procession and route will be sent in a separate communication. 

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Vancouver Police Seek Video of Missing Teen02/03/22

On January 24th between 1am-2am, 15-year-old Antonio Martinez-Underwood left his residence around 49th Street and 112th Avenue in an unknown direction. He was not observed leaving but was believed to be wearing a black jacket with a hood, a gold chain, sweatpants and sneakers. He is 5’5”, 165lbs with brown eyes and black hair.

Police are seeking the assistance of the community for leads. If you were in the area of 49th Street/112th Avenue between 1am-2am and saw a subject matching Antonio’s description, please contact the Vancouver Police. For citizens in the area who have doorbell or video surveillance, please check your footage to see if a subject matching Antonio’s description is observed from 2am on January 24th and on.

Based on information as part of this case, investigators believe Antonio likely planned on being gone only a short period of time. Detectives have not ruled out any scenarios for his disappearance to include an abduction, vehicle versus pedestrian accident, or another crime. Investigators are also seeking assistance from the community by searching your business and residential surroundings in the event Antonio is injured and needs medical assistance.

If you have any information or believe you have video footage of Antonio please contact Detective David Jensen at [email protected]us or 360-487-7446 or call 911.

Vancouver Police Chief statement on Officer Donald Sahota02/03/22

Vancouver, Wash. –On January 29, 2022, Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota was killed while off duty at his home but was acting within his authority as a police officer at the time of his death. Since his death, the Vancouver Police Department has been working with Officer Sahota’s family, with assistance from the Behind the Badge Foundation, to plan for a memorial service to honor and respect Officer Sahota and his life. 

This is the first line of duty death for the Vancouver Police Department since the department was established in 1883. 

“Over the past few days, I have been in many conversations with Sheriff Atkins and I know that he and his people are also hurting”, said Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain. “The circumstances around the death of Officer Sahota have, of course, been extremely painful and emotional for our department, as well as the greater law enforcement community in our area, including for those at the Gresham Police Department and the Port of Portland Police Department where Officer Sahota worked prior to joining the Vancouver Police Department”. 

As part of the planning process for Officer Sahota’s memorial service, a team has been assigned as liaisons to Officer Sahota’s family and I want to share statements from both Don’s wife and kids and Don’s mother. 

The following is a statement from Officer Sahota’s wife and kids, “While police officers are heroes, they are also human.  Being a law enforcement family, we understand that this is one of the hardest jobs in the world, often involving split-second decisions that mean life or death.  We would like everyone to know that we hold no ill feelings toward the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, or the deputy involved in this tragedy, and hope others can show them grace as well.  The fact remains that one person is ultimately responsible for the death of Officer Donald Sahota — the suspect in custody.  If this individual hadn’t made poor decision after poor decision, and ended up inside our home, we wouldn’t be where we are now.” 

This is the statement Don’s mother would like to share: “Don was really just a great man. Honest, kind, loved to help people. He was a great son, wonderful father and husband. He loved his job and loved serving his community.”

The memorial service for Officer Sahota will be held Tuesday, February 8, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., at Ilani (1 Cowlitz Way, Ridgefield WA). Specifics will be sent out in a separate communication, which will include COVID guidelines and procedures that will need to be adhered to.

A bank account has been set up for monetary donations for the Sahota family. Anyone wishing make a donation can visit a Chase bank branch donate to the Officer Sahota Memorial Fund. 

Cards or letters can be mailed to:

Vancouver Police HQ

605 E Evergreen Blvd.

Vancouver, WA 98661

Cards or letters to the Sahota family sent to the Vancouver Police Department will be forwarded to them. 

Officer Sahota’s memorial vehicle will be parked at the VPD Headquarters through Monday and will be moved to the Memorial Service site on Tuesday. 

Additional information on the memorial service will be sent as soon as it is available

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Vancouver Police news conference02/03/22

Vancouver, Wash. –Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain will be holding a news conference to express the appreciation the department has received following the death of Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota. Preliminary details regarding the memorial service will also be discussed. 

Date:             Thursday, February 3, 2022

Time:              2:00 p.m.

Location:         Vancouver Police Department Headquarters (605 E Evergreen Blvd)

Information regarding the investigation regarding Officer Sahota’s death will not be discussed. 

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Recent photo of Michele

Recent photo of Michele

Missing Person from Vancouver, WA (Photo)02/01/22

The Vancouver Police Departing is asking for assistance with locating a missing person. 

Michele D Sanchez, 44 years old, White/Hispanic female, 4’11”, 120lbs, Brown eyes, and black hair. (Photo attached) Michele was last seen and heard from on 1/24/2022. Michele suffers from several medical conditions and didn’t take he prescribed medications with her when she left her home. 

Anyone with information is asked to call 911. 

******Michele has been located and is safe. Her family has been notified and they are thankful for the help with locating Michele.*********

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Vancouver Police Looking for Missing Teen (Photo)01/31/22

The Vancouver Police Department is looking for a teenage male last seen on 1-24-2022. 15-year-ol Antonio Martinez-Underwood left his residence in Vancouver sometime between 12 and 1 AM. Antonio is 5’5″ tall and has brown hair and brown eyes. He has a prominent scar on his bridge of his nose. He is believed to be wearing a black jacket and a gold chain. Anyone with information about where Antonio is should call 911.

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Off duty Vancouver Police Officer killed (Photo)01/30/22

Vancouver, Wash. –On January 29, 2022, Vancouver Police were notified that Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota was killed while off duty at his home. The investigation of Officer Sahota’s death is being conducted by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team. 

“My heart goes out to Officer Sahota’s family and friends and those of us in his VPD family as well. His death is a tragic loss, and he will be deeply missed by many”, said Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain.

Officer Sahota was 52 years old. He was hired by the Vancouver Police Department in April 2014 and prior to that, he worked as a police officer for the Gresham Police Department and Port of Portland Police Department. During his career with the Vancouver Police Department, Officer Sahota worked in patrol, served as an EVOC instructor, an armorer, and was most recently assigned to the Training Unit. Officer Sahota leaves behind a wife and two children.

The department appreciates the support we are receiving however, we will not be commenting further at this time. 

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Homicide suspect awaiting extradition to Clark County01/28/22

Vancouver, Wash. –On August 13, 2021, the body of Stephanie Celeste Jones was located at Rooster Rock State Park in Oregon, the cause of her death was ruled a homicide. Detectives from the Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office were initially the primary investigators in the homicide. On August 30, 2021, Detectives from the Vancouver Police Department Safe Streets Task Force and Major Crimes Unit were contacted to assist in the investigation as it was determined that the murder of Ms. Jones occurred in Vancouver. 

During the investigation, search warrants were executed on two residences in Vancouver, one which Ms. Jones shared with her boyfriend, Avreaunte E. Bennett. 

On January 27, 2022, Detectives from the Vancouver Police Department Major Crimes Unit assisted Detectives from the Oregon State Police and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office with the execution of a search warrant at a residence in Fairview, Oregon. Mr. Bennett was at that residence when police arrived and was taken into custody without incident on unrelated charges. 

Avreaunte E. Bennett, 24 years of age, was booked into the Clackamas County Jail and is awaiting extradition to Clark County for charges related to the murder of Stephanie Jones. Vancouver Police have probable cause for Mr. Bennett for Murder II, Domestic Violence and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm I. 

Nothing further is releasable at this time.  

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Vancouver Police warn of dangerous Tik Tok Challenge (Photo)01/27/22

The Vancouver Police Department is investigating at least seven very concerning incidents linked to a popular challenge being perpetuated on the media sharing app “TikTok”.  

Called the “Door Kick Challenge”, app users are encouraged to upload video snippets of themselves kicking in doors of unsuspecting persons.  In less than one hour on January 26th, VPD officers responded to at least seven of these reports, all between 6:00-6:47 PM and mostly in the Hearthwood Neighborhood in East Vancouver.  

In most cases, teenaged males kicked in the door of unsuspecting homeowners, then fled the scene.  An older dark colored 4 door sedan with chrome spoke wheels was captured on a neighbors surveillance video at one of the locations. 

The Vancouver Police Department is alerting the community to this recent challenge and encourages parents to warn their children of the obvious dangers associated with this type of crime.

VPD’s Special Investigations Unit is seeking information from anyone who may have knowledge of those responsible or other persons with information. Those who have information may contact Detective Eddie Alba at 360-487-7395. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may do so.  

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Vancouver Police investigate hit and run collisions caused by impaired driver (Update: ID of Suspect) (Photo)01/26/22

*** Update ***

On January 26, 2022, the suspect in this incident, Rodney Jarvela, 51 years of age, was booked into the Clark County Jail for Assault  II, DUI, Reckless Driving and Hit & Run.

***

Vancouver, Wash. –On January 24, 2022, at approximately 10:20 a.m. several callers to 9-1-1 reported a dark green truck driving erratically in the Cascade Park area of Vancouver. Callers reported the vehicle going through the Chkalov area Fred Meyer parking lot and through the surrounding neighborhoods at excessive speeds. At times the driver was driving in the wrong lane and drove toward pedestrians who narrowly escaped being hit. The truck continued driving at excessive speeds, hit a parked vehicle and city light pole before crossing the lane of travel and striking a retaining wall in the 14100 block of SE McGillivray Blvd. The driver continued through the retaining wall into the next house, colliding with a parked vehicle, moving it out of the driveway. The truck hit the garage door, causing the residence significant damage. The truck finally came to rest as it struck a residence on SE McGillivray, taking out the corner section of the garage. 

The driver managed to crawl out of the passenger side window and briefly hide under the truck before being taken into custody by police. He was transported to an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Impairment and speed were factors. There were no reported injuries to members of the public related to this incident. 

The driver will be booked into the Clark County Jail, upon release from the hospital, for DUI and multiple charges of Hit and Run. The suspect’s identity will not be released until after he is booked into jail. 

The Vancouver Police Department Traffic Unit is continuing the investigation. Anyone who was the victim of hit and run or property damage related to this incident, and who has not spoken to police yet, should call 3-1-1 to make a report. 

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Missing Endangered Person01/21/22

Law enforcement and family are looking for 37-year-old Zachary Childers who has not been seen since 2:00 pm on Friday, January 21st, 2022.

Childers was last seen by a family member at the Vancouver Clinic 700 NE 87th Ave, Vancouver WA. He is autistic and forgets his name, where he lives, and becomes agitated when tired and hungry. He also has mental health issues and takes medication for medical issues.

He was last seen wearing a tan jacket, jeans, and white sneakers with red and blue trim. Childers is carrying a wallet with his ID and address inside. He is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs approximately 225 pounds. He is balding with short brown hair and brown eyes. If you see him please call 911. VPD Case #2022-01866.

*****UPDATE*****

With the remarkable assistance of the Vancouver Police Departments Neighbors on Watch (NOW) volunteers, Zachary Childers was located safely. 

Vancouver Police make arrest in controlled substance homicide case01/20/22

Vancouver, Wash. –On August 19, 2021, Vancouver Police responded to a death investigation call at a residence in the 1400 block of NE 140th Avenue after a family member discovered the victim deceased. The initial investigation at the scene provided several details regarding the circumstances of the case and indicated the 31-year-old male had died of a possible drug overdose.

Detectives from the Vancouver Police Department Neighborhood Response Team began further investigation and the Clark County Medical Examiner’s report confirmed Fentanyl and Methamphetamine as the primary causes of death.

The investigation led to the identification of Travis R. Timme, 32 years of age, as the individual who had provided the victim drugs that led to his death. 

On January 19, 2022, Detectives with the Safe Streets Task Force and Neighborhood Response Team conducted a traffic stop on Timme, who was taken into custody without incident. Timme was arrested and booked into the Clark County Jail on multiple charges including Controlled Substance Homicide and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver. 

The investigation is continuing and nothing further is being released at this time. 

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Vancouver Police conclude testing and evaluation on first camera platform01/10/22

Vancouver, Wash. – On December 8, 2021, Vancouver Police began the testing and evaluation (T&E) process with a camera vendor to evaluate their platform for body and in-car cameras.  Ten officers were equipped with body cameras and six vehicles were equipped with a dash and rear passenger area camera. The department initially allotted 60 days for the T&E with the vendor. 

On December 29, 2021, the Project Manager, in cooperation with the testing committee, determined that the group had collected sufficient data to evaluate this vendor. The Request For Proposal (RFP) committee, which includes two community representatives, met to review the T&E report and the decision was made to conclude the T&E for this vendor and issue a new request for proposal (RFP), which will include modified requirements based on the information learned from the recent T&E process. All equipment was disconnected and packaged for return to the vendor on December 29, 2021. 

On January 9, 2022, four Vancouver Police Officers were in an officer involved shooting. None of the involved officers had been part of the camera T&E testing group and none of their vehicles had been outfitted with cameras. 

“We recognize that proposal and testing processes take time, but these are vitally important steps to help the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Police Department identify and implement the right camera platform with the necessary features, functionalities and support to meet the needs and expectations of the department and community,” said Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain.  “Although we are eager to get a system in place as soon as possible, we need to ensure that we are making the right choice and not just the fast choice.”

For more information on the Vancouver Police Department camera project visit: Vancouver Police Camera Study | City of Vancouver, Washington, USA

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Disturbance results in Officer Involved Shooting01/09/22

Vancouver, Wash. – On January 9, 2022 at approximately 12:25 a.m., Vancouver Police responded to a call of a disturbance with a weapon at a residence in the 13200 block of NE 59th Street. The resident reported there was a male acquaintance inside the home who was armed with knives. The caller and several other individuals, including two children, had locked themselves inside their bedrooms and called 9-1-1. It was believed the suspect had started a fire inside the home.  When police arrived, the individuals inside the home were able to safely escape through windows. Police did smell something burning. The suspect was outside the home and confronted officers with a knife. Officers attempted to deescalate the situation by deploying a Less Lethal 40 mm device, but unfortunately the officers had to deploy their firearms to stop the suspect from harming anyone.  The suspect was transported to an area hospital but did not survive. 

Four Vancouver Police officers were involved, including one officer who deployed the Less Lethal device. All four involved officers have been placed on Critical Incident Leave per standard protocol. 

The SW Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIR), led by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, is investigating the officer involved shooting. All further information related to this incident will be sent via the SWIIR. 

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Article Source: Vancouver Police Department