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K9 version 2.0 will make bad guys sit up and take notice


Last updated 10/19/2017 at Noon

It’s great news that Mill Creek is moving forward with another K9 unit as Officer Ian Durkee and his K9 partner Rasko near the end of their service time. Rasko is over seven years old and most dogs retire around 9 years.

K9 version 2.0 will be a dual certified dog: both tracking and drug detection. With opioids and other drugs infecting our community and schools, we need a new weapon to fight back. Mill Creek needs a drug detection dog. We also need a tracking dog to catch the bad guys.

Councilmember and Snohomish County Deputy Mark Bond says criminals talk among themselves about various communities and police departments. They will soon be talking about Mill Creek’s new drug detection dog!

Although Rasko won’t retire until 2019, Officer Durkee, has done a terrific job getting our K9 program started. To be honest, he didn’t have a lot of support in the department until City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto and Chief Greg Elwin came on board. Officer Durkee had to figure out most everything himself. That wasn’t easy.

Now he is supporting new K9 Officer Nathan Lerma in collaboration with Sgt. Bobby Phillips and Chief Elwin. With Officer Durkee’s experience and full department support, K9 version 2.0 will be amazing! Talk about that bad guys!

Solid financial results

The City received solid financial results from our Finance Director Peggy Lauerman at the last council meeting. Our revenues are up over $800,000 more than budgeted for 2017. That’s amazing! Before we start spending the new money, much of it is one time revenue due to construction. One time revenue should be allocated to one time projects. It should not be used for day to day operations. That’s not sustainable. There are also expenses attached to those increased revenues.

What’s important is that Mill Creek with its new management team, balancing its budget and controlling its spending, is finally getting our finances under control. We are proving that economic growth can increase our revenues and help keep taxes lower.

Congratulations to the staff for a job well done!

Memorial tree replaced

Heron Park has a city-dedicated monument honoring former Parks and Recreation Board Member Lee Hooper. Part of the monument included a tree that blew down in a storm and was removed last year. A new memorial tree, an Alaskan weeping cedar, was recently replanted to ensure we continue to honor this former board member.

Welcome to Gina Hortillosa, PE

Gina Hortillosa, PE will be joining the Mill Creek management team as Director of Public Works and Development Services. City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto says she will help us plan strategically for the next 10 – 20 years, something that is critical to our city’s future. Welcome aboard and thank you for choosing to be part of our amazing future.

Congratulations to Officer Chris White

Officer Chris White has just received her national certification as a Collision Reconstructionist. She recently returned from a two-week course in Arizona after working toward her certification for several years. Congratulations Officer White.

This monthly column is written by Mill Creek Mayor Pam Pruitt and focuses on issues important to residents, as well as offering insight to what the City Council is up to. It reflects the personal views of the mayor and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the other members of the Mill Creek City Council.


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