The News Tribune
March 10, 2009

Fort Lewis and Lakewood police are working together to build a better understanding of what happens on ‘the other side.’ Lakewood police are enlisting the help of Fort Lewis for times when city cops need to cooperate with the Army, including when soldiers get in trouble off post.

[efoods]Meanwhile, another partnership will let the local Army post receive the city’s assistance in civilian police training for soldiers bound for Iraq this fall.

Fort Lewis has assigned a full-time military liaison police officer position to the Lakewood Police Department. Police Lt. Steve Mauer said the soldier won’t patrol with city officers, but will serve as a resource.

Fort Lewis sent a pair of military police officers to get oriented with the Lakewood Police Department last week. They will split time in the single position.

The soldier, who will work five days a week including Friday and Saturday nights, will serve as a point of contact for city police who need to get information from Fort Lewis.

The types of police calls that could benefit from Fort Lewis’ help include bad behavior at bars and collisions in cars, Mauer said.

Lt. Col. Ted Solonar, Fort Lewis’ provost marshal who helped forge the Law Enforcement Liaison program, said post officials want to exchange knowledge with their neighboring city.

Solonar said Lakewood police contacted the post to see how the two sides could bridge the fence that separates them. They decided on the liaison program, which is already used at Army installations such as Fort Carson, Colo.

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