BRIER, Wash. - After former Brier police officer Dan Anderson said he was fired for responding to a call outside city limits, we pressed the police chief and mayor of Brier for answers.
Wednesday when we walked into the Brier Police Department to again ask the chief and mayor for comment, the window was gated and there was a sign that read “the Brier Police Department has limited services available today.”
The police department is so small and responds to such few calls, the city even considered eliminating it a few years ago. So people we talked to Wednesday want to know why an officer leaving city limits to help in an emergency is cause for termination.
Brier’s business district consists of a realty office, coffee stand, salon, and Tad McMurray’s pizza place. Not surprisingly McMurray says business is good when you’re the only game in town.
He and Ty Demore—who owns the salon next door—say business is also safe when most of the town residents are your customers. Neither one has ever needed to call police, even when Demore accidentally left the business unlocked all night long.
“Nothing was harmed, nothing was harmed and we left things in the parking lot, it’s just—I’ve never had an incident here,” she explained.
So neither understands why now former Brier police Officer Dan Anderson was fired for—Anderson tells us—leaving city limits to assist officers desperate for help during the Mukilteo shooting that left three teenagers dead and a fourth seriously injured.
We spoke exclusively with Anderson Tuesday.
“I think [the chief] was trying to do right by the city of Brier and I agree with that philosophically but ultimately when officers are asking for help, how can you expect a good officer to turn a deaf ear to that?” he told us.
Anderson says the chief told him as the only officer on duty he left Brier unprotected.
“They must have rules and procedures in place and maybe before they leave they have to call somebody, I don’t know,” McMurray told us.
They do; we look at Brier’s mutual aid policy. It says officers in the field should notify a supervisor before assisting other agencies, provided one is available. Anderson was the only cop working that night, and the people we talked to didn’t feel unprotected when he left.
“Probably my personal opinion is no, we weren’t in danger. They might have missed a few speeders, but that’s probably all,” concluded Demore.
We checked—safety and security think tank SafeWise ranked Brier the 13th safest city in Washington in 2014. There hasn’t been a murder here for a decade.
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