Suspects Caught In West Richland With Help Of D.O.C. Officer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Suspects Caught In West Richland With Help Of D.O.C. Officer

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WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - Last week a man was arrested in West Richland with more than 15 grams of crystal meth, drug paraphernalia, and a scale after his home was searched by a community officer with the Department of Corrections.

The man was on probation and under current regulations D.O.C. officers have the right to search the suspects home to ensure they are not breaking any of their probation restrictions. 

Throughout the city of West Richland there are a number of sex offenders, drug offenders and other people that are required to check in with an official from the D.O.C. as part of their probation requirements.

West Richland Police Chief Layne Erdman said that the D.O.C. officers sometimes play the role of a liaison between criminals and the police. 

For the past four years the West Richland Police Department has had a permanent community officer from the Department of Corrections located inside their department headquarters.

Local high risk offenders that are required to meet with the D.O.C. officer must come to the police station directly.  In West Richland this program has only been in effect for four years.  Prior to that the D.O.C. operated out of their main Kennewick office.  The D.O.C. officer and police officers did not have daily contact with each other.

Erdman said he likes having the D.O.C. officer directly at the police station because it opens up the lines of communication. He said, "We find out who's living here, what they're doing now, how they are doing on probation.  We have that information and share it back and forth, so we can keep track of the criminal in our community. "

Police Departments throughout the Tri-Cities have similar agreements with the D.O.C.