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Secretary Vail Issues Statement on Maurice Clemmons


December 3, 2009

OLYMPIA – Secretary Eldon Vail of the Department of Corrections today issued the following statement on the capture of Maurice Clemmons:

“On behalf of everyone with the Department of Corrections, I want to extend my thanks to everyone who assisted with the search for Maurice Clemmons. Thanks to courageous and dedicated law enforcement officers, Clemmons was found before he could claim another victim.

“The Department of Corrections was one of many local, state and federal agencies that worked late into the night to search for Clemmons. Thanks to a combined effort we were able to locate the man suspected of killing four Lakewood police officers. Manhunts like this are only effective if law enforcement agencies work together, and this is an excellent example of how it’s supposed to be done.

“Clemmons was on community supervision through an Interstate Compact Agreement with Arkansas. Many of our staff members in Pierce County work closely with local law enforcement and are shaken by the tragedy.

“We are reviewing Clemmons’ supervision now, just like we do with any case like this. We also are working with the Arkansas Department of Corrections to make sure that everything was done properly.

“Today’s resolution does not take away the horror that we felt Sunday morning. Our hearts are still with the families of the victims and our partners at the Lakewood Police Department.

“Tragedies like this remind us all that law enforcement is inherently dangerous work. Each day our officers in community corrections and prisons go to work knowing there is the potential for violence. But tragedies like this also remind us that people in law enforcement are supportive and caring. Thank you for keeping the families of the victims close to your hearts.”


Contact: Belinda D. Stewart, Communications and Outreach Director (360) 725-8821


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