Port Angeles Won't Be Buzzed By Special Forces Again, Says Mayor

Jul 17, 2013

The mayor of Port Angeles says she got more than an apology when she went to Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Monday. Mayor Cherie Kidd says she also received a promise that the military will not buzz her city with training helicopters again.

Kidd went to the office of base commander Col. H. Charles Hodges, Jr. to complain about last week's unannounced nighttime Special Forces operation that upset some residents.

911 operators, police and fire department personnel had no idea how to explain the several-hours long disruption of helicopters and bright lights over the community.

Mayor Kidd says the colonel assured her that it won't happen again. "It was inappropriate and more disruptive than they realized," she said. "They're not planning to come back and do it again."

The mayor says she is pleased with that decision, and she says if the military does decide it needs to run an operation in Port Angeles in the future, they will notify the sheriff and police ahead of time.

Col. Hodges also planned to visit the Port Angeles city council Tuesday night to apologize in person. Mayor Kidd hopes he returns for a long visit. "I guarantee when he comes now, he'll get a good night's sleep," she said. "We all will."

The mayor says she has been stopped on the street by Port Angeles citizens who have thanked her for taking their concerns about the military operation all the way to the top.