Letter From Centralia Police Chief: During Flood, We Saw the Best of Each Other


On behalf of the men and women of the Centralia Police Department, I would like to say thank you to the community members in and around Centralia for helping protect our community during last week’s flood event. It gives me great pride to express how appreciative we are to serve this supportive community.

Every day, the Centralia Police Department responds to emergencies and requests for help from our community members, which too often puts us in situations where we see the worst of our community’s problems. Thursday and Friday, Jan. 6 and Jan. 7, was an opportunity for all of us to engage in the common goal of protecting our community. I received reports of business and community members coming together to help those in need.

While the Centralia Police Department and Riverside Fire Authority performed swift water rescues and aided in evacuations, the Red Cross, Centralia School District and Lewis County Public Health provided a shelter for those displaced from the flood. Twin Transit staff assisted in providing emergency transportation and the Salvation Army made meals for families who sheltered in place. Aquatechnex, a local water resource management company, provided boats and operators to assist with rescues and evacuations when traditional rescue vehicles were not an option. Centralia Public Works worked hard to close and open roads as needed, opened multiple sandbag stations providing sand, sandbags, shovels and helped fill sandbags. The Centralia Amateur Emergency Services (ARES) volunteered their time in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and with blocking off unsafe roadways. Concerned citizens who wanted to help others showed up at the sandbag locations and started filling sandbags to support anyone in need. Soldiers from the National Guard and staff from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arrived at the sandbag station across from the Centralia City Hall to assist with filling sandbags for our community. Approximately 9,250 sandbags were filled at the Centralia sandbag stations during this flood event. The unity of caring for others was remarkable and inspiring.

I continually found myself impressed by the energy, determination and the willingness of people in our community to want to help those in need whom they have never met. In these moments of serving with a common goal, relationships were built; these relationships are essential building blocks in continuing to grow our community oriented policing programs where we all take pride in serving one another. In these moments of unity we get to see the best of each other.

It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank you for allowing me and every member of the Centralia Police Department to serve this community and to be a part of your lives.


Stacy Denham

Centralia Chief of Police