By Don Nelson
The valley’s patch of wintry weather is isn’t likely to faze Winthrop’s newest deputy marshal. Mark Harreus comes to the Methow directly from Alaska, where he worked for about nine years in various law enforcement jobs including one in the remote village of Unalakleet.
Harreus, who has been in law enforcement since the early 1990s, previously worked as a police officer in the south King County area. He started his law enforcement career in Nebraska, after a stint in the U.S. Army. He is also trained as an emergency medical technician and for a time was a social worker in Alaska.
The job in Winthrop was recommended to Harreus by friends in Seattle and Tacoma who thought he would like the Methow Valley. He spent some time checking out the community and came to agree.
“My time in Alaska taught me how much I liked working in a small community,” Harreus said. As for the small Winthrop force, Harreus said that “I like the spirit of teamwork we have here.”
Harreus said he had been planning to take a job in Reno, Nevada, when he got a phone call asking him to come to Unalakleet, a village of about 700 residents. “What started as a six-month commitment turned into a nine-year stay,” he said.
Harreus said crime prevention is a special interest of his, and that he eventually hopes to get involved in volunteer activities.
“If someone wants a crime prevention survey completed for their home or business, they can email me [email@example.com] and I will be happy to come and complete one,” Harreus said. “Essentially I will look at your home or business and then using various principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, I will make suggestions to help you increase your security and decrease the opportunities for crime in your area. A survey normally takes about 30 minutes depending upon the design of the home or business. As I work evenings and nights, I am available from around 6 p.m. to as late as you are willing to go.”
Harreus said he is especially knowledgeable about crime prevention in the hospitality business.
The hiring of Harreus and retention of Deputy Marshal Ken Bajema brings the Winthrop office to full strength, including Marshal Rikki Schwab, for the first time in nearly a year. Bajema, who had been interim marshal after the departure of David Dahlstrom in late 2013, said in June that he was leaving the department. Bajema later reconsidered and applied for one of the two deputy positions that were open.