On Thursday, January 30, WSP reopened Ridgefield Port of Entry (POE) after a 10-month closure. Not only was this a meaningful moment for our CVEOs (Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers) that work there, this was a special moment for a member of the WSP fallen family.
Weight Control Officer Joseph Modlin died on August 15, 1974, when he was struck by a logging truck trailer at the Home Valley weigh station on Highway 14 near Stevenson. At the time of his death, Officer Modlin had served six years with the Washington State Patrol.
Officer Modlin remains the only CVEO to have been killed in the line of duty in our agency. A memorial was built and placed at the front of the scale house to honor his service and sacrifice. The monument will serve as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice both he and his family made. Mrs. Luanne Mason, Officer Modlin’s daughter, was in attendance for the unveiling of her father’s monument.
Each year, more than 1.2 million trucks are weighed at the five POEs each year. The facilities are located in Bow Hill, Cle Elum, Spokane, Plymouth, and in Ridgefield. With the exception of Cle Elum, these POEs are near the entry points into the state to monitor truck traffic into and around the state. These facilities are 24-hour operations and are key in identifying and removing unsafe commercial vehicles from the roadways.
In 2019 alone, there were 4,365 CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) collisions statewide with 62 fatalities. Our goal as an agency is to reduce the truck-at-fault collisions by 4% for 2020 and continue to strictly enforce violations, which assist in preventing CMV collisions.
WSP officers conduct enforcement of CMV violations through truck inspections. More than 98,000 inspections were completed in 2019. These inspections range from the basic review of driver and vehicle information to the most thorough inspection where officers check the entire truck and driver credentials. Through these inspections, officers identify defective equipment, overweight violations, and other critical driver and truck violations. The removal of these trucks from the roadways assist in keeping the motoring public safe on the highways.
“Commercial Vehicle Officers are critical to commercial vehicle enforcement,” said Chief John Batiste. “Their passion and energy when inspecting trucks cannot be outdone. It is exciting, in this case, to provide them with a brand new state of the art facility, with the newest technology, to assist them in their job duties.”