Ferndale Officer Charged, Internal Investigation Proceeds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 27, 2019

FERNDALE OFFICER CHARGED, INTERNAL INVESTIGATION PROCEEDS

FERNDALE –A Ferndale Police Lieutenant has been charged by the Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney as a result of an investigation that began in April.  Lt. William “Bill” Hatchett is on administrative leave as he awaits due process by the courts.  

The April 11th vehicle accident was investigated by the Washington State Patrol and Ferndale Police have had no direct involvement in the accident investigation or subsequent criminal investigation.  

“We place a high value on the community’s trust, and we will continue to work every day to earn and maintain that trust,” said Chief Kevin Turner.  “Our staff are dedicated to the welfare and safety of our community and perform their duties every day with distinction and professionalism. We thank Washington State Patrol Chief Batiste and his staff for their assistance in conducting the accident investigation.”

Ferndale is conducting an internal, administrative investigation to determine if rules of conduct, policies or procedures were violated.  It is standard procedure to initiate an internal investigation pending the completion of a criminal investigation. The internal investigation is not, however, dependent on the criminal investigation or the outcome of any criminal charges.  Rather, it is to examine whether the officer complied with the rules of conduct and professionalism established by the Ferndale PD to direct all employees in carrying out their duties and responsibilities.


Graffiti at Star Park, Cedar Creek

Over the weekend, Star Park and Cedar Creek Park were both tagged with graffiti. The Ferndale Police Department is investigating and if you have any information about this incident, please reach out to Officer Steven Gamage at 360-384-3390 x5864 or sgamage@ferndalepd.org.

Thankfully, our Public Works crew was able to remove the damage however we do need your help making sure Star Park stays clean.

Star Park is an incredible facility. Over 2,000 volunteers and 300 organizations donated thousands of dollars and hours to bring it to life. It was designed by Ferndale children and built by this community.

We are small town and it is likely that whomever did this is local. Please talk to your children, neighbors and friends about how important Star Park is to our city – you never know whose mind you might change.

The City is planning a Star Park Renewal day in Spring of 2020 where we will conduct minor repairs, repaint the park and add some additional art to the equipment. If you are interested in volunteering for this, please email Recreation Coordinator Riley Sweeney at rileysweeney@cityofferndale.org.

Lost and Found Items

Have you lost or misplaced an item recently? If one of these items fits the general description of your lost property, contact Kim @ 360-483-5746.

Crutches ~ Purse ~ iPhone ~ Jewelry

Black Friday Auction!

Just in time for your Holiday shopping! You will find items for auction at www.Govdeals.com. 

Make sure to pre-register in order to participate in the auction.  Auction starts on Friday, November 29th!  We have hand and power tools, jewelry, household items, watches, radios, Apple products and even a snowboard!

Found Property

Have you lost or misplaced an item recently? If one of these items fits the general description of your lost property, contact Kim @ 360-483-5746.

~ Bicycles ~ Cellphone ~ Misc Retail Cards ~ Keys ~ Generator ~ Mini-Bike ~ Pocket Knife

Washington Supreme Court Justices Tour Ferndale Court Facilities

Washington Supreme Court Justices Tour Ferndale Court Facilities

A delegation from the Washington Supreme Court visited the Ferndale Municipal Court today to highlight the challenging conditions at the courthouse. Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst, Justice Mary Yu and Justice Steven Gonzalez were joined by Bellingham Municipal Court Judge Debra Lev and Commissioner Pete Smiley during their visit.

Currently Ferndale Municipal Court is held in the City Annex on Second Avenue in downtown Ferndale. The facility, once a garage for the local firestation, also hosts proceedings by the city council, planning commission and hearing examiner. In recent years, the space has struggled to accommodate its growing uses.

“I am concerned and troubled that the limitations of our facilities may have an impact on the functions of our justice system,” said Ferndale Municipal Court Judge Mark Kaiman. “We must ensure due process for all involved, this cannot wait.”

Earlier the year, the City worked with the school district to assess whether a new joint courtroom and city hall could be established at the Old Main building of Ferndale High School but decided to pass on that option due to the cost.

The City and Council continue to work towards a new facility for the courthouse and city hall and are exploring options as part of the 2020 budget process.

Lost and Unclaimed Property at Ferndale Police Station

Did you lose something recently? Maybe a friendly neighbor found it and turned it into the Ferndale Police Department. Currently we have:

  • 2 backpacks
  • bags of personal belongings
  • purse
  • cellphone
  • Kindle
  • ID cards
  • reward cards
  • multi-purpose tool
  • skateboard

If you believe one of these items is yours, please stop by the Police Department during business hours and describe it to claim your lost item. You can also call Evidence Manager Kim Martin at 360-483-5746.

Lost and Unclaimed Property at Ferndale Police Station

Did you lose something recently? Maybe a friendly neighbor found it and turned it into the Ferndale Police Department. Currently we have:
  • Cell phone
  • Computer Tablet
  • Keys
  • Wallet
  • Backpack
  • Bicycle
  • Bank Cards

If you are missing one of these items, stop by the Ferndale Police Department, located at 2220 Main Street, between 8am-4:30pm, Tuesday through Friday. You will need to provide a detailed description of the item to reclaim your property. For more information contact Evidence Manager Kim Martin at (360)483-5746.

Police Arrest Assistant Wrestling Coach for Sexual Assault

On May 23rd, 2019, the Ferndale Police Department received a report regarding an allegation of a sexual relationship between at 15-year-old female student from Ferndale High School and a 20-year-old adult male who works part-time as a wrestling coach for the Ferndale School District.

During the investigation, in addition to the original victim, two other victims came forward.  At this point in the investigation there is no indication that any of the incidents occurred on school grounds.

The 20-year-old part-time coach was identified as Dalton J Cristelli (04/26/1999) of Ferndale, Washington.  He was contacted and booked into Whatcom County Jail. He is no longer employed by the Ferndale School District.

Ferndale Police Department established probable cause for the following charges:

Rape of a Child in the 3rd Degree:  In March of 2019 Cristelli (age 19 at the time) had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old female student.  The difference in age between the two is over 48 months.

Rape in the 3rd Degree:  In the spring of 2016, Cristelli had non-consensual sexual intercourse with a female who was the age of 15 or 16 at the time. 

Rape in the 2nd Degree:  Approximately 3 to 5 years ago, Cristelli had sexual intercourse with a female victim who was incapable of consent.

This is an ongoing investigation.  Due to the nature of the crime and the age of the victims at the time of the incidents, no further information is expected to be released.

All press inquiries contact Communications Officer Riley Sweeney (360) 685-2353 or rileysweeney@cityofferndale.org

Ferndale Police Department Debuts Online Crime Map

Using the latest digital tools available, the Ferndale Police Department and the City have launched an interactive online crime map of Ferndale. For the public, this provides even greater transparency, allowing residents to explore 911 calls in their area. For the Ferndale Police Department, this provides them with a critical tool to identify hot spots for Patrol activities, and for detectives to explore a sudden crime trend and work to prevent future criminal activity.

 “This gives our officers a bird’s-eye-view of recent incidents to compliment our boots on the ground experience,” said Police Chief Kevin Turner. “If we see a sudden rash of break-ins in one specific area, we can put extra officers in that neighborhood.”

The City of Ferndale continues to set the standard for transparency and access to public information. Currently, the public can access everything from employee contracts to city credit card reports online through their public documents page. The crime map provides a fresh way for residents to access information about their community.

According to FBI statistics, in 2018 Ferndale became the 21st safest city in Washington. In the last twelve years, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Ferndale Police Department, crime has been cut by 65%.

The crime map can be accessed online by clicking here.

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