9/23/2014

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Father of slain daughter crusades for tougher protection laws

Father of slain daughter crusades for tougher protection laws
TACOMA, Wash. -- Ever since a stalker took his daughter's life, Ken Paulson has worked to toughen anti-harassment laws and protection orders.

Now he's turning to the Pierce County Council to save other stalking victims from his daughter Jennifer's fate.

"I'm hoping that they will include money in the budget for an on-call psychiatrist for the jail," he said.

Paulson thinks a psychiatrist would have stopped Jed Waits from killing his daughter last year outside the elementary school where she worked. Waits died in a confrontation with a deputy a short time later.

Days before, Waits was in court for violating Jennifer's anti-harassment order. The judge can be heard asking a mental health worker to intervene.

"And the mental health worker says, 'well this person needs to see a psychiatrist,' and there isn't one, and four days later he murders my daughter," Paulson said.

Paulson thinks a psychiatrist would have held Waits in custody and will ask the Piece County Council to fund the position at the jail. Paulson is also working with the attorney general's office to establish stalking protection orders for our state -- a big step up from the anti-harassment orders currently available.

"Even though it's a piece of paper, what it does it raises the awareness of the situation," Paulson said.

Paulson will ask council-members to hire an on-call psychiatrist during budget talks on Tuesday. Separately, he hopes to get a stalker protection order bill in front of state lawmakers by December.
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