Crime data will be online soon
SNOHOMISH - No major crime trends have changed in the city over the past year, according to Police Chief John Flood’s first quarter crime report.
Flood compared the first three months of this year with the same time period in 2011.
Two specific aspects of local police work have changed, however: crime reporting by local agencies, and the climate for local drug dealers.
Within the next month or so, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office expects to have a customized crime map online for citizens to view daily crime blotter data, Flood said. An example is online at www.crimemapping.com where people can see the city of Normandy Park’s crime data.
People will be able to choose the type of data they want to see, such as what category of crime, what city or county, as well as the date, time, case number or description of the incident.
The department also created three maps of the quarterly crime report data — one for each of the first three months of 2012.
That information is available in the quarterly report on the police department’s page on the city’s website.
Flood presented his report to the City Council last week. He called the numbers “encouraging” because “it demonstrates to council that even though there’s a contract for police services you’re still getting the same level of service.”
This was Flood’s first quarterly report as the chief for the city under the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office contract, which started Jan. 1.
Based on the first quarter crime data, “I think the approach that we have right now is right on for the type of crime that we have in the city,” Flood said.
Burglaries were about even with last year, with 29 so far compared to 24 by this time last year; there were 10 more thefts than the first quarter of last year, with 47 compared to 37 in 2011; and vehicle prowls and vehicle thefts both went down, from 18 to 10 and eight to four, respectively.
The city contract with the sheriff’s office requires 18 patrol officers. The city will have all 18 on the streets in July when four of the officers are finished with training.
The city also is trying to recruit a block watch captain to be a part of the new Public Safety Commission, an advisory board that will discuss and address fire and police issues.
While block watch groups look out for their neighborhoods, the new commission will identify which issues of public safety and crime they believe the police and fire departments should be addressing, Flood said.
“It’s not about a neighbor that has a problem as much as a community that wants to address a specific problem,” he said, like the heroin problem the department has focused on for the past couple of years.
On March 29, the city was part of a federal drug eradication effort called Operation Black Ice, which resulted in the arrest of 21 people involved in heroin distribution in Washington state.
Two locations in the city received search warrants, including a residence where one arrest was made, Flood said. Six other locations just outside the city also were searched.
The local effort resulted in 16 people being arrested out of a total of 21. Three arrests were in Arizona and two were in Utah.
The people arrested were all part of the Mexican drug cartel, Flood said.
“The nice thing is that I think we’re going to see a difference here in the community,” because a significant heroin supplier for Snohomish and Skagit counties was removed.
By STEPHANIE KOSONEN
Published April 11, 2012