Second quarter crime level in line with last year’s numbers
SNOHOMISH - The city’s crime level is “right on track” with last year’s numbers, Police Chief John Flood reported in the department’s second quarter crime report.
Flood presented the crime report to the City Council last week, and the report focuses on four types of crime: burglary, theft, vehicle theft and vehicle prowl.
Flood compared instances of those crimes from the same time in 2011 to 2012. He said all were within 10 percent of last year’s numbers.
There were 24 burglaries, 69 thefts, 10 vehicle thefts and 31 vehicle prowls reported in the second quarter of 2012.
Flood said the report centered on those lower level crimes because they are more important to the community.
“You’re more likely to be a victim of burglary or theft or vehicle prowl than a serious violent crime, (and) that has a greater impact on the feeling of public safety,” Flood said.
Flood said he ultimately wants residents to forget that Snohomish’s police force is part of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office — a new arrangement for the city.
A 2012 budget shortfall of $1.2 million forced the city to look at reducing one of its greatest costs: police services. In January, the county took over.
The city contract with the sheriff’s office keeps the same number of officers on the street, Flood said, and has saved the city about $350,000 this year.
Higher criminal activity was reported in the historic district, the downtown corridor, and “anything off Second Street,” Flood said, as criminals tend to stay close to main arterials for quick getaways.
More crime also may be associated with these areas because of a higher transient population, Flood said.
An area of concern to police continues to be the under-recognized danger at trailheads, Flood said, where theft from vehicles is frequent.
Flood said he would encourage residents to avoid being the victim of a “crime of opportunity,” in which a criminal seizes a chance like an unlocked door or a rolled-down window to take your belongings.
This also is especially true for cars parked along Second Street, he said, which is close to a criminal’s escape route.
Flood said the newly formed public safety commission will be assisting him in working to prevent crime in the future.
The group of seven volunteer residents has re-instituted neighborhood watches, a program that Flood hopes will be strengthened by next month’s National Night Out on Aug. 7.
The commission has met twice since forming in June and undertook its first endeavor by helping to organize Snohomish’s participation in National Night Out.
The event is a neighborhood get-together, Flood said, with the captain of each neighborhood watchgroup in attendance, encouraging people to talk about safety and familiarize themselves with their neighbors.
“We want to focus more on getting citizens in the community involved,” Flood said.