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Police chief presents crime numbers for 4Q
Department wants to offer citizen’s academy, update website
SNOHOMISH - Most crime in the city during the last quarter of 2012 remained consistent with past quarters, Police Chief John Flood reported last week, except for a “rash of car problems” in Morgantown, which led to the arrests of four teenagers.  
For about a week, the teens had been entering unlocked vehicles and stealing whatever they could find, Flood said. These incidents caused the number of vehicle prowls to increase from 15 in the third quarter to 45 in the fourth quarter, which covers the months of October, November and December.
“It was unusual,” Flood said.
Burglaries also saw an increase since the fall, spiking from 16 in the third quarter to 36 in the fourth. But this is typical for the holiday season, Flood said. He expects the number of burglaries to drop back down to average yearly numbers in the first quarter of 2013.
“It’s partly due to the change in weather and seasons,” Flood said. “We see that all over the county. We always see a spike in crimes in the last quarter of the year all over.”
The Police Department looks at two other crime categories in its quarterly report, which Flood presented to the City Council at the Jan. 15 meeting.
Malicious mischief went from 24 in the third quarter to 30 in the fourth. Theft was down, dropping from 67 in the third quarter to 55 in the fourth. Flood attributed the drop to greater merchant attentiveness during the busy holiday shopping season.
Flood also said the newly formed public safety commission is progressing and soon will be forming a citizen’s academy. The academy will educate residents on law enforcement, fire safety and city government and will run for 12 weeks.
“The academy will train individuals in town to go back to their communities that we hope would generate interest in neighborhood block watches, which we hope would have an impact on crime,” Flood said.
The academy is still in the development stages, but Flood said he expects to launch it this spring.
The 12-week academy will be free and classes will likely be offered every other week in the evenings to accommodate participants’ work schedules.
“We want people to participate,” Flood said.
Flood also reported that the department is in the process of updating its link on the city’s website. The update should make it easier for people to find the information they’re looking for, he said.
“People want to navigate without doing much searching,” Flood said. “If you click on a link, we want it so that rather than having to hunt for that piece of information, it will be grouped together under crime prevention or safety tips.”
He also hopes to simplify some of the language. 
“Not everybody speaks our language,” Flood said. “A lot of the time in law enforcement, we don’t get that.”
Flood said he expects improvements to the site to be finished at the end of 2013.


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