Calls to the Police Department were up 10 percent compared to last year but overall crime was down, according to Police Chief Greg Wilson.
The Police Department responded to 7,017 calls for service in the second quarter of 2015, an increase over 2014 when the City reported 6,374 calls. Part of the reason for the increase is a testament to how well the department is educating the community. Wilson said that the police encourage residents to report any and everything. The near perfect summer weather also is contributing because more people are getting out of their homes and into the community.
“So calls for service have gone up,” Wilson said.
The patrol and traffic divisions continued their visible presence through traffic enforcement, conducting 3,233 traffic stops, which is a decrease of 23 percent over last year (4,180 traffic stops).
“This is due to the education, visibility, and proactive stance of our officers,” said Commander Kevin Pickard.
The department also is down three positions, one of which is a motor officer, who has been assigned to the patrol division. Some officers also have had to spend time training on the New World software system.
Of the 3,233 traffic stops, officers issued 2,177 traffic infractions. The police department investigated 160 traffic collisions, or an average of .9 collisions per day.
The City has overall lower numbers for violent crime, property crime and total crime as contrasted with this time last year.
Mountlake Terrace officers averaged 251 calls for service and 115 traffic stops during the second quarter. Only Lynnwood had more calls for service with 261. Mountlake Terrace had the highest numbers of traffic stops over Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mill Creek and Mukilteo.
One area of concern that Wilson talked about with the Council are the increasing number of campers/transients who are taking up residence in the City. The result often are litter and damage to private property. It’s a long-term problem that takes a while to resolve, Wilson said.
The key is working with property owners/managers. Police have to receive permission from the landowner to trespass individuals from properties. Often a biohazard company has to be hired to clean up the land, which may be littered with needles, drugs and human waste.
In other news:
- The department is reevaluating its K-9 program. Wilson indicated he would rather hire an evening traffic/DUI enforcement officer.
- New World, a public safety software system, is now scheduled to be implemented in Snohomish County on Oct. 27 after many delays. Mountlake Terrace officers have been training on New World and will be recreating calls in the new system this week, in addition doing their regular reports. Mayor Jerry Smith, chair of SNOCOM, said he was confidence that New World will go live in October.
For more information on the Second Quarter Police Department Update, visit the city’s website at www.cityofmlt.com and click on Online Public Meetings under Most Requested Services and then on the August 3, 2015 City Council Meeting.