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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Tacoma Police Department Provides Mid-Year Analysis Of Crime Reduction Plan

By Aneesa Grant, The Tacoma True Citizen

The Tacoma Police Department presented a mid-year analysis of the Violent Crime Reduction Plan during the City Council Study Session on May 16. Police Chief Avery Moore, accompanied by consultants from the University of Texas San Antonio, delivered a comprehensive overview of Phase 1 of the plan, known as the Hot Spot approach. The presentation encompassed the first eight months of the plan, ongoing efforts, and the upcoming strategies for the mid-term period.

Last summer, the Tacoma Police Department initiated its near-term strategy, focusing on violence-prone locations through a hot spots policing approach. By increasing police presence in or near these areas, the aim was to deter violent offenders and subsequently decrease violent crime rates within both targeted locations and broader patrol sectors.

Between July 2022 and February 2023, 16 treatment locations were identified based on crime patterns, with an analysis of temporal patterns and peak hours/days for violent crime at each location. During high-risk hours, officers were dispatched to these locations and instructed to maintain visibility near the hot spot address for at least 15 minutes, utilizing illuminated vehicle lights. Normal patrol activities and response to service calls continued for other addresses.

The mid-year results (July 2022 – February 2023) of these efforts were as follows:

• A 21 percent reduction in city-wide violent crime incidents during the treatment period compared to the previous 12 months.

• Decreases in average monthly crime rates city-wide, in treatment locations and catchment areas, categorized by treatment type and violent crime type, when compared to the same period last year.

• Reductions in average monthly violent crime incidents across all catchment and treatment areas by sector compared to the same time last year.

• Varied impacts on arrests, with some types experiencing increases and others experiencing decreases, including total arrests, violent crime, disorder, drugs, weapons, and warrant arrests, compared to the same period last year.

• A decrease in violence-related calls for service in treatment locations compared to the same time last year.

• High treatment fidelity above 90 percent in all three periods, with the Tacoma Police Department reducing excessive officer treatment after the initial period.

Moving forward, the Tacoma Police Department continues its efforts towards full implementation of the mid-term strategy, which involves Problem-Oriented, Place-Based Policing (POPBP) to address underlying conditions contributing to recurring crime issues in high-crime locations. This approach has proven to be more effective in crime reduction than solely intensifying traditional police activities.

In February 2023, the Tacoma Police Department completed training on POPBP, and since March 2023, a dedicated work group has been meeting to identify and address problems in the Hosmer area and its surroundings.

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