Tacoma police chief addresses crime surge with new strategic plan

Jul 12, 2022, 6:35 PM

Tacoma Police Chief Avery Moore (KIRO 7)...

Tacoma Police Chief Avery Moore (KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

Police Chief Avery Moore presented the Tacoma Police Department Crime Reduction Plan at the City Council study session less than a week after the deadly shooting of a 14-year-old girl.

Moore, who was appointed as police chief in December 2021, partnered with criminologists at the University of Texas at San Antonio to develop the plan with the goal of reducing the number of victims, increasing community trust, and increasing the number of residents who feel safe. The plan is data-driven and 100% evidence-based, Moore said.

14-year-old girl dead after shooting in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood

Moore’s plan breaks down into three phases to decrease crime.

“The first part involves policing hotspots and increasing patrol visibility. This is placing officers where crimes are most frequent and, actually, some officers are already doing this,” reported Colleen O’Brien, co-host of KIRO NewsRadio’s Seattle’s Morning News. “Part two is focusing on finding repeat offenders and knowing where they are planning crimes. So more of a predictive outlook. Part three is forming and strengthening relationships with community organizations.”

Hot-spot policing, the first phase, has started to be implemented across Tacoma. Twenty-four addresses currently account for 12% of violent crime within the city.

The second phase would be implemented approximately six to 12 months after hot-spot policing begins. This phase might also have budget requirements.

Henry Betts, the president of the Local 6 Union for Tacoma police officers, spoke about the plan on the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, believing crime rates won’t decrease until police staffing is solved.

“The problem is that we are still having people wash out and people leave, whether they go to another agency, a competing agency in western Washington, or a competing agency that’s farther away. Or some even just choosing to leave the profession,” Betts said. “But we have 47 vacancies and we’re budgeted for about 364. So you know, that’s a big percent, we’re looking at about 15% of our workforce not even being here.”

Betts, a nearly 20-year veteran on the force, cited burnout, depleting morale, and state legislation as just some of the reasons many cities in Washington are struggling to staff their police.

“I think it varies from person to person. We recently had a good officer leave to another agency. And one of the things he said exiting was, he wants to be allowed to do police work,” Betts said. “So he took a big pay cut, but he’s down in Vegas, and he wants to go do the job that he signed up to do. So when you look at the law changes we’ve done, or lack of support from leadership at a city, county, and state level, they get tired of that. They get burned out on that problem. And that might be enough for them to say, ‘No, I’m going to go somewhere where I feel supported. And I’m allowed to actually chase criminals and go do my job.’ ”

Mike Smith, the criminal justice department chair at UTSA, said during the plan’s presentation that the criminologists will relentlessly evaluate the strategy of the crime reduction plan.

Local News

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

KIRO 7 News Staff and Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Garfield and Nova high schools set to return to in-person learning Monday

Garfield High School and Nova High School are set to return to in-person learning on Monday, June 5, announced Garfield Principal Hart.

1 day ago

muti-day fire lacey mushroom...

L.B. Gilbert and KIRO 7 Staff

New details in 12-year-old arrested for alleged arson at Lacey mushroom farm

Lacey firefighters are looking at a multi-day fight against a fire that broke out Wednesday at an abandoned mushroom farm.

1 day ago

FILE - The draft of a bill that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., neg...

Associated Press

Debt deal imposes new work requirements for food aid and that frustrates many Democrats

Democrats are deeply conflicted about the debt ceiling deal, fearing damage has been done to safety net programs

1 day ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

Brittany Toolis, KIRO 7 News

King County official calls out KCRHA on release of 5-year plan

A King County official called out the King County Regional Homelessness Authority after the organization released its 5-year plan.

1 day ago

Seattle lawyer...

Associated Press

Lawsuit alleging ex-deputy falsified arrest report settled for $250K

A lawsuit filed by a Washington oyster farmer accusing a former county deputy of falsifying an arrest report

1 day ago

Mt. Rainier death...

Associated Press

Washington man climbing Mount Rainier dies near summit

A Washington state man who was trying to summit Mount Rainier this week collapsed and died near the top of the mountain.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Tacoma police chief addresses crime surge with new strategic plan