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Lynnwood crime down yet murders skyrocket across the state

LYNNWOOD, Wash., July 18, 2021 – In its 2020 Crime in Washington Annual Report by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, overall Lynnwood saw a 3.9 percent reduction in crime; however, Washington state experienced a 46.6 percent increase in murders (302 compared to 206) and a 100% increase in manslaughter for 2020.

Due to last year’s $650 million unemployment fraud scheme allegedly by an international criminal organization, fraud claims across the state rose by 131 percent.

Hate crimes across the state is down 13.1 percent or 468 cases; whereas assaults on law enforcement is up 6.2 percent or 2,047 assaults. A total of 59,289 domestic violence cases were reported of which 13,909 were no-contact and protection order violations.

Washington state is now ranked last in the United States for the number of law enforcement officers per thousand residents down from 1.24 to 1.19 officers per thousand people. This can be attributed to the anti-police climate and polices enacted throughout the state, specifically in Seattle.

Crime is down in Lynnwood

Recent statistics released by the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) indicate that crime in Lynwood was down 3.9 percent last year

Lynnwood Police
Joanna Small

Joanna Small, Public Information Officer for the Lynnwood Police Department, attributed the drop in crime to the pandemic and suggested crime rates may rise now that the state is opening back up. However, she is confident in the Lynnwood Police Department’s strategic plan and expects the fully-staffed force is more than equipped to deal with these increases. 

Within the last three years, larceny-theft offenses and drug violations remain the leading categories within the city with larceny leading by almost 1,000 reported annual cases. Although larceny increased 18.4 percent from 2018 to 2019, it dropped 18.7 percent from 2019 to 2020. According to Small, the larceny and drug trends are interconnected. 

“It is our hope that our strategic response towards the homelessness and opioid issues will also have an impact on drug and larceny offenses, as well as other positive trending impacts.  However, another portion of our strategic plan is to improve our intelligence-led policing efforts, analyzing data, and identifying trends so we can become better at directing multi-disciplinary responses to identified crime trends to include not only drug and larceny offenses but other crime categories as well,” Small told the Lynnwood Times. 

In 2020 the Lynnwood Police Department reported 808 drug-related crimes, a 13.5 percent drop from 2019. Of all recorded drug offenses in Lynnwood, opioids make up 34 percent – the largest percentage of drug types reported. 

In its Strategic Plan 2019-2023, the Lynnwood Police Department mentions a 5-year “Compassions with Boundaries” approach to homelessness and opioid abuse.

Small told the Lynnwood Times that the department will begin the process of re-evaluating its 5-year plan next year.

There was a 59.6 percent jump in “no-contact and protective order” violations. Zero murders were recorded in 2018, 2019, and 2020; however, 14 rapes were recorded in 2020, up 16.7 percent from the three-year average of 12 rapes annually.

Addressing the trend of increasing rape cases, Small told the Lynnwood Times, “Three of the five overarching goals detailed in our strategic plan (ensuring a high quality of life for our community, embrace and integrate technology throughout the agency to include increased utilization of intelligence-led policing inputs, and exploring programs to reduce recidivism a high quality of life for our community) are purposefully designed to address how, as a police department, we handle crime in our community for the specific five-year period.

“A desirable outcome would be that multiple crime categories will be positively impacted by drilling down on the individual objectives and strategies that make up these larger goals of the plan.”

While Administrative Services Commander Cole Langdon is currently working on the 2020 report, Small confirmed that the NIBRS report is accurate to the information they are compiling. 

“Our Administrative Services Commander is currently compiling and building our 2020 Annual Report. This report will illustrate some of the impacts of the pandemic on trending,” Small said. 

In 2019 Snohomish County jails operated at 74 percent capacity with an average daily population (ADP) of 915, averaging a 16-day length of stay. The daily bed rate in Snohomish county jails is $118.66. 

In 2020 Snohomish County jails operated at a reduced rate of 51 percent capacity with an average daily population of 524.

The crime rates included in the National Incident-Based Reporting System are based on specific crime categories, such as crimes against persons, crimes against property, crimes against society, or violent crimes, as explained by the NIBRS. Each category is adjusted based on city population by indicating the number of offenses per 1,000 persons.

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