Public Safety

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Promoting public safety is a high priority of the Council. Priorities include continued efforts to achieve full staffing in Sheriff and Corrections divisions, advancing civilian oversight, responding to property crimes, increasing traffic law enforcement, and increasing post-COVID jail capacity. The 2024-2025 Biennial Budget works to achieve these goals by: 


  • Protecting deputies and community members with upgraded body cameras and technology. The cameras activate when deputies draw their sidearm or their taser. They also produce a more transparent, more well-encompassed image. The latest technology upgrades allow residents to upload information from mobile phones, doorbell cameras, and other devices. This makes evidence gathering easier for community members to better inform property crimes and other evidence collection needs.
  • Establishing a Small Business Security and Safety Program to support crime-impacted unincorporated communities and small cities and towns. The program will reimburse 50% of eligible costs up to a maximum yet to be determined by the Council as a match for one-time expenditures to make physical changes to business premises. This can include installing lights, alarms, fencing, cameras, and more.
  • Establishing a Jail Confinement Alternative Program. This invests $410,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for purchasing home monitoring tools like ankle bracelets for justice-involved people on pretrial release or those convicted of a misdemeanor. This investment will free up costly jail space for more individuals who pose a danger to community safety. 
  • Adding a Human Resources (HR) Specialist position to support the Sheriff’s Department in recruiting new deputies and expediting the hiring process. This new position will provide the Sheriff’s Department with dedicated access to a human resources specialist who will help recruit new deputies and ensure they remain supported through the multi-step hiring and training process.  
  • Maintains the Sheriff Department’s hiring bonuses for commissioned law enforcement officers and corrections offers and expands it to Juvenile Detention Officers to attract high-quality candidates to work with youth being held at the Remann Hall Pierce County Juvenile Detention Center. In addition, Amendment One includes a $600,000 ARPA allocation to Juvenile Court to establish youth diversion programs to help prevent recidivism in youth violence and crime. 
  • Funding a Probation Officer, Legal Processing Assistant, and Court Commissioner from the Behavioral Health and Therapeutic Courts Tax Fund for District Court. This will help District Court process more cases and increase the availability of therapeutic courts to get to the root causes of crime, such as substance use or behavioral health disorders. 
  • Adding a Code Enforcement Officer and one Deputy Prosecuting Attorney to increase Code Enforcement Abatement work. Solid waste-related code violations, such as illegal roadside dumping, make up 45% of code enforcement complaints, while zoning issues along shorelines and other protected areas and unpermitted, potentially unsafe structures make up 42%. 

The Budget Also

  • Invests in the County’s Co-Responder Program, which embeds Designated Crisis Responders contracted with the Sheriff’s Department with law enforcement responding to 911 calls for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis. 
  • Sets aside $600,000 in funding for Domestic Violence services. Funding decisions will be made using a myriad of data points, including the Performance Audit Committee's Evaluation of Pierce County's Approach to Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Services



Public Safety SectorBudget AllocationService or Mission
Sheriff Law Enforcement$226,237,787The mission of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department is to protect life and property, uphold rights, and work in partnership to build strong, safe communities.
Sheriff Corrections $150,957,509 The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Corrections Bureau is a direct supervision jail located at 910 Tacoma AVE S, Tacoma, WA 98402. The Pierce County Jail has an operational capacity for 1700 inmates and currently employs approximately 300 correctional staff. The Pierce County Jail is made of two facilities “New Jail” and “Main Jail”. The New Jail was built in 2003 and the Main Jail was built in 1985.
District Court $36,320,210
  • $650,000 is transferred from the Behavioral Health and Therapeutic Courts Fund to be utilized by the District Court for therapeutic court activities. 
  • $40,000 of vacancy savings is provided to the Dispute Resolution Center to provide training for new mediators.
The mission of Pierce County District Court, as an independent and impartial branch of government, is to promote respect for law, society, and individual rights; provide open, accessible, and effective forums for dispute resolution; resolve legal matters in a just, efficient and timely manner and assure the dignified and fair treatment of all parties. The Pierce County District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction hearing cases such as traffic and non-traffic infractions.
Superior Court$44,769,390
  • $40,000 of vacancy savings will be provided to the Dispute Resolution Center to provide training for new mediators.
Prosecuting Attorney's Office$89,257,090The Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office seeks to be a premier public law office where community safety and public service come first. The dedicated professionals of our Civil, Criminal, and Family Support divisions all play a role in pursuing justice and serving the people of Pierce County
Department of Assigned Counsel (Public Defender$47,969.210

The Department of Assigned Counsel (DAC) is responsible for the delivery of mandated legal services to indigent persons accused of crimes in the Pierce County Superior Court; Pierce County District Courts; Municipal Courts in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Fircrest and Ruston; and Pierce County Juvenile Court delinquency proceedings. DAC also provides constitutionally mandated legal services to indigent parents involved in Juvenile Court dependency and termination proceedings and to persons detained for involuntary civil commitment proceedings at Western State Hospital and other evaluation and treatment facilities.



Department of Emergency Management$11,264,960

Pierce County Department of Emergency Management (PCDEM) is a nationally recognized and award-winning department charged with preparing and protecting the people that choose to live, work, and raise a family in the second largest county in Washington State. It is one of the first county emergency management departments in the United States to be accredited through the rigorous Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). PCDEM uses a business process that is data-driven, evidenced-based, leverages integrated systems, and emphasizes a culture of continuous innovation and a passion for customer service.

Crystal Judson Family Justice Center$3,351,034

Established in 2005 through an agreement between Pierce County and the City of Tacoma, the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center (FJC) serves the needs of domestic violence victims and their children by providing comprehensive victim services in one, central, safe location in downtown Tacoma.