The point of this email is to share the urgency of the need to prioritize public safety. It’s time to be blunt about our public safety crisis. Yesterday in the Public Safety Committee, we heard a very sobering report detailing the current staffing and hiring outlook of our sheriff’s department and the increase in crime rates. I also just received a report of three more homicides in the county since yesterday’s report. One of the three was in Frederickson.
Here is a link to the Public Safety Committee meeting packet. You can view the Power Point that was presented to the committee beginning on electronic page 31; the presentation starts at about the 45 minute mark. How the state Legislature could sine die without fixing the laws that allow our deputies to do their job, obey their oath, is beyond comprehension. I feel like we are living in Gotham City.
I agree with Chief Lundborg’s assessments in his presentation: law enforcement has been vilified across the country; we are seeing new levels of defiance and aggression from the lawless; and the Blake decision made drugs legal, to mention a few remarks. We are seeing a mass exodus of deputies and very few recruits knocking on our doors.
There were 95 stolen vehicles in March. Robbery by firearm is up 164%. Tacoma had 24 robberies in one weekend. I’m sure you also see the headlines of the many fatal collisions in the county. Home and auto insurance rates are increasing by double digits.
We are doing our best to address the financial shortfalls to retain our current deputies and recruit more of these defenders for your safety. Law enforcement is an honorable profession. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
I’m sending this to inform you of the difficulties we are facing in our county. We cannot secure your safety in today’s environment without our deputies. They are the No. 1 priority.
Nothing else comes close to this crisis. I’ll appreciate your support in this stance.