By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
EVERETT — A new police team’s focus on burglaries and other property crime in Everett has resulted in more than 100 arrests during the six weeks it has been up and running.
The burglary reduction team nabbed six suspects on Thursday night alone.
It’s part of a campaign that began nearly a year ago to cut into the burglary rate across the city.
Like a lot of communities around the Pacific Northwest, Everett last year was seeing a jump in residential and commercial break-ins, Everett police officer Aaron Snell said.
A crime analyst drilled down into the statistics to look for trends based on police field reports. From there, the police department formed its burglary reduction team.
The team includes two patrol officers and two property crimes detectives. They use crime analyses to work with other patrol officers as well as crime victims to identify suspects and target geographic areas with high burglary and theft rates.
It has been busy few weeks.
Since starting Sept. 11, the team has made 108 arrests. It also has recovered six firearms and $17,000 worth of personal property while seizing roughly $20,000 in cash.
“They think by aggressively going after property crimes, a lot of other problems will go away,” Snell said.
Many of the arrests have resulted in drug seizures.
During the past two years, Everett — pop. 103,000 — typically has had between 80 and 120 burglaries reported a month, according to police statistics.
Everett’s new approach is similar to one used by the Marysville Police Department earlier this year.
Marysville created a temporary team that included a sergeant, a detective and five officers to crack down on burglaries, thefts and other property-related crimes. The team was assembled after an upswing in residential and commercial break-ins. A police crime analyst routinely joined the group’s discussions and strategy sessions.
Officers identified “hot spots” that were believed to be used by thieves and those supporting their criminal activities.
At the same time, the city added more Neighborhood Watch programs in which volunteers keep close tabs on their communities and report suspicious activities to the police.
The Marysville strike team also kept a purposely unpredictable schedule.
Everett is using a similar strategy, working nights and days, Snell said. Many break-ins occur during the day when people are at work.
Everett’s Operations Division Deputy Chief Dan Templeman said the new approach recognizes the importance of comprehensive data collection and crime analysis in directing police efforts. The short-term results have been promising, but Templeman cautioned a better measure of success will be the long-term impact on overall crime and burglary rates in Everett.
“At this time, the burglary reduction team has been established on a temporary basis, with an unstated end date,” Snell said. “There will be an evaluation process to assess long-term needs.”
At the same time, Everett’s patrol division has continued to play a key role in the department’s overall burglary reduction effort, arresting 30 burglary suspects since Aug. 27, Snell said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; email@example.com.