Snohomish Sheriff’s Office patrol operations to get review, recommendations

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has hired an outside expert to review patrol operations and make recommendations.

The sheriff’s office hasn’t significantly changed how it patrols the county in more than a decade, according to the budget proposal. The study is expected to take about eight months and cost $35,000.

The money comes from a Tulalip Tribes community fund related to tribal gambling mitigation, officials said.

The contractor is Tim Freesmeyer with Etico Solutions in Illinois. He started Aug. 18.

Freesmeyer will review the past three years of emergency call data in the county and also analyze regional trends, such as the increase in property crime linked to heroin use, Sheriff Ty Trenary said.

Data from 2014 emergencies will be added to the study early next year, said Nelson Beazley, the sheriff’s bureau chief of operations.

“It’s really going to dig deep into the layers to help guide us through the future,” Beazley said. “We need to start somewhere. This will set the tone for the sheriff’s office as far as how we deliver services at the patrol level.”

Trenary likened the scope of the study to dumping all of the pieces of a puzzle on a table, to see if there’s a better way to put them back together.

A critical area of the study involves looking at how often deputies are responding to 911 calls versus having time for community policing and crime prevention, Beazley said. The sheriff’s office needs to do a better job of capturing that data, he said.

The study also focuses on emergency call volumes by hour, days of the week, and geographic areas, he said. Potential annexations and population growth are factors.

Secondary parts of the study include deputies’ shifts and hours, the boundaries of their beats, and the locations of the sheriff’s office precincts. Beat boundaries were last updated about five years ago.

Freesmeyer will make projections and recommendations for patrol staffing needs through 2018.

The sheriff’s office serves unincorporated areas of the county as well as cities that contract for police services including Stanwood, Darrington, Snohomish, Sultan and Gold Bar.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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