Everett police crime-prevention program honored

EVERETT — An Everett police program earned international recognition earlier this fall.

A few years back, a couple of Everett police officers wanted to redesign the crime prevention program. They wanted something any Everett officer could use.

Then-police chief Jim Scharf told them to think bigger. He wanted a program that could be shared with other law enforcement agencies.

Officers Aaron Snell and Eddie Golden, along with Sgt. Robert Goetz, were honored for their efforts in October when they won the Webber Seavey Award, an international prize for quality in law enforcement.

The award was presented to Police Chief Kathy Atwood during a brief ceremony at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting.

The program, Project Impact, was a finalist for the same award in 2010.

Many police departments around the country don’t have the resources to develop their own crime prevention programs, Goetz said.

Project Impact is software stocked with safety tip-sheets and blueprints for crime prevention programs, such as National Night Out and block watch groups.

The software allows police agencies to customize the materials with their own logos and contact information. They can pick which pieces to use. For example, they could focus on car theft or domestic violence.

“All these are is tidbits of information that any officer can print out,” Snell said.

The Everett officers wanted to make it easier for police to communicate with people and help them learn how to avoid becoming victims of crime, Golden said.

Chris O’Brian, a Snohomish-based computer programmer, is friends with Snell. O’Brian volunteered more than 1,000 hours of work developing the software.

He liked the idea of helping the cops communicate with their communities, he said.

Project Impact helps build bonds among police, neighbors and businesses, Atwood said.

“They really spend a lot of time in the community trying to get the word out about what they can do to protect themselves and their property,” she said.

Everett police estimate that more than 100 departments already are using the program, in more than two dozen states and several countries.

The crime prevention team went to Chicago in October to accept the award.

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

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