This screenshot shows the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office’s new crime dashboard released to the public last week. It tracks crime trends over the last few years.

This screenshot shows the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office’s new crime dashboard released to the public last week. It tracks crime trends over the last few years.

Sheriff’s new database gives window into Snohomish County crime rates

Homicides are up compared to 2021. Some other violent crimes and property crimes are down, data released last week shows.

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is offering the public a new look at crime rates in areas patrolled by its deputies.

An online dashboard released Friday gives insight into crime trends in Snohomish County’s unincorporated areas and smaller cities, like Stanwood, Snohomish and those along U.S. 2.

For example, it shows homicides are up this year, compared to past years in the same jurisdiction. In all of 2019, there were nine. The next year, that dropped to four, before returning to nine in 2021. This year, there have been 11.

The number of reported assaults is similar to past years. Arsons are down. Cases involving domestic violence have gone down each year since 2019. Robberies are up. Thefts, especially of vehicles, are way up. Weapons offenses, like drive-by shooting and unlawful possession of a firearm, have surpassed last year’s total.

Total calls for service appear slightly down, with about 202,000 all of last year and over 177,000 so far this year.

Previously, this data would only be published at the end of each year. The dashboard will be updated every Thursday night.

It’s a new approach from Sheriff Adam Fortney, who has said few people read the end-of-year summaries that were published in the style of a magazine. For 2020, the sheriff’s office only released a year-end video with little data, though some data was available on the sheriff’s website or through third-party sources. And over the summer, Fortney told the county council that his office’s crime data was “inaccurate,” with lapses dating back to 2016. About 70,000 incidents between 2016 and 2021 were “floating in the back end” of the office’s computer system, unaccounted for, largely due to errors in how addresses were entered, he said.

The dashboard comes as local officials have warned of rising crime in local cities, part of a push for state lawmakers to do more to address the issues. But reliable data has sometimes been hard to come by. It can take the FBI many months to release crime figures from the previous year. This year, an annual report from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs was published in July, detailing crime in cities across the state from January to December 2021.

The sheriff’s office hopes the new dashboard helps fill the information gap with more comprehensive statistics that are frequently updated.

In a statement Friday, Fortney said “this is one part of a multi-pronged approach using technology advancements to increase transparency and better serve our community.”

Fortney’s challenger in the 2023 election, Deputy Chief Susanna Johnson of the Bothell Police Department, has criticized the sheriff’s office for an alleged lack of transparency around crime statistics.

“He kept moving the dial on it,” Johnson told The Daily Herald last month. “He said, ‘We used to do it, but nobody was reading it, so we stopped doing it.’ … There was this side-trip that talked about hundreds of copies that weren’t read. I just thought, ‘Why don’t you just reduce the number of copies or just put it out virtually?’”

Future iterations of the dashboard are expected to include more data from the Snohomish County Jail and the Office of Professional Accountability, which handles complaints of misconduct for the sheriff’s office. The website currently includes OPA’s brief annual reports. And the jail data in the dashboard details the number of days suspects spent in custody over the past few years. For example, it shows inmates this year are generally getting out of jail slower than they were in 2020, when the pandemic pushed officials to reduce the jail population.

This effort is separate from another planned dashboard coming from the prosecutor’s office. That one hopes to include crime data, but also dig in to the path through the criminal justice system and what role race plays.

The sheriff’s interactive dashboard is available at snohomishcountywa.gov/3308/crime-statistics-reports.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Lake Serene in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service)
How will climate change affect you? New tool gives an educated guess

The Climate Vulnerability Tool outlines climate hazards in Snohomish County — and it may help direct resources.

A cliff above the Pilchuck River shows signs of erosion Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Lake Connor Park sits atop the cliff. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Hill erodes in Lake Connor Park, forcing residents of 8 lots to vacate

The park has just under 1,500 members east of Lake Stevens. The riverside hill usually loses 18 inches a year. But it was more this year.

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
Small plane lost power in crash north of Paine Field, flight club says

The pilot reportedly called 911, stuck in a tree, on Friday. The sole occupant survived “without a scratch,” the president of Puget Sound Flyers said.

Ken Florczak, president of the five-member board at Sherwood Village Mobile Home community on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How Mill Creek mobile home residents bought the land under their feet

At Sherwood Village, residents are now homeowners. They pay a bit more each month to keep developers from buying their property.

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
‘I’m stuck in the trees’: 911 call recounts plane crash near Paine Field

Asad Ali was coming in for a landing in a Cessna 150 when he crashed into woods south of Mukilteo. Then he called 911 — for 48 minutes.

The Snohomish County Jail is pictured on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Jails had ‘immunity’ to lawsuits over overdoses — so her family settled

In 2018, Denise Huffer died of a methamphetamine overdose in her cell at the Snohomish County Jail. Her family took a $50,000 deal in February.

A heart shaped hand tossed pepperoni pizza, left, and eight-corner Detroit style veggie pizza, right, from Jet’s Pizza on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, at the Everett Herald newsroom in Everett. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Detroit-original Jet’s Pizza lands in WA with thick-crust pies and more

The national chain’s Lynnwood joint is the first in the state. The pizza is tasty — hot or cold. And it makes good date food.

Providence nurses picket in front of the hospital during the first day of their planned five-day strike Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Months after strike, nurses reach contract with Providence Everett

The new contract, 10 months in the making, includes bonuses and extra pay to counterbalance chronic understaffing.

on Wednesday February 21, 2024 in Snohomish. (Photo provided by Snohomish County Fire District #4)
Woman dies after suspected DUI crash on US 2 near Snohomish

A driver crossed the center line and crashed head-on into a minivan Wednesday night, killing a Monroe woman, troopers said.

Arlington
Police: Arlington man who shot at house detained after standoff

Deputies said the man barricaded himself for five hours early Thursday in his house in the 23200 block of 115th Avenue NE.

Lyla Anderson and others sign a petition to save the Clark Park gazebo during a “heart bomb” event hosted by Historic Everett on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Too much Everett to throw away’? Gazebo’s impending end stirs emotions

A demolition date hasn’t been confirmed for the Clark Park gazebo, but city staff said it’s too expensive to save. “The decision’s been made.”

A person turns in their ballot at a ballot box located near the Edmonds Library in Edmonds, Washington on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Presidential primary ballots en route to Snohomish County voters

Voters must indicate a party preference to vote for a candidate. Ballots are due March 12.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.