Highlights of Edmonds PD annual report: overall crime down but DUI arrests up

Editor’s note: This story replaces an earlier incomplete version that was published in error.

When it comes to criminal activity in Edmonds, the city experienced fewer crimes overall but saw an increase in the number of rapes, arsons and DUI arrests. That’s according to the Edmonds Police Department’s 2010 Annual Report, which was just posted on the city’s website

According to the annual report, the crime rate refers to Part 1 Crimes (defined by the FBI as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, car theft and arson) compared to the population. The overall crime rate in Edmonds was at 22.7 percent part 1 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2010, down from 24.8 percent in 2009.

The city saw an increase in reported rapes (38 to 41) and an increase in arsons (11 to 14) but a decrease in motor vehicle thefts (52 to 48), larcenies (666 to 616), aggravated assaults (41 to 36), robberies (27 to 23), burglaries (211 to 183), and thefts from vehicles/vehicle prowls (241 to 200). Edmonds experienced zero murders during 2010, down from two in 2009.

Traffic collisions were down (655 to 632) while traffic citations/infractions issued were up (5494 to 5778). DUI arrests were up significantly in 2010 (169) from 2009 (115).

The report also provides a variety of other police statistics, including the number of commissioned officers per 1,000 residents (the same as in 2009, 1.34, but down from 1.38 in 2006 and 2007, due to city budget issues). In addition, the report compares the crime rate of Edmonds with neighboring cities and Snohomish County. The Town of Woodway has the lowest rate, at 13.3, followed by Edmonds at 22.7, Shoreline at 27.9, Mountlake Terrace at 28.6, Snohomish County at 34.7 and Lynnwood at 60.6.

In his annual report letter, Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan noted that the decrease in many crimes is consistent with what has occurred nationally, adding that “it runs counter to what has been experienced historically during periods of economic distress and higher unemployment.”

“Violent crime across the United States is at a 40-year low, and this statistic has left many criminologists perplexed,” Compaan wrote. “James Q. Wilson, a leading expert on policing and crime, recently suggested in an article he wrote for The Wall Street Journal that downward crime trends may be explained (among reasons cited) by increased incarceration of offenders; “target hardening” by potential victims (i.e. locks, alarms, better overall security measures being taken); proactive policing by law enforcement with an eye toward preventing recurrence of crime; drug use trends, including a decrease in demand for (crack) cocaine; and perhaps even some cultural or medical explanations intertwined.”

“Whatever the reasons, and even though many crime trends have been pointing downward, it is not the time to become complacent and to take our collective eyes off of our public safety mission. We ask for the continued support and the resources so we can maintain a safe and secure community. We stand ready to continue to earn the public’s trust, confidence, and support,” Compaan said.



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