Violent Crime In Everett Rising Rapidly – Murder Rate May Quadruple Over 2021

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman addressed the Everett City Council Wednesday night.

Everett Police will continue to staff their Gang Response Unit and just joined a Regional Violent Crimes Reduction Unit.

Wednesday night Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman presented the Everett City Council with a public safety briefing.

The news was not overly encouraging as the Chief addressed firearms and violent crime, drugs and homelessness, living crime data (which means close to real time so what is reported today could be different tomorrow as more details are refined), and the role Everett Police have along with lawmakers, prosecutors, judges and community members. Deputy Mayor Nick Harper also addressed the council on a public safety initiative undertaken by Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin and most of the other mayors in Snohomish County.

Chief Templeman used a power point presentation to help explain the data he was presenting. We’ll use a few slides here but you can clink the link below to see the full presentation.
Council Presentation on Public Safety 08172022 v5 – FINAL no notes v2
In the next day or so the City will have the video up of the Chief’s presentation to the council. Given the large amount of information we’d like to encourage you to watch the full presentation. Here’s the link to the meeting archives. Look for August 17th.
The problems described by the Chief are not unique to Everett or other cities in the Puget Sound area or the State of Washington. Templeman cited four factors impacting crime.

  • The Pandemic – “Some members of our community are not doing well since the Pandemic”
  • Fentanyl – “Pervasive throughout our community, harder to treat than heroin or meth for those in recovery, guns almost always found with fentanyl”
  • Firearms – “January – June 2022 we had 74 guns stolen from homes, 36 stolen from vehicles and officers are finding guns on people at highest levels ever”
  • State Law Changes – “After the Blake Decision all drugs were legal for a time, HB5476 requires two documented intervention/diversion attempts to treatment services before arrest can be made and other laws have impacted officers ability to take enforcement actions”
    Crimes Against Persons
    Violent Crime is on the rise. While not at the high points of 2017 and 2018 there is a steady rise in Crimes Against Persons as shown in the chart below.

    In 2019 there were 1503 cases. This year there are projected to be 1670.

    Murder, Robbery and Weapons Violations
    Everett is seeing record highs since 2018. Everett saw 4 murders in 2020 and 2021 but in 2022 that number is projected to be 16. Everett saw 86 robberies in 2021 but in 2022 we are projected to see 140. In 2021 there were 130 weapons violations, the projection for 2022 is 194.

    The number of murders in Everett this year is expected to quadruple over last year.

    Shots Fired and Drive-By Shooting Calls
    In 2019 there were 3 drive-by shootings. In 2020 that number climbed to 17, 25 in 2021 and 42 are projected for this year. Overall Shots-Fired calls are expected to top the 100 mark for the first time ever this year. “As the Chief I am very concerned about the number of shots fired calls,” – Dan Templeman.

    Subject matter experts are now working exclusively on Unlawful possession of firearm cases. All recovered shell casings go into a national database.

    Stolen Firearms
    For the first time ever the number of stolen firearms cases is expected to top the 200 mark this year in Everett, Washington. Thieves are taking gun safes from homes. In the first six months of 2019 and 2020 there were 37 guns reported stolen. In the first six months of this year that number sits at 102.

    Gun thefts in Everett are at potentially record levels this year.

    Weapon Law Violations include unlawful possession of a firearm, aiming or discharging a firearm, concealed weapons violations including knives, unlawful use of a weapon
    The City of Everett is far above where they’ve ever been when it comes to weapons law violations.

    In the first six months of 2021 there were 62 weapon law violations, so far this year in six months there have been 97.

    Gang Related Cases
    Gang related cases in Everett, Washington have more than doubled every year over the past three years.

    Everett tracks gang graffiti in addition to violent gang behavior when factoring gang related cases.

    Chief Templeman told the council that law enforcement needs the community to step up to help with getting legislative change and that given staffing challenges, citizens in Everett may also have to deal with not getting a police officer to respond to every call for service. “Maybe this is the beginning of going down the road to offer online only reporting for a larger number of crimes,” Templeman told the council. “We need to increase online reporting options.”

    Chief Templeman explained that the department hired 12 police officers in 2021. So far in 2022 they have hired 22 police officers on their way to a goal of 25 for this year. However the department currently has 24 vacant positions. That’s not the true number of holes in the department however as the number of actual vacancies is currently at 57 when you factor officers not working on the street or in specialty units due to being at training, vacation, the police academy prior to hitting the street and injury leave both short and long term. In the last two years 40 officers have left the Everett Police Department in a combination of retirement, taking jobs at other departments out of the city and State or leaving law enforcement completely for a new career. “With 57 actual vacancies we have to have our focus on high priority persons crimes,” Templeman said.

    The Chief talked about the department’s response including joining a new Regional Violent Crime Reduction Unit involving Lynnwood Police, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office and the FBI. That unit is targeting the most dangerous and violent offenders in our area with the specific mission of reducing violent crime in the Everett, Lynnwood and south Snohomish County area. The FBI involvement will target adults who are exploiting younger people to participate in criminal activity on behalf of criminal organizations.

    Templeman also mentioned the City of Everett is looking into a “Guns for Gift Cards” program similar to a successful event held recently in Kirkland. Alternate Response teams are being studied that would respond in place of police or firefighters in 911 calls for behavioral health concerns. The COET team has made more than 1700 contacts in just the first seven months of this year with tangible help for people who want it including

  • 12 Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion referrals
  • 18 clients to inpatient treatment, 26 to diversion center
  • 31 clients placed in motels
  • over 35 clients placed in pallet shelters
  • 80 arrests
  • partnering with Drug Task Force, SCSO and EPD Patrol in working trouble areas
  • One note from Mayor Cassie Franklin Wednesday night is while there were 1700 contacts so far this year, the vast majority of those the Everett COET team contacts refuse services. Templeman noted that while there is still a big gap in availability to provide services, people that want help can get at least some assistance from the COET team. Many still do not accept the help offered to them.

    Chief Templeman summed his presentation up. “If you lower accountability in the criminal justice system that leads to an increase in crime,” Templeman said. “All stakeholders including law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and legislators must maintain accountability or the result will lead to increased crime and public safety issues, law enforcement is just one of many parts.”

    Deputy Mayor Nick Harper told the council of Mayor Franklin’s work with other Mayors around Snohomish County. They meet at least monthly to share concerns. They’ve been talking with prosecutors, judges and State and Federal elected officials and are creating a legislative agenda to fix the system that as a whole has not been working for cities. Prosecution backlogs, the mental health treatment gap and the fact that the cities cannot pass laws more restrictive than that allowed under State law has the Mayors forming a coalition. Because they are non-partisan positions Harper told the council it is not a matter of right versus left but a chance to set aside politics and move cities forward.

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