MPD0206

Police Officer Angie Fawks and the MPD's tactical response vehicle.

 

Over the past several years, Marysville residents have seen a more than 28 percent reduction in crime. 

The Marysville Police Department has participated in several initiatives that have helped improve the area's livability and reduce crime.

Police officials cite several programs that have decreased crime and helped improve livability in Marysville. Officers have focused on two areas of town — north Marysville that includes the Smokey Point/Lakewood area and the downtown area on the south end of town. 

The Marysville Police Department is working alongside the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office in a regional property crimes task force that focuses on burglaries, identity theft and other property issues.

Chief Rick Smith, of the Marysville Police Department, said he sees burglaries as one step away from more violent crimes such as home invasions. 

In five years the number of burglaries, both residential and commercial, have been reduced from 465 in 2013 to 223 in 2018. Part of that is a reduction in residential burglaries from 376 in 2013 down to 150 in 2018. 

While the burglary trends continue to decline, it's important to remain vigilant because criminals continue to innovate. 

Police departments in Marysville and Arlington also instituted a law enforcement embedded social worker program in 2018. A social worker and a police officer team up and visit homeless people camped throughout the two cities. They work with homeless people to find the treatment and other resources needed to get off the streets. The social worker came onboard in March, 2018 and from March through December, the embedded social worker made 1,087 contacts with homeless populations. During that period of time, 124 people completed chemical dependency and 52 people found secure housing. 

"It's trying to get people help who really need help," Smith said. He added that law enforcement action is possible for people who aren't willing to seek help. 

Smith said the social worker program is extremely successful. All of the department's patrol officers are on board and help make connections with the social worker. 

The Marysville Police Department took over the city's code enforcement two years ago and focus on such issues as abandoned vehicles, overgrown yards, open storage and garbage issues. 

"We really wanted to address those things the community can see," Smith said. 

Marysville Police Department Commander Mark Thomas added that the focus in resolving code violations is voluntary compliance. 

The Marysville Police Department is comprised of one chief, one assistant chief, five commanders, 12 sergeants, 55 officers, 14 jail officers, three code enforcement employees and 12 employees in records.  In addition to paid staff, 22 volunteers donated more than 4,500 hours of service in 2018, Thomas said. 

For 2019, Smith said he's looking to continue the department's proactive approach to policing. He will work with the Marysville School District to learn about the area's demographic changes. He noted that 30 percent of the children are of Hispanic heritage. 

The department is also planning to move into a new building, jail and courthouse. 

"We've outgrown this building," Smith said, noting the current building was designed for 22 employees and the department currently has more than 100 employees. "We've been living in closets."

Construction of the new building also means the Marysville Police Department has to be a good steward of public money. That meant not just being frugal, but to "utilize money to maintain a professional department that continues to meet the needs of our community," Smith said. 

He said the department will continue to provide training for all officers from patrol to the Chief of Police. 

"I have a duty to the community to lead, teach and grow the department," Smith said.

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