In one of our latest Dispatch reader polls, we asked if folks are more inclined to help police solve a crime if a financial reward was offered, as occurred recently when the Eatonville Police Department posted a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the miscreants who’ve been breaking into homes in one of the town’s neighborhoods. The response to the poll was pretty one-sided: People will help rat out a rat regardless if there’s a reward, because they just want to help stop crime.
Put us in that crime-fighting corner, too. That’s why The Dispatch regularly publishes a summary of crime reports provided by the Eatonville-based Mountain Detachment of the Pierce County Sheriff Department. The idea is to keep the public informed of crimes in the vicinities of their homes and businesses.
Accompanying the summaries usually is a chart, also from the detachment, that breaks down the number of incidents reported on specific dates during a certain time frame. For instance, one of the latest charts is for the period of Jan. 19 to Feb. 1.
The incidents are short and cryptic. Some typical examples have included “Residential burglary, 2000 block of 304th Street East,” “Motor vehicle theft, 22000 block of 70th Avenue East” and “Vandalism, 3000 block of 255th Street East.” That’s how they’re given to us, in order to provide some privacy for crime victims or protect sensitive information related to an investigation. Here’s an explanation of the format from Sgt. Nick Hausner, who helps head the Mountain Detachment:
“Please remember the data has had the specific location addresses redacted to the general location only. For example, if the incident occurred at the address of 12312 304th Street, the house numbers would be redacted to 12000. This gives the general location within 10 blocks.
“Not all case data may be reflected, displayed or provided. Information may have been withheld or excluded due to an active case investigation or for other reasons, such as being a secondary offense in a higher offense incident, or technical issues. Some incidents listed may not be criminal in nature and a report was taken as the result of a community caretaking function, such as mental health-related incidents, natural-death reports or juvenile runaway reports. Also note that proactive police work, such as some traffic-related incidents, warrant arrests, as well as traffic collisions are reflected in the summaries and may not be an indicator of increased criminal activity in a specific area.”
Hausner goes on to note that during Jan. 19 to Feb. 1, the Mountain Detachment received from South Sound 9-1-1 or self-initiated 594 calls for service. The summaries from that period “contain information from incident reports, and not from” emergency dispatch records, he noted. Hausner adds that “only incidents requiring an official incident report are reflected. Calls or incidents that did not require an official report are not noted in the summary.”
The Mountain Detachment works an area of about 700 square miles. It stretches from 224th Street East in the Graham area to Mount Rainier, spanning the unincorporated areas of or near Eatonville, Elbe, Ashford, Graham, Roy, McKenna, Spanaway and Orting. The work is done 24 hours a day through the combined efforts of two sergeants, 18 deputies and an investigator. At least two deputies are on duty during each shift.
They have a lot to do. And just like our readers, we’re happy to help any way we can.
Dispatch editor Pat Jenkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 360-832-4697.