LAKEWOOD, WA – Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist gave a public safety update to councilmembers at the regularly scheduled Lakewood City Council meeting.
First, Prosecutor Lindquist discussed the High Priority Offender Program (HPO), a data-driven approach to prosecution.
“Our goal with the High Priority Offender Program is to make our community safer by focusing resources on the small percentage of offenders who are committing a large percentage of the crimes,” said Lindquist.
The office adapted successful data-driven prosecution programs from the east coast, which use data, technology, and intel to identify career criminals and other high impact offenders. Pierce County is the first county on the west coast to implement a High Priority Offender Program.
And it’s working. Lakewood is “seeing a positive impact this year,” said Council Member Paul Bocchi.
Second, Lindquist spoke with councilmembers about the office’s Elder Abuse Unit. Started by Lindquist in 2011, the Elder Abuse team works to vigorously prosecute offenders and assist the community in preventing elder abuse crimes.
“We are committed to protecting the vulnerable,” said Lindquist. “Our office protects elders through vigorous prosecution and through education so people can better protect themselves, their families, and their friends.”
Because of its leadership in the field of Elder Abuse, Pierce County was awarded $370,985 from the Department of Justice to support a comprehensive approach to addressing elder abuse. The Prosecutor’s Office, which secured one of only nine nationwide grants, is teaming up with local law enforcement agencies and victim service organizations to increase and strengthen training, form a community response team and improve access to victim services.
“We are leading an effort to bring stakeholders together,” said Lindquist. “This will make our community safer for our elderly citizens.”
Lindquist added that he and his staff appreciate the leadership of Lakewood Police Chief Mike Zaro and value the outstanding working relationship the Prosecutor’s office has with the Lakewood Police Department.
The Prosecutor is always happy to speak with local leaders, civic groups, senior communities, and others on community issues.