I want to start by thanking those of you who have reached out to our department to get the facts about recent criminal activity in U.P. In doing so, we have been able to share the details of where and when these crimes occurred, while also reminding everyone that this current wave of activity is the exception, not the norm for our city.
Since the start of the new year, we’ve had two reported carjackings and an attempted armed robbery. Each of these occurred in commercial areas. They did not occur in residential neighborhoods. Although the events are similar, we do not have a solid lead on the suspects at this time. Our dedicated crime investigator, Deputy Josh Mills, is working closely with other local law enforcement teams to track down leads.
We also had an incident this week that began at a commercial establishment on 27th Street and was successfully resolved when the suspect was apprehended at his home by our officers with assistance from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team. No one was injured during the encounter and we were able to recover firearms from the scene.
This was our second SWAT team call in less than two months. In December, UPPD responded to a domestic violence call that involved a gun in the vicinity of 56th and Orchard streets. When officers arrived on the scene, the male threatened to shoot and was seen with multiple weapons. We secured the area and the Sheriff’s SWAT Team responded. Following several hours of negotiations, the suspect (with whom we have had several encounters during the past nine months) was taken into custody peacefully. Like more and more of our calls these days, there was a mental health component to this incident.
Although we may not be able to eliminate all crime or mental health issues, we continue to seek ways to prevent crime and to educate the public on ways to stay vigilant and protect themselves.
Our department is committed to ensuring that U.P. remains a safe and welcoming community. We constantly review our crime data and trends so that we can adjust our patrols accordingly. We also strive, both through our the City of U.P.’s Facebook page and that of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, to keep the public updated when crime occurs in U.P.
We will be mailing a public safety newsletter in the coming weeks that will highlight some of the services we provide and offer registration information for the public safety classes we will host this spring. In addition, we will also be hosting a Public Safety forum in the near future where we can share information and get input from our residents on their ideas and concerns, while also addressing perceptions of safety in U.P.
In my next column, I will pay tribute to PCSD Deputy Cooper Dyson, who died on Dec. 21, 2019 while responding to a call to support his fellow deputies. Deputy Dyson was not assigned to UPPD but did work here fairly often covering overtime shifts. His loss has been felt deeply by all of us and I do not want to miss the opportunity to honor his service.