As I approach the end of my first year as your Chief of Police, I hope you will indulge me as I share some of my thoughts and observations from the last 12 months:
- U.P. has really changed over the years. I was one of the first deputies to work here after incorporation in 1995. And while some of the best things about University Place have stayed the same over the years—an engaged community, friendly people, and nice parks and schools—the city has become much more of a regional destination, thanks to Chambers Bay and new shopping locations. This has really impacted demands on public safety.
- As a department of 17 commissioned officers charged with serving more than 33,000 residents, we do a lot. Our UPPD has a robust community outreach program that is spearheaded by our Public Safety Administrator, Jennifer Hales. We host several public safety classes, lead a public safety academy twice a year (enrollment is now underway for our Spring Academy), attend neighborhood safety meetings, and have a significant National Night Out Against Crime program every August.
- Our dedicated crimes investigator Deputy Josh Mills started just over a year ago and has been able to make a huge impact on clearing cases and making arrests that most likely would not have happened if we did not have Josh’s position.
- We have a safe and welcoming community, but it is not crime free. We have experienced some “big city” crimes over the last year and our officers have done some great work to bring many of those offenders to justice. But we also have some tough decisions to make about public safety staffing in the near future. I look forward to having those conversations with all U.P. residents.
I actually have a lot more to say about these issues—and others—but you’ll have to wait until the next issue of our Public Safety newsletter appears in your mailbox at the end of March. Until then, however, I am always happy to talk to residents about how we can work together to make U.P. the best community in the South Sound.Print This Post