Snohomish Police chat about crime and community concerns
People can pick up kits to safely clean up discarded needles from the police station, 230 Maple Ave.
Snohomish crime is generally down in three key categories, from a data sheet
shared online by Mayor John Kartak from a meeting with Chief Keith Rogers. The numbers show there was one burglary in January and none in February and March; there were 14 thefts in January, 15 in Februry and six in March; and vehicle theft has declined from six in January to two in February and one in March. Rogers is scheduled to present a fuller first-quarter crime report at the Tuesday, May 1 City Council meeting.
SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish Police Department shared insights and answered questions at its inaugural monthly “Coffee with a Cop” event.
Police Chief Keith Rogers brought two deputies, two staffers and, by design, no agenda to the informal gathering. The chief, with community outreach officer Rich Niebusch and deputy Brandon Brashares, set up shop at Looking Glass Coffee April 10.
They aimed to let residents lead the conversation and fielded questions on everything from crime to car seats and code enforcement. And they listened, mostly straight-faced, to ideas as far-fetched as a mud wrestling fundraiser featuring police.
Some people at the event, such as Haley Rice, had logistical queries: they learned that the department provides two on-duty officers 24/7 in town and that crimes do not tend to rise on weekends, but rather jump based on time of day.
When Rice wondered aloud if that was enough police presence for the town, another resident chimed in that the department did receive support from the county.
They were both surprised to hear from Rogers that the city logged less crime than a certain Snohomish County high school.
Rogers also introduced that the department, at 230 Maple Ave.,
has just begun offering free needle collection kits to ensure anyone finding a needle can safely dispose of it.
Rogers shared that traffic was the No. 1 issue for residents, and a contributing factor factoid: new traffic signs were only noticed by the average person for the first 90 days after installation.
But he said the primary criminal issue in the city was theft both from business areas like Bickford Avenue and residential zones. Car prowls were another key issue, but one that could be mitigated by leaving phones and purses out of sight, Rogers mentioned.
While the morning event was sparsely attended — a few locals joined the conversation — the swag was more important than the roster to 4-year-old Claira Rice.
The department delivered with boxes of coffee mugs and kid-friendly giveaways including coloring books, stickers and bracelets.
They also brought the needle collection kits made of red, snap lock bins that fit in gallon-sized storage bags, along with a pair of tongs, plastic gloves, Purell hand sanitizer, protective glasses and an instruction sheet.
The new tools were especially relevant to attendees such as Sarah Dylan Jensen, the Snohomish Farmers Market manager. She came with comments about drug paraphernalia she’d encountered on jogs through town and in market Port-A-Potties.
Rogers advised individuals observing drug use to call 911.
Rogers also shared that the department was planning for a car seat safety check event and a program to conduct outreach to senior drivers.
The littlest one at the table seemed enriched by the event. While she sipped a cup full of whipped cream and colored happily, Claira said she had learned “to always call police.”
For information on the next Coffee with a Cop or other events, check the department’s Facebook page for updates: www.facebook.com/SnohomishPD
To pick up a needle collection kit, stop by the Police Department at 230 Maple Ave. Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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