The number of serious crimes reported in Woodinville fell in 2016 from 2015 levels, as did the number of calls for police service, according to the city police department’s annual crime report.
The number of Part 1 crimes in the city – assaults, burglaries, robberies, vehicle thefts and other serious crimes – fell to 34 per 1,000 residents in 2016, from 37 per 1,000 residents in 2015, according to the report.
One exception was an increase in the number of non-forced-entry burglaries in the city, which rose to 24 from 19 in 2015. The hike was due in large part to a series of burglaries at the Brittany Park senior living facility, according to Police Chief Katie Larson, who presented the crime report to the City Council March 7.
In July, Woodinville police charged a maintenance worker at the facility with 23 felonies in relation to 11 robberies, and recovered about $23,000 in stolen jewelry belonging to residents.
Larson credited increased vigilance among residents for some of the drop in crime, especially the number of automobile break-ins, which fell to 134 from 155 a year earlier.
Residents have responded to the police department’s “Lock It to Stop It” program, in which police urge that residents lock their automobiles, and keep valuables out of sight in parked cars.
“They are listening. They are locking their homes, and they are locking and removing valuables from their cars,” Larson said.
The drop was also likely due to an increase in the number of foot- and bicycle-patrol officers assigned to the downtown area during the holiday season, a program that will continue in 2017, Larson said.
Battling distracted driving will also be a priority this year, Larson said. Driver inattention was a significant factor in the 225 accidents registered in 2016, including 35 injury accidents, she said.
“We’re really going to get out there and look for distracted drivers on their cell phones and so forth,” she said.
Overall, the number of dispatch calls for service from the police department fell by just over one percent, to 3,315 calls from 3,360 in 2015.
In addition to those calls for service, Woodinville officers initiated about 5,500 of what Larson called “on-views,” such as checks of residences whose owners are on vacation, traffic stops and community meetings. That number is tied for first among cities, like Woodinville, which contract with the King County Sheriff’s Office for police services.
“Those are all calls where our officers are getting out their vehicles and doing great work,” she said.