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2013 Year-End Report Indicates Lakewood Becoming Safer

Judging whether a community is safer from year to year isn’t an exact science.

But if trends and numbers mean anything, then the City of Lakewood is becoming safer, thanks in large part to the work of its Police Department.

This week, the Police Department presented its 2013 year-end report to the Lakewood City Council. The report covered plenty – everything from the number of incidents to the number of uses of force by officers to the number of times the department received awards and praise. Here are some highlights of the report:

  • Police responded to 59,909 calls for service in 2013, more than 2,500 of which resulted in bookings. More than 17,000 involved traffic stops
  • Officer use of force (90 in 2013) represented an 18 percent drop from the prior year. There were no complaints of excessive force, and taser use fell almost 70 percent
  • Officers used force on a sliver of a percent – 0.15 -- of its contacts, and 3 percent of physical arrests required use of force
  • Police received 39 citizen letters of praise and 27 department awards.

Assistant Chief Mike Zaro told the City Council that determining whether Lakewood is a safer community compared to years past can be subjective. However, the number of Priority One calls for service has dropped to its lowest level since 2008, and the violent crime rate has dropped to its second-lowest mark since 2005.

“If you look at the numbers and the trends, it does show that the City is clearly moving in the right direction,” he said.

To view the Police Department’s full report, click here . When prompted to the agenda, under “Items For Discussion,” select “2013 Year End Police Department Report.”

Community Gateways Meeting

Interested in making the entrances to the Lakewood community look even better?

The City is facilitating a stakeholders group made up of representatives from various advisory boards, community organizations and businesses. Although the purpose of this group is to improve the look of the Bridgeport-Pacific Highway gateway, they are also developing a City-wide vision that can be used for all Lakewood gateways.

Besides the many visitors coming to the area for the U.S. Open in June 2015, improved entries and positive image of Lakewood may have an effect on future tourism and economic development.

A community meeting to review several design options is scheduled for 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 8 at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW. All are invited to attend. A preferred design option will be shared with Lakewood City Council at the conclusion of this process, along with costs and funding and phasing options.

Council Approves Contract For JLUS Study

The City of Lakewood took a major step this week in charting the region's future growth and development with Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council awarded a contract for professional services to AECOM Technical Services, Inc., to assist the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership (SSMCP) in completing a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for JBLM and surrounding communities.

The purpose of the JLUS is to create a long-term planning partnership that balances the protection of the health, safety, quality of life, and economic prosperity of local communities while ensuring the continuation of the military missions of the area. The study will emphasize ways to promote coordination, maintain the positive economic impact of the installations, and preserve critical civilian and Department of Defense investments.

The JLUS is a cooperative process among state, county, and local governments, the public and JBLM. The study examines land use, growth trends, and civilian and military activities in a region that hosts a diverse range of critical military operations, highly urbanized and growing population centers, and uniquely valuable environmental assets. The study area consists of portions of Thurston and Pierce Counties, the cities of Lakewood, Tacoma, University Place, Roy, Yelm, Lacey, DuPont, and Steilacoom, the Nisqually Indian Tribe Reservation, JBLM, and Camp Murray.

The project will officially begin in April 2014 and will include multiple opportunities for public participation and comment. The projected completion date for the study is September 2015.

If you would like additional information, please contact Mary Huff, Program Coordinator for SSMCP, at 253-983-7774or at mhuff@cityoflakewood.us.

Lakewood Police Open House

Lakewood Police will hold an Open House event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 13. The open house is intended for anyone interested in learning about the Police Department.

12th Annual Father Daughter Dance (Photos)

It's safe to say that the 12th Annual Father Daughter Dance, held at Lakes High School , was a huge success.

With 284 people in attendance, this was the City of Lakewood's largest turnout to date. We worked with several community partners to make every detail of the dance perfect.

The City would like to give a special thanks to Old Country Buffet for donating 300 cookies, Albertson’s for donating six cases of water, Washington Floral Service for donating half of the flowers and Cash & Carry for their $25.00 donation.

The City used the Monopoly “On the Boardwalk” theme throughout, and the night included vibrant colors, oversize dice and Monopoly card centerpieces. One dad even dressed up as "Rich Uncle Pennybags," the Monopoly Man, complete with a tux and top hat.

At the end of the evening, each girl received a long stem rose and a Monopoly themed candy bar. This event creates lasting memories and new traditions for many of our local families.

Click here for a Facebook photo gallery of the dance.