Lynnwood’s mayor, city council president, police chief and parks director issued a joint message to the community Monday, stating they “are committed to ensuring our community is safe and that you feel safe.”
With the title, “A Safe and Welcoming Community is Our Top Priority,” the message began by acknowledging that the city has been impacted by recent incidents, including the April 5 murder of 70-year-old Lynnwood resident Carl Bridgmon, an innocent bystander who was shot while sitting in his vehicle at Lynnwood’s Daleway Park. In addition, commercial crime has been on the rise as businesses have reopened following pandemic restrictions, and the city has been experiencing an uptick in cases of stolen vehicles and catalytic converters — all crimes that have also been increasing statewide.
Officials also noted the challenges faced by the police department, which include staffing challenges due to retirements.
Finally, the message stressed the role that residents can play in creating a safe community “and help make it known that criminal activity is not welcome here.”
You can read the complete message here:
Lynnwood is committed to being a safe, welcoming and equitable community for all. Each and every city department, and every single employee, plays a key role in making these goals a reality. We understand that our community is watching increasing regional crime and is impacted by recent incidents in our city, including the incredibly tragic murder of a community member at Daleway Park.
First and foremost, we want the community to know that we hear your concerns and we are working to address our local issues and improve your sense of safety. The mayor’s office, city council, police department and all city departments are committed to ensuring our community is safe and that you feel safe.
Statistically, our overall crime rate has trended slightly upwards over the past few years, which is not particularly surprising, as a fair portion of crimes relate to our commercial areas which have been opening back up after being closed down due to COVID restrictions.
We are undoubtably seeing an emboldened criminal element, which has resulted in more dynamic incidents that have and continue to garner the attention of the public. As recently reported, statewide stolen vehicle cases have dramatically increased, as have catalytic converter thefts. Locally, we have had numerous incidents, arrests or contact situations that in the past would have been without note to the public, but now include suspects ramming or recklessly striking police and civilian vehicles in order to escape, as they are aware that we will not pursue them. This trend is not unique to Lynnwood, but is highly concerning.
Our Lynnwood Police Department, just like many law enforcement agencies, is facing challenges with staffing levels. We are experiencing many retirements and the hiring and training of new officers takes time. Last Friday, we had two new officers graduate from the Police Academy, and we have four new hires ready to begin the Academy. Our police administration is continuously examining how to adjust and shift existing resources to directly impact both the emboldened criminal element as well as the understandable feeling of insecurity by members of our community.
Our community members play an important role in creating a safe community as well. It is important that as a community, we remain vigilant and help to make it known that criminal activity is not welcome here. There are things you can do at your home such as having motion sensor lighting, video monitoring systems, arranging a neighborhood Block Watch Program, knowing your neighbors, and if you see something – say something, please report anything that looks suspicious or out of place. For emergencies, always call 9-1-1.
Another great deterrent to unwanted criminal activity is people using our parks. Our community loves our parks and trails systems. The more people out in our parks, the less appealing our parks become to criminal activity. Especially during the pandemic, our parks system has been a great experience for community members, they could be outside, getting exercise and socializing, while still staying safe. We are seeing a huge return in park and shelter rentals, tournament and league play, and overall park usage.
Our parks maintenance team is in the parks each and every day, keeping them safe and well maintained. Our police department’s community health and safety section officers also routinely walk through our parks and we are working on increasing our police cadet staffing to bring back Park Patrol.
We will continue to monitor and respond to changing conditions in our community, and we will remain committed to making Lynnwood a safe community for all people.
Mayor Christine Frizzell
Council President George Hurst
Chief of Police Jim Nelson
Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Director Lynn Sordel