Washington crime report shows decline in homicides, police numbers
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Washington crime report shows decline in homicides, police numbers

Washington crime report shows decline in homicides, police numbers

Police at the scene of a head-on collision in North Columbia and North Vancouver on Jan. 28, 2021. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Oregon (KOIN) — Unlike Washington state and the city of Vancouver, Clark County saw a slight increase in homicides from 2022 to 2023.

Tuesday, the The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police has released its annual statewide crime data. The organization found that 376 murders were recorded across Washington state last year, a 5.8% decrease from the previous year and an 81.1% increase since 2019.

Specifically in Clark County, the sheriff’s office reported 10 homicides in 2023, compared to seven in 2022. In Vancouver, police reported eight homicides last year, compared to 11 cases the year before.

Property crimes make up the majority of crimes in the state, at 73.1%. Crimes against persons follow at 22.5%, while crimes against society, such as drug offenses or animal cruelty, make up the remainder.

According to the data, violent crimes occurred most frequently in May and least frequently in February.

The study also details the top crimes recorded by Washington’s many law enforcement agencies. For the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Vancouver Police Department, theft, destruction of property and “simple assault” were the most common offenses.

Additionally, the report shows that law enforcement personnel in Washington are among the lowest in the United States.

“Although our state added 94 net police officers in 2023, we have fallen further behind in staffing due to population growth and are once again 51st in the nation in staffing,” WASPC wrote on Facebook. “To reach the average number of officers per capita, we would need to add 8,000 more, an 80% increase.”

As of October 31, 2023, the VPD had approximately 1.06 commissioned officers per 1,000 residents. The CCSO had approximately 0.57 commissioned officers per 1,000 residents.