Lacey reports some crime rates declined and some rose in 2023


Lacey Police Chief Robert Almada presented a report to the city council during a work session on March 26, highlighting a decrease in the city's crime rate in 2023.

The preliminary statistics are derived from the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS), shed light on the city's law enforcement.

According to Almada, the population of Lacey reached 59,430 in 2023, marking a 2% increase from the previous year. However, amidst this growth, the NIBRS Crime Rate per 1000 individuals dropped to 55.9 in 2023, indicating an 8.1% decrease from the rate recorded in 2022, which stood at 60.8.

One notable decline was observed in robbery incidents, which decreased by 28.1% in 2023, totaling 23 reported cases compared to 32 in 2022.

Similarly, aggravated assault incidents were reduced by 13.8% to 69 cases in 2023 from 80 cases in the previous year.

Rising crimes

However, not all crime categories experienced a decline.

Forcible sex offenses saw a 20.5% increase in 2023, with 53 reported cases compared to 44 in 2022. This category comprises various subtypes, including rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, fondling, and statutory rape.

Drug and narcotics offenses also surged in 2023, experiencing a 200% increase from the previous year, with 39 reported incidents. This spike may be attributed to the re-criminalization of narcotics possession as a gross misdemeanor in July 2023, following a Washington State Supreme Court ruling, claimed Almada.

Auto thefts decreased by 13.3% in 2023, with 235 incidents reported compared to 271 in 2022. However, burglaries saw a 6.7% increase, with approximately 67% of incidents being commercial burglaries.

Almada clarified that these numbers may change once the final report is out in July this year.

Regarding the use of force incidents in 2023, Almada reported that out of 43,315 incidents, only 40 involved the use of force by police department employees.


Notably, the department successfully de-escalated 99.91% of all incidents without resorting to force.

Of the 40 instances of force, 36 were defensive actions to control suspects' movements, 2 involved Taser deployments, and 1 involved a punch/kick. Additionally, 1 incident involved an officer aiming a firearm at a suspect without discharging it. Of these incidents, 21 resulted in minor injuries to the suspects, none requiring hospitalization.

Furthermore, personnel complaints totaled six in 2023, with four formal complaints and two informal complaints. Among the formal complaints, two were internally generated and sustained; one was internally generated and unfounded, and one was externally generated and unfounded. The informal complaints were service-related and were resolved.

Almada reported that no pattern or policy issues were found in an analysis of the complaints, with the majority being internally driven by policy violations.

In terms of diversity within the police department, a breakdown reveals a predominantly white workforce, comprising 58.75% of personnel, followed by Asian individuals at 12.50%. The racial composition also includes African-American (10%), Native American (1.25%), and individuals of unknown race (2.50%). Moreover, 13.75% of the workforce is reported as White with Hispanic ethnicity.

Gender analysis indicates a majority of males, constituting 67.50% of the department, while females comprise the remaining 32.50%.


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