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Tacoma police chief addresses crime, safety questions in business town hall

Hundreds of questions were sent in for the new Tacoma police chief to address.

TACOMA, Wash. — With only a few months under his belt, Tacoma Police Chief Police Avery Moore hopes the community starts to notice changes.

"What I want to do is lessen our victims," said Moore. "The less victims we have, the better it is overall for the city." 

During a virtual town hall put on by the Tacoma Business Council Monday night, Moore said Tacoma saw a 43% decrease in crime in March compared to the month before.

Moore said the department has worked for the last few weeks to have more of a presence on Tacoma's streets. He also acknowledged the department, which would be fully staffed with a force of 362, is down about 55 officers.

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"So, what can you do to make TPD a place where people want to work?" asked Tacoma Business Council President and chair Kristen Wynne.

"So, that was probably the number one issue for me when I accepted the job. I felt like it was imperative that I start internally with morale. So what I did is I met with every officer here," responded Moore.

The Tacoma Business Council was recently formed to bring attention to crime problems impacting businesses in the community. Before the virtual town hall began, a video was played highlighting businesses that have experienced crime and theft and are worried about the safety of their staff and customers.

"People are frustrated, and when they're frustrated when a crime happens, they call 911, and then you hear them say, ‘But [police] never showed,’” said Tacoma Business Council Communications Chair Dana Hill.

Right now, the Tacoma Police Department is focused on violent crime, which Moore said has a direct correlation to the property crime many businesses experience.

Moore said the department is working to create a crime plan, which will be specific to the needs and trends in Tacoma. He plans to give an overview presentation of the plan at Tacoma City Hall next Tuesday.

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