Keeping Ahead of the CrowdCrawford Coates
How Lake Stevens (Wash.) PD continues to innovate, despite staffing challenges
Chief Jeffrey Beazizo of the Lake Stevens, Wash., Police Department needs to keep informed in order to keep his community and officers safe. “If something big happens,” he says, “I want to know immediately. With FirstWatch, I get alerted through CAD triggers on my phone as soon as that call comes through.
“It’s obviously not every call I need to be alerted to,” he says. “But major crimes and Priority 1 calls within the region, I need to know what’s happening. I want to check on my officers and make sure they’re okay, and then get the resources on the call as quickly and safely as we can. Having instant access to CAD data allows me to do this.”
Lay of the Land
It’s not just the CAD data the chief appreciates. “I really like the mapping feature of FirstWatch,” Beazizo notes. “It gives me a map of the area and I can see the hotspots. I can then look over time at these spots and see if we need to reallocate our resources in real time.”
Lake Stevens is a city of 40,700 residents spread over 9 square-miles, about 30 minutes north of Seattle. In the center of the city is its eponymous lake. “We’re mostly a residential community,” says Beazizo, “but we’re growing and adding commercial.”
The department’s crime analysts use FirstWatch reports too. It allows them to keep ahead of crime trends and provide the city leaders and chief with updated statistics. Beazizo sees technology such as FirstWatch as a means for leveraging his personnel and other resources. FirstWatch Data, for Lake Stevens, improves efficiency.
The department currently has nine non-commissioned staff and 37 commissioned staff. Like many, they are struggling to fill vacancies and retain officers. But with FirstWatch, Chief Beazizo is able to support his personnel, maintain community support, and improve performance.
“We have such a supportive community,” he says. “They know we’re understaffed and overwhelmed. With tools like Firstwatch, it has helped us in making City of Lake Stevens the 67th safest city in the nation.”
Building, Maintaining Trust
Transparency builds trust, says Beazizo. The department is currently exploring putting crime data on its public-facing website. “I’m always looking for ways to improve processes,” he says. “To continue to have the community’s support, we have to innovate and be transparent with them.”