The annual report on Evergreen State crime from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) contains some alarming data showing homicides have risen 66.9 percent statewide since 2016, but the number of commissioned law enforcement officers per 1,000 population ranks at the bottom for the entire nation.
Last year, according to a synopsis of the WASPC report, there were 302 homicides in the state, compared to 206 slayings in 2019. That’s a 46.6 percent increase, and one-sixth of those killings were reported in the City of Seattle.
Not mentioned in the report is the fact that murders have gone up despite passage of two restrictive gun control measures, the first in 2014 requiring so-called “universal background checks” and the second in 2018 prohibiting young adults from purchasing so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles” which Initiative 1639 defined as literally every semi-auto rifle ever manufactured, regardless of caliber.
According to Steve Strachan, WASPC executive director and former King County Sheriff, data in the 2020 report is compiled from 233 state, county, municipal and Tribal agencies. It is published in conjunction with the FBI, which includes the data in its annual Uniform Crime Report, which is traditionally released in late September.
Curiously, the FBI Crime Report for 2019 lists 194 homicides in the state, with 135 having involved firearms—only five of which were identified as rifles of any kind—even though the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobby has been pushing to ban so-called “assault rifles” for some years.
There is no small irony that the WASPC report shows Seattle as having 52 homicides last year when some entire counties in the state reported no murders. Seattle is the epicenter of gun control extremism in the state, and voters there overwhelmingly supported both gun control initiatives.
The irony is even sharper when considering that in 2015, Seattle adopted a “gun violence tax” on the sale of firearms and ammunition that has never reached the predicted revenue figure of between $300,000 and $500,000 annually. But since the tax was adopted, with the purpose of raising money to reduce so-called “gun violence” and murder in the Jet City, the number of homicides has increased annually, from 18 in 2016 to last year’s 52. The gun control lobby has remained silent about this dramatic policy failure, but they do continually send email appeals for contributions.
The WASPC report notes, “The total number of commissioned officers statewide was down from 1.24 per thousand to 1.19 per thousand people. Washington is ranked 51st out of the 50 states and District of Columbia for the number of officers per thousand people.”
The WASPC report says the total population in Washington is 7,656,066. According to the most recent update from the state Department of Licensing, there are 626,461 active concealed pistol licenses making Washington one of the top states in the West for per capita license possession. Subtracting children, that would roughly translate to one in every nine or ten adults in the state being licensed to carry.
The WASPC report spans more than 580 pages and is loaded with information about crime in the Evergreen State.