Although Washougal’s population has incresed by less than 20 percent over the past decade, the city’s police department has experienced triple the number of calls for service.
A recently released, annual report of Washougal Police Department (WPD)’s calls for service shows 12,913 calls in 2017 versus 4,188 calls for service in 2008.
The most recent report shows increases in reported assaults (70 in 2008 increasing to 123 in 2017), burglaries (51 to 80), prowlers (17 to 147), robberies (1 to 6) and thefts (125 to 230).
In 2008, there were nine WPD calls involving sex crimes. In 2017, there were 44 sex crimes reported in Washougal, including one rape that had just occurred, 15 cold cases involving a rape, five incidents of exposure and 23 listed as “other” in the WPD’s call statistics.
WPD Commander Allen Cook said there are dozens of sex crimes listed in the Revised Code of Washington. The sub-category of “other” would apply to any of those crimes, including child molestation.
The number of traffic stops has been consistent over the past decade. Twenty-one percent of the total WPD calls for service in 2017 and 2008 involved traffic stops. There were 2,091 traffic stops last year and 905 traffic stops 10 years ago.
In 2008, 101 of the police’s calls were listed as “other” in the traffic category, compared to 175 in 2017.
“They fall into types of parking complaints, signs or signals that aren’t working, blocking vehicles and so forth,” Elizabeth Kalik, an IT technician with CRESA, said.
In 2017, there were fewer police calls for service involving drunk drivers, 96, compared to 117 in 2008, while there was a sharp increase in the number of vice calls for service involving narcotics or liquor — 97 in 2017 versus 17 in 2008.
Staff levels have remained at similar levels. WPD had 20 officers in 2008 and is authorized to have 21 sworn officers now. There are currently 19, including Cook, Chief Ron Mitchell and new officer Jordan Lange.
Lange, a 2015 Camas High School graduate, will attend the Basic Law Enforcement Academy, in Spokane, for four months, starting next week.
She earned college credits in the subjects of criminal justice and the Department of Homeland Security while attending Cascadia Technical Academy, in Vancouver.
Lange participated in the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Explorers program for four years and was promoted from corporal to sergeant and lieutenant. Her involvement in that program included providing more than 2,000 hours of community service and going on more than 70 ride-alongs with 12 different law enforcement agencies in Washington.
Lange has been involved with Vancouver Police Activities League soccer and football camps for youth for three years.
“I want to positively impact youth and give back to the community,” she said.