Pierce County Has Innovative Solution To Crack Down On Repeat Criminal Offenders
February 28, 2020
Pierce County law enforcement authorities have taken an innovative approach to handling repeat criminal offenders. These “high priority offenders” are only a portion of criminals, but account for a large percentage of the overall crime in Pierce County.
As KOMO reports, Pierce County police have mined data in reports and case filings to zero in on habitual felons.
“When you’ve got folks that have literally made a career out of crime you have to do something different with them, and cycling them through the system doesn’t work,” Miller said.
Pierce County has created a special unit for these repeat offenders, called the High Priority Offender (HPO) Unit. The unit has five prosecutors who work on nothing else. Criminals are designated as HPOs when they have 26 prior arrests and 12 felony convictions.
For HPOs, punishments and jail terms are harsher. Second chances and plea deals are off the table. Since the HPO program has been implemented, several crime metrics are down in Pierce County:
Crime stats in Pierce County gathered once the HPO unit was fully running showed burglaries down 37 percent, vehicle thefts down 28 percent and car prowls down 22 percent.