Small Town News


Crime drops in ML

Cheney Free Press of Cheney, Washington

- Advertisement -

Crime has seemed to have dropped in the city of Medical Lake — at least in the first five months of the year.

According to statistics from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, officers responded to 216 incidents in Medical Lake from January to May. This is a 10 percent decrease from the previous year's number of 241 responded incidents.

Property crimes decreased by 19 percent (78 to 63). Theft incidents dropped by over 50 percent (28 to 13), while burglaries (seven) and forgeries (eight) remained the same.

Malicious mischief crimes rose 44 percent (10 to 18) and other property crimes increased by 5 percent (16 to 17). Vehide prowls dropped from eight to one.

In a phone interview, Deputy Mark Gregory said property crimes "ebb and flow" and officers are using statistical data to patrol some of the target areas to address and "keep those incidents in check."

"When officers talk to the residents, they'll sometimes get information from someone who doesn't want to put their name to it, even if it's something like a suspicious person is in the area," Gregory said. "Even if we can't arrest someone, we can make contact with that person and they'll stop going to that area because they don't want to get in trouble."

Gregory said a small town like Medical Lake allows officers to communicate more frequently with residents.

"It really does come down to the relationship between the public and law enforcement," Gregory said. "If we can work together to solve these problems, that's a win for everybody."

Reported sex crimes decreased by 59 percent (17 to 7). These include custodial interferences, which dropped by 50 percent and suspicious person reports, which decreased by 60 percent. Runaway incidents dropped by 83 percent (6 to 1).

Rape of a child and adult rape remained the same at one incident each while other sex crimes dropped by 50 percent (2 to 1). There were no indecent liberties or child molestation incidents reported.

One area where crime rose in the city was in person-to-person crimes, which had a 12 percent increase in overall incidents (112 to 128).

Person-to-person crimes include domestic violence reports, which increased by 33 percent (8 to 12) while dead on arrival/suicide reports decreased by that same percentage (3 to 2).

Assaults remained the same at 48 incidents while other major crime reports increased by 13 percent (52 to 45).

City Administrator Doug Ross said Eastern State Hospital and Lakeland Village are drivers in many of these types of crimes.

Drug reports remained the same at three incidents. Traffic stops dropped by over 50 percent (31 to 15).

Gregory said officers are focusing on a tiered approach of "education, enforcement, and engineering" when they talk to citizens during a traffic stop.

"The goal is to change driving habits and get people to comply with the law," Gregory said. "If we can get someone to reduce their speed and use traffic signals, that is more important to us than writing a traffic ticket."

Al Stover can be reached at

Copyright 2016 Cheney Free Press, Cheney, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 14, 2016

More from Cheney Free Press