Des Moines Police Chief Kent Thomas this week released his April update to the Des Moines Community.
Of note, the Chief mentions that the department is researching the possible deployment of Automated License Plate Reader cameras.
“These cameras would only be used for crime-fighting (not for traffic enforcement), are designed to capture the rear of a vehicle and do not have facial recognition technology,” Thomas said. “Other jurisdictions are also exploring the use of this technology. The devices capture objective evidence, like license plates and vehicle details and send the Police real time alerts so we can take action 24/7 on stolen vehicles, known criminals, and potential crime footage.”
Here’s his full report:
Police Department Report to the Des Moines Community for April, 2022
The following message is an update on our department activities for the month of April.
As you will see in this report, our staff has been very busy working to address quality of life and crime issues in our community. We are gearing up to address the additional issues that we often see during the summer months.
We are honored to serve you and will continue to do our very best to keep you safe.
– Ken Thomas, Police Chief
Criminal Investigations Team:
- Detectives are investigating an attempted ATM theft involving a stolen U Haul truck at a convenience store. The vehicle was recovered however the three occupants have not been identified at this time.
- Investigation continues of an armed carjacking that occurred in the parking lot of Planet Fitness. Working on obtaining video surveillance of this incident
- Officers and detectives responded to a domestic violence and harassment case on April 21st on 7th Avenue S. The suspect became barricaded with the victim, eventually necessitating that King County SWAT and mental health professionals respond. The victim was safely removed from the residence and the suspect transported to Harborview Hospital – after he jumped from an upper floor and was injured
- Detectives are investigating a shooting that occurred on April 24th at the bus stop on Pacific Hwy near Kent-Des Moines Road. A male and a female were struck by bullets and sustained non-life threatening wounds
- Drive by shooting, occurred at 26th Pl. S. and 244th. There is video of this incident and 10 casings recovered, Detectives investigating, no victims
- Drive by shooting at the bus stop on Pacific Hwy. S. north of Kent-Des Moines Road, one victim sustained two gunshot wounds to his leg, investigation continues,
Special Investigations Unit:
We hosted a meeting with area law enforcement including city, county and federal investigators and prosecutors. This allowed information sharing and collaboration to address violent crime along Pacific Hwy S. This has been the *third* meeting in as many months and has already proven beneficial in identifying suspects of criminal activity.
Our department is researching the possible deployment of Automated License Plate Reader cameras. These cameras would only be used for crime-fighting (not for traffic enforcement), are designed to capture the rear of a vehicle and do not have facial recognition technology. Other jurisdictions are also exploring the use of this technology. The devices capture objective evidence, like license plates and vehicle details and send the Police real time alerts so we can take action 24/7 on stolen vehicles, known criminals, and potential crime footage.
After many months of searching to find the right applicant for our community, we have hired a Crisis Response Specialist. Ms Abby Reiman started May 1, 2022 and joins our team in community outreach efforts surrounding homelessness and mental illness. We are glad to have her on board!
We spent a considerable amount of time in April addressing quality of life issues, including abandoned vehicles and graffiti abatement. We also worked with business owners to address criminal activity on their properties.
- New fencing panels were installed at an abandoned car wash where holes had been cut.
- 136 people were contacted for trespassing on private property, 64 warnings issued for pedestrian violations, 10 people were referred for homeless services and 6 people were referred to mental health resources.
- Area business owners and residents had expressed concern regarding a large amount of trash and abandoned vehicles. We worked with property owners and our legal department to force cleanup of this area and any abandoned vehicles on city right of way were impounded.
- Our neighbors at Safeway north (21401 Pacific Hwy S) asked for our help to address the growing problem of abandoned vehicles in their parking lot. Although this is a private lot, we assisted by contacting people who may have been sleeping in these vehicles to offer them services before Safeway had the vehicles towed away. Several people were offered resources and Safeway was able to clear out the lot.
As part of the ongoing emphasis along Pacific Highway South Patrol conducted these statistics since our last report:
- 276 Hours dedicated to the emphasis area
- 23 People were arrested and/or cited for various offenses
- 120 Warnings were issued for various infractions
- 69 People were offered social services/housing information
- 162 Suspicious persons or vehicles contacted
- 54 Traffic Stops
Including the Pacific Highway South emphasis, patrol was involved in just over 1,279 incidents during the month.
TRAFFIC OFFICER REPORT
Our dedicated traffic officer reported these statistics for the
month of April:
- 67 Infractions
- 23 Warnings
- 4 Accident Reports
- 2 Responded to traffic Complaint Calls
DMPD TIP LINE 206-870-6871