Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist spoke with the Bonney Lake City Council last week about public safety. Photo courtesy of Pierce County

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist spoke with the Bonney Lake City Council last week about public safety. Photo courtesy of Pierce County

Lindquist discusses public safety with Bonney Lake | Pierce County Prosecutor

Knowledge is power, the saying goes, and sharing information makes our community safer.

Knowledge is power, the saying goes, and sharing information makes our community safer.

With that in mind, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist has spent the past 18 months on a listening tour, sharing information with the people of Pierce County. Last week, the career prosecutor visited the Bonney Lake City Council where he spoke about innovative initiatives in the Prosecutor’s Office that keep our community safe.

Mayor Neil Johnson opened the meeting by introducing Prosecutor Lindquist, and also acknowledging that the prosecutor’s wife and daughter were in the audience. Lindquist smiled, thanked the mayor, and noted that his 7-year-old daughter always appreciates an introduction.

Moving to business, Lindquist began by discussing the office’s Elder Abuse Unit. Started by Lindquist in 2011, the elder abuse team works to vigorously prosecute offenders and assist the community in preventing elder abuse.

“Our aging family members and friends are among the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Lindquist. “Our office protects elders through vigorous prosecution and prevention. We are raising awareness so people can better keep themselves, their families, and their friends safe.”

Because of its leadership in the field of elder abuse, Pierce County was awarded $370,985 from the Department of Justice to support a comprehensive approach to addressing elder abuse. The Prosecutor’s Office, which secured one of only nine nationwide awards, is teaming up with local law enforcement agencies and victim service organizations to increase and strengthen training, form a community response team, and improve access to victim services.

“We are leading an effort to bring stakeholders together,” said Lindquist. “This will help protect our elderly citizens and other vulnerable adults.”

Next, Lindquist discussed his High Priority Offender Program (HPO), a data-driven approach to prosecution that targets career criminals.

“Our goal with the High-Priority Offender Program is to make our community safer by using technology, data, and intel to identify and focus resources on the small percentage of offenders who are committing a large percentage of the crimes,” said Lindquist.

Lindquist’s office adapted successful data-driven prosecution programs from New York and other east coast cities. Pierce County is the first county on the west coast to implement a High-Priority Offender Program. This year, the High Priority Offender Unit reached its 500th case. HPO offenders received sentences nearly four times longer than the state average.

“We aim to end their criminal careers,” Lindquist said.

Finally, the prosecutor wrapped up by discussing his successful fight for “fair share.” The Prosecutor’s Office vigilantly monitors the Department of Corrections and the Department of Social and Health Services to ensure that Pierce County isn’t a “dumping ground” for offenders from other counties.

Lindquist’s presentation is part of his commitment to communicating with the public he serves. He is touring the county speaking with city councils, service groups, and other community groups as well as local leaders. He and members of his team are available for presentations to raise awareness on public safety issues.

Lindquist began his career as a deputy prosecutor in 1995. He was appointed prosecutor in 2009, elected in 2010, and reelected in 2014.

This article was written by Communications Manager James Lynch. For help scheduling a presentation, contact Lynch at 253.798.6265, jlynch@co.pierce.wa.us.

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