If you’ve never been to the South Prairie Town Hall, it’s well worth the drive. It’s a small, unassuming building on a quiet street in the center of town. But what happens there is far greater than the building itself and is proof that big things can happen in small places.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist was there when newly elected Councilmembers were sworn in last month. The Prosecutor welcomed the new public servants and spoke with the Council about initiatives in his office that are keeping our community safe.
Lindquist first spoke with councilmembers about the office’s Elder Abuse Unit. He began the unit in 2011 during his first term to vigorously prosecute elder abuse and work with partners to prevent these crimes against vulnerable adults. The team has expanded to meet a growing need in the community.
“Protecting the vulnerable is one of our top priorities, said Lindquist.
Pierce County was awarded $370,985 from the Department of Justice to support a comprehensive approach to addressing elder abuse, one of only nine counties in the country to receive the award.
The Prosecutor’s Office is teaming up with local law enforcement agencies and victim service organizations to increase and strengthen training, form a community response team, improve access to victim services, and reduce elder abuse in Pierce County.
Lindquist also talked about the new High Priority Offender (HPO) program, which focuses resources on the small percentage of the criminals who cause a large percentage of crimes.
Created by Lindquist in 2015 after several months of preparation, the HPO program uses technology and data to identify these “career criminals.”
Modeled after a successful program in New York City and adapted for Pierce County, Lindquist is confident the program will work here as it has in cities on the East Coast. Pierce County is the first on the West Coast to implement this data-driven program. So far, more than 500 HPO defendants have been convicted and are serving long sentences in prison, nearly four times the average state sentence.
“Our High Priority Offender Unit is one of the reasons crime is down in Pierce County,” Lindquist said.
Lindquist concluded 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 organizations as well as local leaders. He and members of his team are available for presentations to raise awareness on public safety issues.
For more information, or help scheduling a presentation, contact Communications Coordinator James Lynch, 253.798.6265, firstname.lastname@example.org.