Murder Rates in King County Remained the Same in 2022 Despite State-Record High
(The Center Square) – The rate of murder cases in King County remained mostly the same from 2021 to 2022, while statewide rates went up 16.6%.
A 2022 report on crime in Washington state conducted by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs found that the number of murders in King County went from 122 in 2021 to 124 in 2022.
Out of the 124 murders, 56% were reported through the Seattle Police Department. The City of Seattle saw overall crime throughout the city increase in 2022. As for cases of murder, there were 43 in 2021 and 54 in 2022, a 25.6% increase.
The King County Sheriff’s Office had the second highest number of murders reported with 15 in 2022. However, that is a 34.8% decrease from the 23 reported murders in 2021.
Throughout the entire state, there were 394 murders in 2022. According to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, that is the highest number of murders recorded since the association began collecting the data in 1980.
Other statistics the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs notes include homicides throughout the state increased 96% since 2019. Crimes against persons, property and society all increased in 2022, and violent crimes increased 8.9%.
The association also pointed out that amidst the increased violent crime in the state, Washington ranks 51 out of the 50 states and District of Columbia for the number of officers per 1,000 residents.
According to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, the total number of commissioned officers statewide was 10,666, which is down from 10,736 in 2021. Meanwhile, the total population of the state increased by 93,262.
At the city level, the Seattle Police Department’s staffing woes stick out. The department saw 13 to 16 officers leave per month. As of May, it has dropped to nine per month. The department has roughly two officers per 1,000 Seattle residents.