If you’re considering whether or not it’s safe to live in Tacoma, Washington, we get it. It’s not exactly the most obvious place to move if you value safety as a top priority. After all, many people know the city for its crime rate and urban decay that’s led to a lot of negative attention. In fact, if you Google “Cities Safest Cities In Washington State”, Tacoma almost always comes in dead last. But what are the numbers behind this assumption? Is it really that unsafe to live there? Or is there more to this story than what appears on the surface? Let’s explore some facts about living in Tacoma and see if it makes you feel any safer about making this your home.
Is Tacoma Washington Safe?
Tacoma is a great place to live. It’s located in a perfect spot with easy access to mountains for hiking and biking, beaches for swimming and picnics, and lakes for fishing and boating. There are also a ton of great festivals and events year-round that draw people from all over the area. The housing market is really affordable, lots of amenities are within walking distance, and there are tons of great restaurants and coffee shops as well. Tacoma is really the best of both worlds: big city amenities in a small town setting.
What’s The Crime Rate In Tacoma?
- The crime rate in Tacoma is on the high side, but not alarmingly so. While there has been a rise in property crime in recent years, the violent crime rate has remained relatively steady.
- What this means is that while you’re likely to experience an increase in break-ins, theft, and vandalism, you’re unlikely to experience a violent crime like assault, murder, or kidnapping.
- In fact, when it comes to violent crime, Tacoma ranks below both Seattle and Spokane, although it ranks slightly higher than Vancouver. As for property crime, it ranks at the very top, with Vancouver coming in a close second.
Is Tacoma Safe For Families?
- The crime rates we just talked about are averages, but they don’t take into account specific circumstances. One such circumstance is your living situation, specifically whether or not you have kids. That said, if you have kids, Tacoma is actually a pretty good place to raise them.
- While they are still likely to see an increase in property crime, they are unlikely to experience any violent crimes whatsoever.
- However, if you don’t have kids, you should be aware that Tacoma ranks higher in all categories of crime, including violent crime. This suggests that if you’re not a parent, Tacoma may not be the best place for you to live.
How Safe Is It To Walk Around Tacoma?
1. Neighborhood Watch Programs
One of the most important ways that Tacoma’s law enforcement keeps the city safe is through its Neighborhood Watch Program, which consists of volunteers who are trained in crime prevention and monitoring. The program was launched in Tacoma in 1982 and has since seen great success: in fact, Neighborhood Watch Programs have been proven to reduce crime by as much as 50%. For a neighborhood to become part of the program, at least 10% of the residents have to sign up — and then, once the Tacoma police have verified them, each neighborhood gets a block captain and a walkie-talkie so that they can instantly call the police if they see anything suspicious. The block captains also host regular meetings where they update the residents on any new developments in the neighborhood and how they can help keep it safe. This is one of the best ways that Tacoma keeps its residents safe.
2. Constant Police Presence
One of the most effective ways that Tacoma keeps its residents safe is by maintaining a constant police presence in different areas of the city. Indeed, Tacoma has one of the highest rates of police patrolling, with an average of 2.5 officers patrolling per 1,000 residents. In comparison, the national average is about 1.5 officers per 1,000 residents. This high rate of police patrolling is a huge part of the reason why Tacoma’s crime rate is as low as it is: officers who are constantly patrolling different areas can quickly respond to and prevent crimes from happening. Moreover, the constant police presence in certain areas of the city also helps keep them safe, as officers can prevent crimes in those areas from happening in the first place. There are certain areas in Tacoma that are always patrolled by officers as a way of keeping them safe and preventing crime.
3. Wide Network of Surveillance Cameras
Tacoma also has a high number of surveillance cameras located throughout the city. In fact, there are over 80 cameras located in Tacoma that are monitored by police 24 hours a day — and there are many more cameras monitored by private businesses and citizens. In general, surveillance cameras are a great way for Tacoma to keep its residents safe, as well as for Tacoma’s law enforcement officials to monitor and prevent crime. Indeed, cameras are extremely useful for police: they can help them solve crimes, track criminals down, and have even been shown to reduce crime by up to 20%. For example, Tacoma’s cameras are responsible for helping to solve over 8,000 crimes per year — including over 2,000 burglaries and 1,800 car thefts. Tacoma’s high number of surveillance cameras is yet another way that the city keeps its residents safe.
4. Conditional Monitoring
One of the most effective ways that Tacoma keeps its residents safe is through conditional monitoring: a program in which an officer will follow someone who has been deemed to be a high-risk individual, either because they have a history of committing crimes or because they are on parole. This can include things such as being required to wear an ankle monitor or being required to drive a car that has been outfitted with a device that tracks the person’s location and the distance that they drive. Conditional monitoring is a great way to keep Tacoma safe because it keeps criminals from committing crimes: in other words, it helps to keep people from breaking the law again. Indeed, studies have shown that conditional monitoring is extremely effective at preventing crimes: it has been shown to reduce the rate of re-offending by as much as 40%. And with Tacoma’s high rate of police patrolling, Tacoma is able to monitor more of its residents through conditional monitoring than some other cities.
5. Strong Community Bonds
One of the best ways that Tacoma keeps its residents safe is by promoting strong inter-community bonds. Indeed, Tacoma’s law enforcement officials regularly hold events that bring together the police and the community, such as neighborhood block parties, training seminars, and coffee talks. Most importantly, Tacoma’s law enforcement officials actively encourage residents to reach out to them if they have any concerns whatsoever or have noticed anything that seems suspicious. Indeed, the best way for Tacoma to keep its residents safe is for the community to be actively engaged and to speak up when something seems wrong — and Tacoma’s law enforcement officials know this.
How Safe Is It To Live In Tacoma Near The Railroad?
- The most dangerous areas of Tacoma are those where the crime rate is generally high, as well as areas near the railroad.
- You can see that the harbor region falls into both of these categories. Unfortunately, these two features make the area unsuitable for a living unless you take extra precautions.
- If you choose to live near the railroad, you must be especially careful to lock up your valuables and keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
- You should wear your headphones when riding the train, as this will prevent you from being deaf to warning signs. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about the general crime rate in your area.
- The best thing you can do is keep up with the latest news related to crime in your neighborhood. This will let you know how bad the situation is and which areas to avoid.
Tacoma has some issues that make it less than ideal to live in. It has a high cost of living, a high crime rate, and a less-than-ideal environment for seniors. However, not every city in Washington has the same crime rate. In fact, some Washington cities have extremely low crime rates, making them safer than Tacoma. If you’re looking for a city with a lower crime rate and a better environment for seniors, families, and travelers, then you might want to consider one of these other Washington cities instead. There are plenty of other places where you can live a safer, easier, and cheaper life than Tacoma.