'We want zero homicides:' Pierce County sees 80% drop in homicide in first months of 2023

Numbers FOX 13 News obtained show parts of Pierce County are seeing nearly an 80% drop in homicides when looking at a similar time period last year.

So far this year, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department responded to two homicides. During a similar time period in 2022, they had responded to 11.

"Obviously, we want zero homicides. But having two, one thing that does for us is it reinforces what we're doing," said Sgt. Darren Moss with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

A deeper look at the annual data, over the last few years, shows homicides increasing from 2019, with the highest numbers in the last couple of years.

Officials may have a reason for the recent downward trend in current data for 2023.

"Our jail opening back up might one of those reasons we are seeing lower homicides," said Moss.

"Anytime we see a metric that is a reduction and a move towards an improvement in safety is encouraging," said Brett Johnson, the president of Tacoma Pierce County Safe.

However, Johnson also said it is important to keep these numbers in perspective.

"If we look right across the street, is unincorporated Pierce County, and we’re standing in Tacoma. So, last year, maybe, a shooting happened across the street that was Pierce County. Well, in the real world, it’s not that much different," he said.

FOX 13 News looked at the current homicide numbers for Tacoma as well.

Recent data from March 5 shows there have been seven homicides so far in the city. This is the same number of homicides the city saw in 2022 during the same time frame. 

"We just want to make sure that the metrics we are looking at are ones we can all feel like yes, we're making progress," said Johnson.