Politics & Government

New Sheriff’s Department precinct in the Parkland-Spanaway area to open Friday

The new Parkland-Spanaway Sheriff's Department Precinct will open Friday in an effort to provide faster response for people living and working in the highest-crime area in unincorporated Pierce County.

The precinct, which cost $3.2 million, will enable the Sheriff’s Department to more effectively fight crime along the Pacific Avenue corridor, Undersheriff Rob Masko said.

The precinct, a former strip mall near Pacific Avenue South and 141st Street Court South, is at the epicenter of the crime area along Pacific Avenue, he said.

About 35 deputies and other law enforcement personnel will work out of the precinct, Masko said.

The Parkland precinct will draw some deputies from the department’s only other precinct, on South Hill. A small detachment at Sprinker Recreation Center will move to the new site as well.

The Sheriff’s Department was not given additional hires to staff the precinct.

Masko said he expects the presence of deputies traveling to and from the precinct will create what he called a “beehive effect” and help push criminals out of the area.

“Criminals don’t like to be around law enforcement,” he said.

Deputies will be able to respond more quickly to major crimes such as robberies, rapes, assaults and burglaries, Masko said.

Patrol, traffic and community support personnel will work out of the precinct.

“We’ll have more deputies in the area of Parkland and Spanaway for longer periods of time,” Masko said. “It will allow us to better serve the citizens in Parkland and Spanaway.”

The county spent $3.2 million for land, two buildings and renovations to develop the new precinct.

The Pierce County Council approved $2 million for the project in December 2012. The next year, the council approved another $1 million for unanticipated costs.

Those costs included replacing a water distribution line, adding ventilation and improving the electrical system. Another cost was rebuilding wood trusses in the strip mall that once was home to a church and a motorcycle club, Masko said.

An office for the Sheriff’s Department will be open to the public from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The facilities include a 150-seat conference room for the community to use.

The precinct will open Friday with a ribbon-cutting that is open to the public.