SPD's Ranks By the Numbers, Card Room Fugitive Arrested In Casino, and Cold Case Arrest

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee September 23, 2011

SPD's ranks have only increased by 45 officers in the last 20 years, more details on a fugitive arrest, and charges in a cold case.

1) Documents obtained from the Seattle Police Department seem to indicate that SPD's ranks have only seen a net increase of 45 officers in the last two decades, despite a population increase of nearly 100,000; or said another way: While SPD's ranks have only increased by 3 percent, the city's population has swelled by 18.5 percent.

Police department staffing records obtained by PubliCola show the department had 1,262 sworn officers on the force in 1990.

In 2011, the department has 1,307 officers.

That number is expected to dip over the next year as the department is in the midst of a complete hiring freeze.

The 1990 census marks Seattle's population at 516,259, and the city estimates that number has increased to approximately 612,000 through 2010.

To crunch those numbers even further: in 1990, Seattle had one cop for every 409 citizens. Now, we've got one cop for every 468.

Although it would seem that SPD hasn't been keeping up with Seattle's population growth, the police department says crime is down across the city.

Put one on the board for the city's bean counters, I guess.

2) In a follow up to an item posted in Fuzz earlier this week, Puyallup Tribal Police tell us a fugitive arrested in connection with an SPD investigation into a number of underground casinos around town was finally a casino.

Puyallup Tribal Police spokesman John Weimer says staff at a Tacoma casino identified Howard Thoren Honeycutt—who was wanted for failing to appear in court on gambling charges associated with allegedly running the speakeasies—and contacted tribal police, who took him into custody.

3) King County Prosecutors have filed murder charges in a more than three-decade-old murder case. Prosecutors allege Ronald Way MacDonald (yes, Ronald MacDonald) bound 80-year-old Arlene Roberts in her mobile home in 1978 just south of Seattle and strangled her to death.

Police arrested MacDonald, 50, in Reno, Nevada yesterday after cold case detectives were able to identify MacDonald using new fingerprint identification technology.

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