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Statement of Solidarity

Mayor Victoria Woodards, 4th District Representative Catherine Ushka, and City Manager Elizabeth Pauli Release Statement of Solidarity with Residents in the Face of Gun Violence


September 11, 2019


Tanisha Jumper, Media and Communications, tjumper@ci.tacoma.wa.us, (253) 591-5152
Megan Snow, Media and Communications, msnow@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5051


Mayor Victoria Woodards, 4th District Representative Catherine Ushka, and City Manager Elizabeth Pauli Release Statement of Solidarity with Residents in the Face of Gun Violence

In recent months, our community has been rocked by a spike in tragic acts of gun violence and loss of life. While many across the city have been impacted, our friends, families, and neighbors in Tacoma’s Eastside and South End communities have been most heavily affected. 

Alongside you and your neighbors, we have keenly felt each loss of life and the deep impacts these losses have on our community’s sense of safety. The toll of these recent acts and the fear they create across our community are deeply troubling. As leaders, we believe public safety is a top priority, and we remain committed to addressing this increase in violence and preventing future tragedy. 

Effectively addressing this issue requires more than a single solution. Our Police Chief and Police Department are committed to public safety and making Tacoma a safe place to live. Tacoma Police Department has assigned three detectives to identify those persons responsible for the violent acts and to work with a Special Emphasis Team to locate, arrest and convict them. The Tacoma Police Department is wisely working in active collaboration with partners such as the Puyallup Tribal Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff. Collaboration between agencies ensures we are providing the most effective levels of service possible. While the protocol for investigations limits the information that can be released, we will share new information online as it is released from this day forward. 

To complement the efforts of law enforcement, we are also committed to continuing to work with community partners, neighbors and service providers to provide residents with greater resources for violence prevention, outreach and services for individuals and families impacted by violence. 

We will continue to make investing in the City’s youth and violence prevention work a priority. Supporting programs including My Brother’s Keeper, Cities United and Project PEACE, as well as the work being done by partners such as Comprehensive Life Resource’s “Rising Above INfluence” to support the City’s Gang Reduction Project. 

We must also consider new and innovative approaches that address the root causes identified in the 2019 Gang Assessment, which included income disparities, the perception of safety and a lack of intensive, coordinated and comprehensive services. In conjunction with community partners, the City is working to improve service coordination to align with the Gang Assessment recommendations and improve outcomes for all Tacoma residents.  

In times of tragedy and uncertainty, it is vital that our community have opportunities to come together in partnership, solidarity and strength. Councilmember Ushka is working alongside leaders of affected communities to develop a public event to come together, share information, and stand together against violence of any kind in our communities. The City will share information via our social media channels on upcoming events as details become available.

If you are experiencing crisis or seeking services for yourself or others, please call United Way 2-1-1. For questions related to the City’s response to gun violence and its impacts, you may contact Assistant to the City Manager Anita Gallagher by email anita.gallagher@cityoftacoma.org or phone (253) 591-5133