Tacoma PD has plenty of firepower to get the job done, like the Ruger Mini-14, Glock 21, Kimber Pro Carry II (below) and the HK MP5 (right)—and they don’t skimp on ammunition for range practice. Steve Woods Photo

Tacoma, Washington, always struck me as a gritty town. When I was stationed at Ft. Lewis in the early ’70s, Tacoma offered lots of the diversions young soldiers seek. It was a working town with an active waterfront, as lumber mills and pulp mills turned out reams of paper for the world. In spite of the on-shore breezes, a pall of sulfur fog hung over the city—discharge from the mills.

Top training—TPD officers stay sharp by practicing high-risk stops and arrests. Officers can choose between Glocks or Kimber Pro Carry II 1911s for sidearms.

Like lots of Northwest cities, the collapse of smokestack industries and logging required changes. Tacoma, the third-largest city in Washington, has 203,000 residents and covers 49 square miles. Tacoma has a number of large venues—the Tacoma Dome, Convention Center, Point Defiance Park, Cheney Stadium, the seventh-largest container port in the U.S., and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Nearby Ft. Lewis and McChord AFB contribute to the economy and to police problems, and raise the threat of terrorist attacks to a higher level than most cities. Western State Hospital, the state’s largest mental institution, contributes lots of interesting folks to the area. Urban renewal has changed the face of Tacoma over the last decade, but there is still plenty of work for the Tacoma Police Department (TPD).

Highly trained and ready to pounce at a moment’s notice, TPD’s K9 division is very active and sees lots of duty around the city.

PD Rundown
Tacoma, like many other Northwest cities, saw an influx of California-based gangs in the past decade. These gangs have spread and multiplied, becoming almost homegrown. The usual problems of drugs and indiscriminate violence came with them, but the TPD is actively combating the problem. Each sector has three to five Community Outreach off­icers to liaise with community leaders, solving local problems.

Tacoma, WA, has a very busy seaport, which adds to the crime rate. The TPD has to be ready on all fronts to keep the city safe.

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Tacoma PD has plenty of firepower to get the job done, like the Ruger…