This Town in Washington Has Been Named the Most Violent Town in the State


Washington State is known for its natural beauty, diversified culture, and progressive politics. However, certain municipalities suffer from high rates of violent crime. Fife, a tiny town near Tacoma, has been classified as the state’s most violent.

What is fife, and why is it so violent?

Fife, a community of around 11,000 inhabitants, is located in Pierce County, roughly 30 miles south of Seattle. It is part of the Tacoma metropolitan region and has historically been a farming and industrial city. According to the 2020 FBI Uniform Crime Report, Fife had a violent crime rate of 1,263 per 100,000 population, more than double the state average of 358 and the national level of 367. Fife also has the highest murder, rape, robbery, and serious assault rates of any town or city in Washington.

The causes of Fife’s high crime rate are diverse and multifaceted. Some of the variables that might contribute to it include:

Poverty and Inequality: Fife’s median household income is $54,000, which is less than the state average of $78,000 and the national average of $62,000. It also has a poverty rate of 16%, which exceeds the state average of 10% and the national average of 12%. Poverty and inequality can cause social and economic stress, leading to violence and criminality.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Drug and alcohol misuse are prevalent in Fife, particularly among young people. According to the 2018 Washington Healthy Youth Survey, 32% of Fife students had used alcohol in the previous month, compared to 22% statewide. 20% of Fife students reported smoking marijuana in the previous month, compared to 17% statewide. 9% of Fife students reported taking prescription medications without a doctor’s prescription in the previous year, compared to 6% of students throughout the state. Substance misuse can impair judgment, increase impulsivity, and exacerbate hostility, leading to violence and criminality.

Gang Activity and Turf Wars: Fife suffers from gang activity, particularly among young people. According to the Pierce area Gang Assessment, there are around 70 gangs active in the area, each with roughly 2,000 members. Fife’s gangs include the Hilltop Crips, the East Side Lokotes, the South Side Locos, and the Native Gangster Bloods. These gangs engage in drug trafficking, robbery, extortion, and violence. They frequently struggle for territory, money, and respect, resulting in shootings, stabbings, and killings.

What Measures Are Being Taken to Minimize Violence in Fife?

Fife recognizes its crime problem and has made attempts to alleviate it. Several efforts have been undertaken or planned, including:

Increasing Police Presence and Resources: Fife’s police force has grown from 25 policemen in 2010 to 34 officers by 2020. It has also purchased new equipment, cars, and technology for its police department. Fife has also collaborated with other law enforcement agencies, including the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, the Tacoma Police Department, and the FBI, to exchange information, coordinate operations, and identify high-risk criminals.

Improving Community Participation and Prevention: Fife has developed some initiatives and activities to engage the community and reduce violence. For example, it has formed a Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) unit in Fife, which focuses on developing connections and trust with local citizens, companies, and educational institutions.

It has also planned an annual event called [National Night Out], which celebrates community and safety. Fife has also funded several youth organizations, including the [Boys and Girls Club], the [Fife Youth Commission], and the [Fife Mentor Program], which offer beneficial activities, opportunities, and role models to young people.

Improving Social and Economic Conditions: Fife has acknowledged that crime is not merely a law enforcement problem, but also a social and economic one. As a result, it has implemented policies and programs aimed at improving the quality of life and possibilities for its citizens. For example, it has implemented a [homes Action Plan] to boost the quantity and affordability of homes in Fife. It has also created a [Downtown Revitalization Plan], which intends to make the downtown area more dynamic and appealing by including mixed-use development, public facilities, and cultural events.


In conclusion, Fife, Washington has major issues, including a high violent crime rate caused by causes such as poverty, substance misuse, and gang involvement. The municipality recognizes these concerns and has taken steps such as enhancing police presence, encouraging community involvement, and making social and economic reforms. Collaborative approaches strive to address the underlying problems and create a safer, more resilient community.

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