March 17, 10:18 AM click here to comment > 1
Pilot effort to increase police presence downtown
Today Seattle’s Interim Chief of Police will provide to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee a written statement on increasing safety in downtown Seattle.
Councilmember Tim Burgess, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, has been working on a five-point plan, including an aggressive solicitation ordinance and instituting foot patrols, that would help improve safety and address concerns about intimidating behavior and civility downtown.
Today, Mayor McGinn and Chief Diaz announced a pilot effort beginning on April 1 to redeploy some of the Seattle Police Department’s bicycle patrols to foot beats in Belltown, Pioneer Square and the International District. Foot beats will increase police visibility and presence by providing more direct interactions with people on the street.
“A best practice by police departments across the country to address concerns about civility is to increase police visibility and presence,” said Diaz. “Foot beats are the most effective way to deter the sorts of behavior that can negatively affect our quality of life.”
The pilot effort is being performed within the city’s existing budget, recognizing the city’s current financial constraints.
The mayor will be touring the International District and Pioneer Square this Thursday at 4 p.m., beginning at the Wing Luke Asian Museum, 719 S. King St. The tour is an opportunity for the mayor, the public and the media to see some of the public safety challenges in those neighborhoods.
Chief Diaz’s statement also provides the Seattle Police Department’s position on Burgess’s proposed aggressive solicitation ordinance.
Posted by: Aaron Pickus, Spokesperson