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City of Seattle

February 27, 1:23 PM click here to comment > 13

Responding to recent violent crime in Seattle

Today Mayor Mike McGinn and Councilmember Bruce Harrell were joined by community leaders and the Seattle Police Department to respond to recent incidents of violent crime in Seattle. The mayor detailed the recent launch of new violence prevention emphasis patrols in each of the city’s five precincts. Precincts are deploying extra officers on the street to address street disorder, assaults, and shootings, focusing on the specific problems in each neighborhood.

“Everyone who lives here, who works here, who shops here, and who comes here to enjoy what Seattle has to offer deserves to feel safe and secure. That goes for every neighborhood in our city,” said Mayor McGinn. “Public safety requires a strong partnership with the community, and we are committed to working with community leaders on public safety.”

“Many witnesses withhold valuable information from the police because of their fear of retaliation, mistrust of the government and because they comply with a code of silence,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell.  “We are asking community leaders and organizations to work with the Police Department, the Mayor’s Office and the Public Safety Committee in establishing new norms of cooperation and trust.  Every community has the right to be safe and we are asking the community to help us establish cooperation with the police, institute preventative measures before crime and violence occurs through the 9-1-1 system; and help deliver a message to our youth that violence and the unlawful use of guns destroy what so many work to buildhealthy communities.  Our strategy will be to strengthen and protect our community.”

Pastor Lawrence  Willis of the United Black Clergy speaks about the community’s role in preventing violence

In the South Precinct, where the event was held, violence prevention emphasis patrols will be supplemented by patrol officers and Anti-Crime Team officers who will continue to aggressively patrol Rainier Beach. SPD Gang Unit detectives, Traffic and SWAT officers are also patrolling Rainier Beach, and Community Police Team officers and crime prevention coordinators are working with Rainier Beach businesses. The deployment of these resources will differ in each precinct, according to the community’s needs.

“By dedicating a group of officers in each precinct to address these problems these problems in our communities, we can improve our ability to prevent violence, in particular, gun violence” said Deputy Chief Metz.  “These patrols, which include additional officers called in, have already begun to see some results.”

Community leaders spoke at the event today about a community-oriented approach to ending violence. “My message to the community and especially to our youth is – leave the guns at home” said Reverend Harriet Walden, local community leader. “If you’re going to a club, or to see your friends, have a great time. Just leave the guns at home. Don’t throw your life away on a fight that didn’t mean anything.”

Mayor McGinn recently visited the sites where homicides have occurred in 2012 with Seattle Police Assistant Chief Jim Pugel to learn more about this recent increase in violent crime and what the City is doing to address it. The mayor’s office is also providing support and advice to community groups as they develop action plans to engage neighborhoods directly to help stop and solve violent crime.

We are asking community members to keep their eyes and ears open for violent or suspicious behavior. If you have information that can help us prevent or solve a crime, please contact us at 9-1-1 or the Homicide/Assault Tip Line at (206) 233-5000.

Photos by: Aaron Fishbone

Posted by: April Thomas

Comments

Comment from Ellen Kissman
Time February 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I urge the City to look at strategies for violence prevention described in a recent book by David M. Kennedy — Don’t Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America — Kennedy has 20+ years of experience working in cities all over the country with tougher problems than Seattle’s and has developed strategies that work.

Comment from Genevieve Ford
Time February 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm

“Many witnesses withhold valuable information from the police because of their fear of retaliation, mistrust of the government and because they comply with a code of silence,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell.

Or people aren’t as willing to communicate with the police because nothing is being done when something is brought to them. I know of many people, myself included, who HAVE contacted the police about suspicious activity and we are told nothing can be done or it is clear nothing has been done. It is frustrating. It perpetuates a code of unwillingness to do anything on the part of the city and police department, while further decreasing citizens’ trust in our systems. It also increases the likelihood of a violent confrontation between members of the police force and individuals who commit crimes, and those who don’t. Follow up on the leads we give you, and prevent problems for everyone in the future.

Comment from Desiree
Time February 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Sometimes they do the same even AFTER it’s happened. “Oh, it’s the crackheads”. “Well, yeah, something happened and it APPEARS to violate a court order in an account in his name, but we ‘can’t’ prove he did it” (apparently SPD hasn’t ever heard of how to investigate or prosecute crimes that involve computers or telephones and/or local courts don’t believe such prosecutions can ever be accurate).” “We know there’s a problem in this neighborhood at 2am, especially on the weekends, but what do you expect us to do?”

If the cops don’t follow the law (as evidenced in the recent civil rights investigation) and they don’t enforce it either (nor do the courts), why should we tell the police?

Comment from Anonymous
Time February 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm

If we saw the police being held accountable when they act illegally, we would be much more receptive to “establishing new norms of cooperation and trust.”

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Officer-threatens-to-make-up-evidence-after-arrest-of-innocent-men-139266773.html

Comment from Michael Gordon
Time February 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

In taking the bus all over Seattle, I notice in some areas, allot of mental illness and some without work or anything to do, so they beg for money or look for other opportunities. With al the gadgets people carry nowadays, it is no wonder why many are vulenerable. It used to be the wallet or credit/debit cards, now many are jealous and angry over what others have that they do not. I also believe that for some, they flat out do not care. Having no fear of the consequesces or empathy for the person just assaulted is an earmark of a sociopath.

Comment from Desiree
Time February 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Wouldn’t your allegation of “earmark of a sociopath” work both ways? If society doesn’t bother to do what it can to help those in trouble and to show empathy for them, couldn’t that also show our society or at least much of it to be sociopathic?

Comment from Lysa Hansen
Time February 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Adding to Ellen Kissman’s commment: another great resource: the documentary “The Interrupters” recently screened at the SIFF best of 2011 documentary series, from the same director of “Hoop Dreams”.

Comment from meg rinaldi
Time March 1, 2012 at 8:47 am

Echoing both Ellen KIssman & Lysa Hansen:new solutions are not found in old systems. Both people offer two of several viable ways forward. I personally do not *get* any real willingness on the city of Seattle’s part to really make real change.

Comment from Dorothy Jo Lower
Time March 1, 2012 at 8:58 am

I urge the city admin hold a community meeting as well as this press conference. I was disappointed not to hear mention of the safety needs of the queer community. Nor did I hear anyone speak of underlying economic needs not met that would make for the circumstances for someone to act violently. Hey! budget cuts affect families and young people. Love is great! Economic security and basic needs have got to be reliable as well.

Comment from Guyanthony Parramore
Time March 1, 2012 at 9:21 am

Mayor and Council Members

Our communities are becoming ill infected by a virus that is spreading like a wild fire. I fear with growth of this beautiful state we’re losing the to issues of safety. As so many have commented,the safety of the people has become compromised because of the recent misconduct of our police force. People feel that our protectors are nolonger protecting us. Criminals know that our police force has strayed from its purpose. the people aren’t protected from criminal activities done by our paid protectors and law regulators,they’re becoming afraid of them more than the criminals! They’re licensed to kill, is what I hear all the time. Putting more of them on the streets only makes citizens more afraid for our lives not from criminals but the police. What does that say about what you’re doing? We the people are stronger when we’re supported by you and those you are responsible for hiring and supervising. Please, take a real look into what’s happening! I love Seattle and if you all keep allowing this misconduct, we’re all going lose this grate state and considering the rest of America were will have to go? This can be the greatest state in America all we have to do is what we have been successful at all alone and that is to follow our hearts and do what’s right. It has not failed is in the past nor will it fail our future. This is a small issue compared to allot of other states, lets catch it, vaccine it and contain it before it get out of hand. Before it become an epidemic.

Comment from tenzin
Time March 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

in order to tackle with all these problems, city needs to appointment an officer from different demographic who have a far better experience and education than many of the officer who came straight fromthe training camps. i beleief we should have a special community police officer from every race and culture. healthy nation begins with the homesof the individual. thanks

Comment from Elizabeth Best
Time March 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Everyone needs to have a reality check. Our city has gotten bigger, denser, which means more people. The only way that we are going to fight crime, is to gather with your neighboors and form a block watch, in conjunction with having more funds to staff our police force. We have never invested the same amount of funds as most other metropolitian cities. We have a strong block watch in our neighborhood. Most show up at the annual Crime watch picnic and we all have each others phone numbers, emails, addresses and names in 7 blocks. Every year, even other blocks want to join the original 2 block start. There is no way that our police can be the eyes and ears of every house and street, we have to help.

Pingback from Seattle Responds To Recent Violent Crime – sociallyresponsibledrinking.org
Time March 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

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