Press Release from the West Precinct:
Welcome to summer (officially)!
I want to update you on public safety outcomes so far this year in the West Precinct.
Though we have many ongoing challenges, I am proud to report significant progress and solid plans to leverage the progress we’ve made together and keep the momentum going as it directly relates to our public safety. Mayor McGinn’s Center City Initiative is fully under way (www.seattle.gov/mayor/centercity/).
As a reminder, the West Precinct police officers, sergeants, commanders and support staff provide police services with pride and dedication for the 11 square miles which include the Downtown Business District, Waterfront, Chinatown/International District, historic Pioneer Square, Belltown, West Edge, SoDo, the Stadium District, Westlake, Eastlake, Seattle Center, Denny Triangle, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and South Lake Union (we are a city of neighborhoods!).
West is a busy precinct in the Spring, Summer and Fall with conventions, cruise ship passengers, special events such as the Seafair Torchlight Parade downtown; the Bite of Seattle at the Seattle Center; Mariners, Sounders and Seahawks at our two stadiums; and many smaller neighborhood festivals. The Pike Place Market and Space Needle are beloved attractions and the “Great Wheel” at Pier 57 is becoming one.
On top of that are the approximately 250,000+ employees who come into downtown by bus, bike, car, ferry and train to work each day.
Residents downtown are not just those who have purchased condominiums in high rise developments, but they include those who are coming out of homelessness and reside in one of the many non-profits spread throughout the downtown core or are in more difficult straits utilizing overnight shelter and day center services.
All of the diverse use of the same spaces can create challenges and competing interests.
Notable Highlights through May 31st:
- 15% overall Part 1 Major Crime reduction Jan-May, 2013 vs. Jan-May, 2012 as reported to the FBI.
The major crime total in the West Precinct for May was the lowest total for this particular month in six years, and the fourth consecutive month to show this pattern.
- Beating the City-Wide trend by double for overall major crimes (-15% West vs. -7% citywide)
- Property (-15% West vs. -7% city-wide)
- Led by -28% for Larceny/Theft in the West Precinct (900 fewer theft incidents than last year at this time)
- Includes -50% in car prowls
- Violent (-9% West vs. -4% city-wide)
- Led by -16% for Robbery and -5% for Aggravated Assault in the West Precinct.
We are continuing to see significant and consistent drops in reported crime and disorder as measured by 911 call data at the sector level (of which there are 4 in the West Precinct-see map), Center-City Initiative neighborhood level, and “Directed Patrol” block face levels differentiated by Patrol Watch (time of day).
- 911 call data are used because much of what we do is not necessarily crime related, but rather fear and disorder indicators. Also, crime data are often confirmed weeks, if not months, after actual events occur due to how administrative crime clearances are entered.
- Expansion of the Downtown Seattle Association’s (D.S.A.) Metropolitan Improvement District (M.I.D.) to include Belltown.
- Includes additional funding of supplemental police services and strategy expansion.
- Continuing work with Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (L.E.A.D.) as a strategy to divert low level drug offenses to drug treatment to avoid the costly revolving door of the arrest and incarceration model.
- Partnering with Human Service Providers and the D.S.A. in identifying those in the community with needs about which you and I typically don’t worry (Intentional Outreach & Engagement).
- Continuing evidence-based and data driven proven methods of reducing crime and disorder such as “Directed Patrol” using the Koper method of foot patrol deployment at key block faces; and “Predictive Policing” using proprietary software for deployment to reduce property crimes in all West Precinct neighborhoods.
- Working with our partners in the Offices of the City Attorney and King County Prosecutor to ensure our investigations are thorough and chargeable.
- Working with Municipal Court and its specialty courts such as Mental Health Court and Community Court.
- Working with King County Superior Court to highlight community needs for probation orders such as SODA (Stay Out of Drug Areas).
- Working with research partners to find new and innovative ways to make positive impacts at locations of juvenile “hot spots.” (George Mason University’s CEBCP as partner).
Last, I would be remiss to not mention the passing of Brewster C. Denny, the great-grandson of one of Seattle’s founding families. Among his many accomplishments, he established and directed the University of Washington’s Graduate School of Public Affairs, now called the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, rated this year by US News and World Report as 9th out of 266 public affairs schools and 4th among public universities.
As a recent and proud alumnus of the Evans School, I’m grateful for its role as the facilitator for Mayor McGinn’s Center-City Initiative Roundtable, led by Dr. Stephen Page.
It’s safe to say Mr. Denny continues to give back and extend his legacy.
Captain Jim Dermody
West Precinct Commander
University of Washington ‘89/’13