(Sunday night photo by Karen Sykes)
Seattle Parks has just shared the response it is sending to people who have voiced concerns about safety along Beach Drive, in the aftermath of the so-far-unsolved murder of Greggette Guy, found dead offshore in the 3800 block one week ago today, remembered at a waterfront vigil and walk last night (WSB coverage here).
Thank you for getting in touch regarding the recent unsolved murder in West Seattle, and expressing your concerns about the safety of a stretch of Beach Dr. SW in the area where the young woman was found.
Following … is the text of a timely and thorough response to Sandi Repetowski from Capt. Steven Paulsen of the Seattle Police Department’s (Southwest) Precinct. In it he:
· Describes the low crime statistics for the area
· Recommends walking with a buddy and not alone
· Reports on his visit to the Alki Community Council meeting on Thursday, March 15
· Describes SPD’s plans to respond to the event with more patrols and its summer emphasis plan that they carry out from the third weekend in April through September
· Offers to have the SW Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator, Mark Solomon, conduct an assessment using Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.
[editor’s note – the following is the SPD letter]
Thank you for taking the time to write in regard to your concern of lighting and general public safety in the area of Beach Drive SW. I am unable to provide any information in regard to the tragic homicide – in order not to compromise the integrity of the investigation, but I can provide you with some information that may assist you and your neighborhood.
I feel confident to tell you that Schmitz Park and Me Kwa Mooks Parks are safe. Activity in the parks does increase during the warmer weather months as it does the activity along Beach Drive and Alki. The particular area where the homicide occurred (along the beach) is also considered quiet and safe. The best advise we can provide our citizens is to always walk with another person and to be aware of your surroundings.
911 calls for the area are considered very low. In the past 15 months, the following 911 calls from citizens have been received…(the geographical area is from Alki Point to just south of Mee Kwa Mooks Park):
51 calls for suspicious persons (most of these occur during the day and during the warmer weather months)
25 calls for False residential alarms
21 calls for disturbances
11 calls for mental complaints
10 calls for Domestic Violence
8 calls for Harassment/assault/threats
Me Kwa Mooks Park (same 15-month window)
5 Parks Exclusions for inappropriate behavior
3 suspicious persons calls
3 fireworks complaints
2 complaints of noise disturbances
2 complaints of Mischief/Nuisance.
Note: No calls for Drugs or Graffiti (not that it is not occurring, just that folks are not reporting it)
On Thursday, March 15th, I attended the Alki Community Council Meeting. I updated the group on our annual summer emphasis plan that pertains to Alki and neighboring City Parks. The plan starts in or around the 3rd weekend of April and continues through September.
In regard to the recent homicide, I told the group that the Seattle Police Department is putting forth all the necessary resources in order to resolve this tragic event. I also provided a briefing on the quiet nature of the neighborhood and that they will see an increase in patrol cars in the area. I advised that the additional patrol cars will not change or help solve the homicide, but more for neighborhood peace at mind, given the fear a crime such as this creates for a normally quiet/tranquil neighborhood.
In regard to street lighting and/or Lighting near parks, I am more than happy to have our Crime Prevention Coordinator – Mr. Mark Solomon do a Crime Prevention Environmental assessment for the neighborhood. Mark is able to work closely with our Parks Department, City Light and SDOT folks if additional measures are needed.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write us in regard to recent events. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Lt. Pierre Davis at 206-233-2033 or Community Police Team Officer Ken Mazzuca at 206-386-1088.
Captain Steven Paulsen
Seattle Police Department
Commander, Southwest Precinct
[editor’s note – the remaining text is how Parks closed its letter]
We appreciate suggestions for improvements to the site, and I’m sure SPD will consider them in the context of the CPTED assessment, which will involve Parks and Recreation, City Light, and Seattle Department of Transportation staff.
Thank you again for taking time to write, and we will let you know when the assessment is complete.
Speaking at last night’s vigil (the video is in our report), Ms. Guy’s father Gregg Smith referred to the area as a “deathtrap.”
ADDED 11 PM MONDAY: A Southwest Precinct sergeant, questioned about the case’s status at a neighborhood meeting in Arbor Heights tonight, said he had no new information that could be shared – but sought to assure those on hand that “a lot of resources” were being applied to the unsolved murder. (The meeting otherwise had nothing to do with the Beach Drive situation- it was a “living room conversation” meeting arranged by the local Block Watch captain a month earlier – and we’ll be writing the full story about it on Tuesday.)