Video: West Seattle police lead ‘safety walk’ at Beach Drive parks

June 2, 2012 at 10:08 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 5 Comments

Though it was born of an unsolved murder, Friday night’s safety walk along Beach Drive was a relatively low-key event for West Seattle police, given what they – and the rest of the city – went through earlier this week.

Just 48 hours earlier, they were dealing with the aftermath of a multiple murderer’s suicide, ending a four-hour search (WSB coverage and 340+ community comments here) that found them swarming several areas of eastern West Seattle, guns drawn, responding to reports of possible sightings, until killer Ian Stawicki finally turned up in a hillside neighborhood two blocks west of the High Point Library. “We got our bad guy, and that tragedy ended,” operations Lt. Pierre Davis (top photo, left) noted before the safety walk.

Friday night, he and Community Police Team Officers Jon Kiehn, Ken Mazzuca, and Kevin McDaniel were back in the roles of coaching the community and listening to concerns, particularly surrounding issues at waterfront Emma Schmitz Overlook, where police believe 51-year-old Greggette Guy was murdered in March, and forested Me-Kwa-Mooks Park across the way.

(CPT officers, from left, Mazzuca, McDaniel, Kiehn)
Along with Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon and Seattle Parks manager Carol Baker, they answered questions, wrote down suggestions, and led a group of about 20 people – including Alki Community Council president Tony Fragada and vice president Randie Stone – along a fairly short distance – half a block to the north end of the viewpoint park, across Beach Drive, half a block to the sidewalk in front of the Me-Kwa-Mooks sign. Here’s the first half, including a few words along the way from Lt. Davis regarding what happened on Wednesday, plus comments from other SPD personnel plus Parks’ Baker (shown in the YouTube framegrab):

Solomon was particularly interested in the lighting issue, and told WSB later he’ll be pushing that point.

The issues changed, as the group crossed Beach Drive to the inland side, with Lt. Davis – a veteran of the Traffic Unit, in years before his Southwest Precinct stint – stopping traffic so everyone could cross safely:

On the Me-Kwa-Mooks side, Parks’ Baker pointed out that, as with the water side, some changes already had been made. Some of the shrubbery has been cleared (as it has on the water side); also, she pointed out, the porta-potty no longer has fencing around it, as you can see in the background of this photo:

One nearby resident mentioned a secluded area upslope in the park where people come to party, usually leaving beer cans behind, and often setting fires in an unauthorized “pit.” After the official end of the safety walk, we climbed the trail with him and two other participants to see it.

Lt. Davis promised to look into the issues of unauthorized park use, and, in wrapping up the on-the-move portion of the evening, reminded participants not only to look out for each other, including with the formation and use of Block Watches – but also to call 911 about suspicious people/activity – one person mentioned having seen it in Me-Kwa-Mooks, but not necessarily reporting it. (We’ll add that you also can bring concerns to police during the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the precinct; the next one is scheduled for June 19th, 7 pm.)

5 Comments

  1. What a great turn out! I really wish we could have been there – our youngest was graduating last night from Kennedy.

    I’ll post a link to this post on Beach Drive Blog – thanks, WSB!

    Interesting the lady from the park is concerned about allowing for privacy in a public park – especially considering the tragedies that have happened at that park.

    Comment by Rhonda Porter — 12:23 pm June 2, 2012 #

  2. Rhonda – that explains it! We were wondering where you were, figured that it would have been something very important to keep you away, since I know you’d been working to make this happen. Glad it was a happy scheduling conflict, not something bad.

    Comment by WSB — 12:33 pm June 2, 2012 #

  3. I meant to ping you earlier – between graduation and our new puppy, Scupper, it’s been a whirlwind around our home :)

    Comment by Rhonda Porter — 1:22 pm June 2, 2012 #

  4. How did people find out about this? We heard nothing about it on the harbor Ave side. :(

    Comment by resident3 — 4:12 pm June 2, 2012 #

  5. resident3,
    Mark Solomon indicated to me (prior to the walk) that there may be additional walks in the future. Neighbors that I have talked to since the walk have the impression this probably won’t happen on BD any time soon.

    I’ve been posting about it on Beach Drive Blog, BDB’s twitter & BDB’s Facebook page and I know WSB has posted about this too. I am not aware of anything the various city agencies did to promote this event.

    If you want this to happen specifically for your neighborhood (this “walk” was a very small area covering the two parks where Ms Guys murder may have taken place), I strongly recommend reaching out to him and other city officials… I really felt like we (a few neighbors and I) had to be pretty squeaky wheels to get this done… and we’ll see if the city does anything or if they feel making an appearance of effort is enough.

    Comment by Rhonda Porter — 5:53 pm June 2, 2012 #

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