A comment discussion following our story on Sunday night’s Highland Park crash included a discussion of why there’s not always someone on duty at the Southwest Precinct front desk. Today, precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen explains that and other temporary changes are part of a citywide summer emphasis on maximizing patrols:
To our West Seattle Community Members,
The summer months are historically very busy for us due to numerous special events as well an increase in emergency calls for service. We have noticed that City-wide, our response times for priority 1 calls have edged into our 7 minute expectations. This increase is due to several factors which includes staffing, summer 911 call loads as well as an increase in crimes of violence which the Department has responded with Safety Emphasis patrols in many parts of the City. The emphasis patrols are gleaned from each precinct and centralized for City-Wide deployments.
Given these recent demands, we have put “all hands on deck” and reassigned our Community Police Team officers and other precinct staff into patrol cars for 911 response.
This decision was difficult and has caused us a great amount of dissonance because we firmly believe that keeping our precinct open and available to our community is very important in maintaining that partnership we value.
We will make every attempt to staff a precinct desk officer so folks can personally stop by for questions as well as get needed assistance. I would like to apologize in advance that our hours of availability will be limited and sporadic at best. Most likely if the precinct is actually open, it will be weekdays between 8am and 2pm. Outside of those hours, there is a telephone next to the main entrance where folks will be directed to our Communications Dispatch Center who can assess individual calls and send an officer for assistance.
I am anticipating that we will be back to normal operations this September…Your men and women police officers of the Southwest Precinct wish everyone in West Seattle a fun and safe summer. Again, thank you for understanding as well as helping us make West Seattle one of the safest communities in the City.
Captain Steven Paulsen
Commander, Southwest Precinct