West Seattle police: ‘All hands on deck’ for patrols this summer

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.

Sincerely,

Captain Steven Paulsen
Commander, Southwest Precinct

7 Replies to "West Seattle police: 'All hands on deck' for patrols this summer"

  • Pam F July 3, 2012 (3:59 pm)

    Are these Officers going to be on Patrol in West Seattle, or are we losing out on our Police coverage, and have to wait for a longer response time ?.

  • killsme July 3, 2012 (7:41 pm)

    The officer has supposedly been reassigned to patrol. All the precincts are losing their community offices/officers. I think its a terrible idea. So if you are being followed or need shelter from a creep you have to call and wait 7 minutes or more while facing danger outside the precinct. Crime is increasing and police coverage – due to an extreme LACK OF HIRING for years – is decreasing. It’s ridiculous. No surprise shootings are up. They are basically screaming that they can’t be in all places at once with the staffing levels they have currently – which are the same levels as Seattle in the 70s.

  • Mike July 4, 2012 (1:50 am)

    Thanks McSchwinn!

  • Scooterista July 4, 2012 (8:49 am)

    In early May, I went to the SW Precinct at 11 am on a weekday because, due to reasons far too weird and complicated to go into, I had been threatened by someone. I wanted to talk to a police officer about my options.
    .
    When I got to the door, the sign that others have mentioned was posted and I was flabbergasted that there was not one live person available to talk to me. As I stood there in disbelief, an officer came up, unlocked the door and, without a word, disappeared and reappeared in a plexiglass booth.
    .
    I went in. He was eating a bowl of soup and reading a paperback. He put down the book with a great show of annoyance. I explained my situation and he was curt to the point of rudeness. After a couple of minutes, he simply picked up his book and ignored me.
    .
    I left and called 911 and they were on the line with me for 20 minutes, explaining my options and answering my questions. It was an appalling contrast to the desk officer at the precinct station.

  • Had Enough July 4, 2012 (10:43 am)

    SPDs primary duty is to collect taxes… Public safety is no longer priority. We’re all on our own.

  • Jennifer July 5, 2012 (7:26 am)

    I believe that SPD does the best they can with the man/woman power they have. If you want more officers write to the mayor and city council and tell them to support SPD and give them money to hire more police. In this world we want it all but they have to work within the budget and officers that they have. It seems like whenever politicians want to save money they cut from the SPD or SFD budget. That shows you what their priorities are.

  • cr July 5, 2012 (3:39 pm)

    this is what you get for all your whining and crying to the justice department. SPD has to spend money on ridiculous reforms instead of on salaries. They’re too busy defending their jobs to actually do them. Congrats.

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