By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske has a plan for tomorrow – the last day of Seattle Public Schools classes – and he told the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council about it last night during the WSCPC meeting at Lincoln Park.
That and other toplines ahead:
First in the briefing – No big headlines in the crime-trend notes. Burglaries, auto thefts, and strongarm robberies continue to be concerns. Capt. Wilske (right) mentioned the burglary for which two teenage girls were arrested, reported here two weeks ago; we asked him post-meeting if they were suspected in any other cases, and he said so far, no, but the investigation continues.
He also mentioned the Jacobsen Road strong-arm robbery – first reported here, with a followup here – and another street robbery that involved a gun (3 am last Saturday in the 2000 block of Alki SW, per a report we subsequently obtained). In most cases, the victim is attacked while distracted from her/his surroundings, so Capt. Wilske urged everyone to be hyper-aware while out and about.
And he mentioned something else already reported here, that repeat offender Ryan Cox is out of jail, now that he’s served all the time remaining on his most recent sentence. He has a hearing one week from today, so, Wilske said, “let the precinct know if there’s any problem with him.”
Then he brought up the last day of school tomorrow. Starting around noon, the precinct is bringing in additional staffing, and they will be on as late as needed, with Alki as a focus, though not the only area of emphasis. Drinking is a major trigger for trouble, Wilske noted, so they’ll be looking for that; if you’re on Alki, you’ll see police tomorrow from many areas of the department, including Gang Unit, Anti-Crime Team, and other teams.
Other big events for which SPD is planning a beefed-up presence include the Seafair Pirates Landing on June 28th (one week from Saturday) and the big South Park Bridge celebration the next day – he stressed that trouble is not expected at any of these events, but when thousands of people gather, SPD wants to be there in the better-safe-than-sorry vein. And extra police will be on duty on the 4th of July. Asked about fireworks calls on and before the holiday, Wilske said that they will be responded to when they can (he didn’t mention this, but for example, we know that SPD went to Lincoln Park after reports of fireworks last Saturday, possibly associated with gatherings after two local high-school graduations).
In addition to Alki, Wilske said Westwood Village/Roxhill Park remains high on the list of areas for extra attention this summer. He reiterated his previously mentioned plans to make bike patrol possible for much of the precinct force, with two bicycle-riding officers to be stationed on Alki “on a daily basis,” and other areas such as Roxhill getting two-wheeled police depending on how assignments and demands go. The entire Anti-Crime Team will be bicycle-equipped, he added.
A North Admiral issue discussed at the most recent Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting came up briefly – the question of locking the gate at Hamilton Viewpoint Park after-hours. Carol Baker, regional manager for West Seattle-area parks, was at the meeting and said the seasonal gate-locking just began last Sunday night.
Regarding Lincoln Park car prowls, the SPD reps on hand (which included Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores) said both main parking lots are affected, so it’s not an issue of one or the other; they urged people not to leave anything of value in their cars, even if you think it’s safe because you’re hiding it in the trunk or under a seat.
As questions from attendees ran out, and the meeting moved toward an early wrap, one woman threw out a question to Capt. Wilske: “How can we help you?”
His reply: “When you see officers, go up and talk to them, say hello, share your thoughts about law enforcement, whatever. If you see something you’re concerned about, call 911. Even if (it’s something minor) and we don’t get there right away, we do a lot of statistical analysis, I need to know where things are going on.” That means report even car prowls where nothing is taken, etc.
That’s when we asked the new precinct liaison from the City Attorney’s Office, Matthew York, to share information about his background – see that story here.
The WSCPC will not meet again until the third Tuesday in September. The next crime-prevention-related group to meet will be the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network, which meets on fourth Tuesdays, and has the Gang Unit on its agenda for next week – read about that here.