By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Know who your Community Police Team officer is?
Officers on the CPT handle issues that generally aren’t 911 emergency responses – but due to their persistence, may affect a neighborhood far more than a crime here and a crime there.. The CPT officer whose turf includes the Admiral District talked about several ongoing issues at the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s March meeting.
Officer Jon Flores first talked about the Mobile Precinct van that the Southwest Precinct has been deploying (we showed it to you when it arrived) – it’s “popping up” all around West Seattle and South Park, and precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis wants it to be for the entire area. “It has a deterring effect – when our kids see it, they don’t necessarily want to hang out around it,” so it’s spent some time by the Admiral Safeway, which has had some “issues.” And of course the Mobile Precinct will spend time on Alki as the weather warms – “it’s a way for us to have a presence without having three or four different patrol vehicles deployed in an area.” CPT Officer Clayton Powell is the “designated mobile-precinct officer” and you’re invited to introduce yourself if you see the van around.
CPT officers also have been working to have “more meaningful interactions with schools around the West Seattle area,” though CPT is not school-resource officers, Flores cautioned. “We want to get into all the schools – we’re not going to be there daily or even once a week but we’re making a more concerted effort to get out and meet the principals, the students, get into the classrooms,” as they recently did at Concord International in South Park, “to build positive relationships with our youth.”
The CPTs also work on issues with transients and homeless people. In Admiral, Flores said, the vacant ex-Life Care Center property at 47th/Admiral/Waite has had squatter trouble, so its owner Aegis Living has now signed up for the vacant-building trespass warning program – a new program like the trespass program that exists for businesses, “giving us the ability to deal with the many vacant properties we have around West Seattle and the city,” said Flores.
This has led to the “no trespassing” signs you might have seen around the property; SPD now has the authority to enforce trespassing laws on the site, though the officer said that might not last much longer, as Aegis is working on demolition permits.
Asked about how encampments are cleared, Flores said they make sure human services are offered. “I have no interest in being the dictator when I show up to these calls, I have no interest in kicking people out, I like to think there’s a compassionate side to me as well. .. But we also have to be considerate about folks (who are) making the reports to us.” They recently cleared an encampment near 31st and Juneau that he said was along a trail used by kids transiting between High Point and Delridge to get to school.
They talked about a woman who is well known in the Admiral area and might or might not be homeless – she has been offered services but can’t be compelled to use them.
Progress on keeping Hamilton Viewpoint safe: There are now three new speed humps in the parking lot, at each entrance as well as one in the middle, and, OFficer Flores said, “we’re hoping that will have some effect on people speeding in and out of the lot.”
Any crime problems lately? Flores was asked. He mentioned several residential burglaries; one led to an arrest after residents heard somebody trying to get into their house and immediately called 911, which led to a fast response and arrest. (While the exact date and location weren’t mentioned, we researched after the meeting, and learned that it was early March 5th in the 2200 block of 44th SW, and one of the residents was awakened by the sound of someone in the home’s gated, fenced back yard. They saw someone trying to open the windows and rear door. 911 was called; police found the suspect leaving the house’s front yard. He claimed he was walking home and just taking a shortcut through the yard. The suspect was arrested and booked into jail, where he was held for two and a half days before getting out. No charges are filed so far.)
Car prowls remain steady, Flores said. Asked what to do when you see graffiti? Best thing to do is clean it up, along with reporting it.
You can find contact information for the CPT via the SW Precinct website.
Among other topics tackled at ANA’s March meeting:
NEIGHBORHOOD PARK/STREET FUND: Roxane Rusch talked about the Spokane/Harbor/Avalon cleanup/beautification proposal that was presented at this month’s Southwest District Council meeting (WSB coverage here), as part of its quest for a share of Neighborhood Park and Street Fund money:
“We’ll know by mid-April if we made it to the next step in the process” after the SWDC rates/ranks this application and the Beach Drive speed-hump proposal that also was submitted.
SHOULD ANA MEET MONTHLY? New president Larry Wymer (at left in top photo with Officer Flores at right) said he and the other officers were wondering if ANA should cut meetings back to every other month. Nobody present voiced support for that. It also was pointed out that ANA’s bylaws require nine meetings a year; right now, it meets ten times, so a bimonthly schedule would require a bylaws change but wouldn’t result in much operational change. Wymer said that what he needs most for support of monthly meetings is ideas for meeting topics.
SUMMER CONCERT SERIES: We published a story shortly after the meeting about the launch of this year’s call for musicians for the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series – read about it here. Series founder and former ANA president Katy Walum will line up this year’s performer slate; Dave Weitzel is rounding up sponsors again this year. See our story for details on inquiring about either opportunity.
4TH OF JULY KIDS’ PARADE: Current coordinator Jackie Clough from Alki Party Treasures (WSB sponsor) is co-organizing it this year with Emily Williams of Fit4Mom West Seattle, who will take it over starting next year. Over recent years it’s evolved from the Admiral Kids’ Parade to the West Seattle Kids’ Parade, and they’re hoping to evolve its name in that direction too. Clough said that they were interested in the idea of more food choices at the post-parade event, but Walum pointed out that one challenge is, the event ends at Hamilton Viewpoint and the city has some stringent rules about concession sales in parks. Most aspects of the parade will remain the same – they’re looking for kickoff speaker and anthem-singer options for the start of the parade, and will have other features including the WestSide Baby diaper drive at the end.
SPEED LIMIT: Gordon Padelford of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is making the rounds of community councils,and he came with the presentation he made at another recent meeting – his organization wants support for getting neighborhood-street speed limits cut to 20 mph from the current 25. He said that neighborhood groups in Beacon Hill and Columbia City have signed on as supporters, and that this is more about “starting a process” than about making immediate changes. Asked which streets in the area would be affected, Padelford didn’t have specific names, but did say that involved fewer than 2% of the streets in the city. ANA member Mark Jacobs, a veteran traffic engineer, said, “Speed limit signs don’t change speeds,” and might make things worse. He said that he’s not aware of issues on residential streets in the area. Padelford said he agreed with Jacobs regarding design of streets affecting how drivers behave.
ADOPT-A-STREET: Seven volunteers were part of the preceding Saturday’s event, said Wymer; it happens quarterly, so watch for updates.
VICE PRESIDENT: ANA is still looking for one – if you’re interested, come to the next meeting and find out more.
Admiral Neighborhood Association meets second Tuesdays, usually at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander).