Some promising news about local crime trends, as this month’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meeting got under way Tuesday.
SEATTLE POLICE UPDATE: Here’s what Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis told the group: Yes, the weather’s warm, but please be careful about leaving your windows and doors open – “there are still individuals out there who like to exploit that. … It invites criminal activity, it really does.”
That said, the burglary rate is running lower than usual right now, he said. Car prowls, though, are still running relatively high, which led to this reminder in a tone that merits all-caps: “DON’T LEAVE VALUABLES INSIDE YOUR CAR.”
For other ways to stay safe, he advised people to consult CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) – some of our past coverage with advice on that is here. Community watchfulness is invaluable, he reiterated, as is going after “the more prolific offenders who are out there.” He said three such suspects have been arrested lately. For example, he said, one suspect who might have been responsible for a lot of crime in the Highland Park area is behind bars and they hope that suspect will stay in custody “for a long, long time”; two other suspects have been arrested too. (Separate followup to come.)
One attendee asked if anything unusual has been happening; short answer – no.
Capt. Davis mentioned the license-plate-reader sweep that was made earlier this month. As had been mentioned at a recent meeting, they found two stolen cars, but while running 50,000+ plates, they learned “our community and our cops are doing really, really good at finding these things – you guys are fantastic” as well as “the criminal element isn’t so adept at stealing or dumping these cars as in years past – so obviously we’re doing something right.” Asked about bicycle patrols, Capt. Davis said two officers are on bicycles every shift, so that’s six in all.
DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS: Reps from the DoN tackled a variety of topics – including Neighborhood Matching Fund grants, which can be used by neighborhoods to fund Night Out parties, among many other possibilities. (The matches can include volunteer work, which is valued, she said, at $20/hour.) July 1st is the next deadline for applications, but if you’re not ready for that, another deadline is coming up soon. You do need a fiscal sponsor, and insurance; the money for food, entertainment, and more, but it can’t be used for certain things such as alcohol and bouncy toys.
FIND-IT FIX-IT WALK: The July 25th edition originally announced as for the Roxhill neighborhood has since been expanded to Roxhill-Westwood, and planning is under way. You’re invited to join the planning team at its next meeting, July 7th, Southwest Library, is the first meeting, 6:15-6:30.
Before we finished this story, more information about planning the Find It-Fix It walk emerged via this news release from the Department of Neighborhoods:
he Roxhill and Westwood neighbors are invited to help plan the Roxhill/Westwood Find It, Fix It Community Walk, the third of seven Mayor-led walks happening this year. Find It, Fix It Community Walks bring together City officials, business owners, and community members to address neighborhood needs.
The Roxhill/Westwood walk will be held on Monday, July 25 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. and will follow a route determined by community members serving on its Community Walk Action Team. If you are interested in serving on this team, contact Find It, Fix It Program Coordinator Laura Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.233.5166.
In addition, Roxhill/Westwood community members are invited to apply for up to $5000 to complete community projects that improve the safety or appearance of their neighborhood. To apply for a Community Project Grant, community members can find the application at seattle.gov/finditfixit beginning Monday, July 18 through Wednesday, August 3.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR WSBWCN: No meetings in July and August, so the next one is fourth Tuesday in September, 6:30 pm, usual spot, Southwest Precinct meeting room (2300 SW Webster). WSBWCN leader Karen Berge was asked about planned speakers; she mentioned the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, to talk about what’s being done to keep crime suspects from getting out of jail so fast, and something related to active-shooter training, which she recently went through. You’ll also see WSBWCN at upcoming festivals and events including West Seattle Summer Fest in the community tent 10 am-2 pm Saturday, July 9th, and 11 am-2 pm Sunday, July 10th, plus Delridge Day in August.