Police updates @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting

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(@ WSBWCN meeting: Left, Officer Todd Wiebke; right, Capt. Pierre Davis)

From tonight’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting – first one since before the holidays:

FIGHTING CRIME: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis said the new bicycle officers added to the precinct, mentioned at other recent meetings, will help police patrol proactively. They’ll be patroling outside the purview of 911 response, which means they can be deployed in areas that have been hot spots for problems such as car prowling.

Capt. Davis also said SPD is continuing to work with prosecutors and judges to help get repeat offenders sentenced to more time behind bars.

DEALING WITH HOMELESSNESS: Special guest was SW Precinct Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke, who is the CPT point person on homelessness-related matters.

City rules only allow SPD to do so much, Officer Wiebke explained – it’s up to nonprofits to deal with directly helping those in need. Police, ultimately, are there for the security of the public. A few minutes into his talk, someone brought up the campers and vehicles along Myers Way. Wiebke stressed that he and other officers do arrest people who are breaking the law, but it’s not illegal to be homeless, and not all unsheltered people are breaking the law. The people at Camp Second Chance, which is slated by the city to become an authorized camp, are overall “clean and sober” as per their rules, Wiebke said, but that’s not necessarily the case for the people living elsewhere along Myers Way. He, by the way, said CSC has about 30 residents, with a similar number of people living on the slope across the street.

RV residents, he continued, are not all law-breakers either. Some are employed and the RV just happens to be the only place they have to live. Some vehicles, meantime, had been associated with crimes, and they had been investigated, with, in some cases, Wiebke said, property seized. Overall, though, the city has a lot of rules on the books to be followed when police and other agencies deal with campers, and the discussion at the meeting veered into some of those details (here’s some of what’s on the books).

Some attendees also wanted to know how to help the people at Camp Second Chance; Officer Wiebke said water is always needed, but that people could visit and talk with camp leaders to see specifically how to help.

The West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets on fourth Tuesdays most months, 6:30 pm, Southwest Precinct. Watch the WSBWCN website for updates between meetings.

7 Replies to "Police updates @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting"

  • WestCake January 25, 2017 (8:58 am)

    I understand it’s ok to be homeless and live in a camper in Seattle. However, who is checking if these individuals have warrents, are on Meghan’s list? This that even a concern in Washington? I haven’t heard it mentioned or read it anywhere.

    • WSB January 25, 2017 (9:06 am)

      If you’re suspected of a crime, your background can be checked, but if you’re just sleeping in an RV, demanding your ID and checking your background would be the same as if an officer knocked on the door of your apartment or house (assuming you are sheltered) and did the same. (Reference: 4th Amendment: https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment ) – TR

  • WestCake January 25, 2017 (9:26 am)

    I’ve also noticed a number of signs that read, “No loitering. Criminal Trespass.” What areas do those signs refer to? Can I be arrested for standing in an area, i.e. loitering, but if I were to bring a tent and erect it, this is common on Marginal Way, I’m now considered “living” there?

    • WSB January 25, 2017 (9:37 am)

      If you have concern about an area: todd.wiebke@seattle.gov

      ADDED: … if it’s in the SW Precinct. East Marginal, for example, is not.

  • Suge White January 25, 2017 (10:39 am)

    To those homeless in these camps with children I wish you Godspeed to a better surrounding, we need to do all we can as a city and a community to help with this. To the rest on Myers Way I see dumping garbage, urinating, wandering around whacked out in the intersection, trying to fix cars, smoking anything that can be smoked, ….I wonder….do they want or need help?

  • wsea98116 January 25, 2017 (12:03 pm)

    I was driving south on Delridge and stopped at Roxbury, and there is a young homeless appearing guy leaning against the building on the mortwest corner of the intersection. He’s in camo, shopping cart full of stuff. He’s overtly smoking some crack or meth or something ( I don’t think pot) in a little pipe and taunting/dancing/leering at the cars waiting at the intersection, and his body language and expression is very provocative and challenging. Feeling very uncomfortable and stuck in my car there, I’m  trying to distract my daughter from looking at him, and not sure what to do, if anything, about it. I don’t even think of reporting to police, as I’m so used to seeing this  type of behavior.  What do you do in these situations? It seems like such a sad broken mess, and getting worse daily..

  • West Seattle Block Watch Captains' Network January 25, 2017 (6:25 pm)

    Captain Davis and other officers within the SW Precinct continually urge people to report any illegal behavior in progress via 9-1-1. Then, they are aware of it and can make the determination about how to follow up. Both Captain Davis and Office Wiebke also emphasized again at yesterday’s meeting that people should report all instances of crime that has happened to them, even small crimes such as car prowls where little or nothing was taken. Some types of  crimes can be reported online, but the Captain noted that they prefer a phone call.  FYI, our group plans to have Officer Wiebke attend some of our future meetings, as well as let our group know about ways they can help the situation. In the meantime, you can contact Officer Wiebke as TR noted, or just show up at Camp Second Chance with donations. — Karen

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