VIDEO: What police told last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting about recent gunfire incidents, and more

Despite the overnight gunfire spree hours earlier, turnout was low at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, so we recorded highlights on video. Above is what precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis told attendees; below, special guest Officer James Ritter, talking about the SPD Safe Place program, which has now been adopted by more than 50 cities across the country.

Toplines: Capt. Davis said a multi-city/multi-agency task force is working on the gunfire situation, which has seen recent incidents in South Park as well as West Seattle (SP also is part of the SW Precinct’s jurisdiction). None of the WS incidents have resulted in injuries – so far; the precinct is working with special teams including the Gang Unit and SWAT and trying to get more officers out on patrol to try to get ahead of the problem. They are working to identify potential suspects who might be from out of the area – he mentioned Kent, Renton, Federal Way – but spending time with family in this area.

Also, as he has mentioned at other recent community meetings including the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce lunch last week (WSB coverage here), Capt. Davis said shoplifting is spiking and the Community Police Team is working with business owners (and, when necessary, contacting out-of-town corporate ownership) to help them prevent it.

And yes, they’re gearing up for the warm-weather crowds at Alki and elsewhere.

One more bit of news: Southwest/South Precinct Liaison city attorney Matthew York is leaving that job after almost three years – he’s just been appointed to an open judge position in King County District Court’s southeast division.

P.S. As mentioned again in today’s preview, if you’re on-peninsula and interested in talking with/hearing from police, you’re welcome at West Seattle’s first Coffee with a Cop event at the Junction Starbucks (SE corner of California/Alaska), 1-2:30 pm.

1 Reply to "VIDEO: What police told last night's West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting about recent gunfire incidents, and more"

  • Jon April 20, 2017 (12:16 am)

    Thanks for the recording. It was somewhat difficult to hear, especially over the keyboard write-up happening next to the phone. :P

    If you ever have the budget, it would be nice to have a directional microphone (or even a lapel for the speaker).

    Also, re: the “Safe Place” initiative — there’s no such thing as a magical force field which protects anyone from harm. This whole initiative seems misguided, in my opinion.

    The “Safe Place” sticker doesn’t protect you from assaults; the “Gun-Free Zone” sticker doesn’t stop active shooters. It’s simply the assumption that most violent offenders will be dissuaded by greater numbers and more eyes on their actions. And in most cases, thankfully, that appears to be the case. So if you are able to retreat into a business or crowded area, the odds are in your favor that an attacker will disengage.

    That said, you are within your rights to defend yourself in the event of an assault. And the fact that they don’t ever seem to mention that is what bothers me the most about the initiative. Because many misguided prior victims will unknowingly outfit themselves (and not train) with inappropriate defensive weapons and will not be prepared for the worst. I know many women who have carried “stun guns” or pepper sprays, but who don’t know how to operate them or leave them in the bottom of their bags. Self-defense advocacy should be a bigger priority.

    Also, many of the businesses with these stickers in the window are simply complying with the SPD / City’s initiative and aren’t quite the “Civilian Sheepdogs” SPD seems to paint them as in these sorts of talks. What happens is: an officer walks in, hands the business employees the sticker, gives them the bullet points, and that’s about it. On to the next one.

    The “Bias Incident” stuff is borderline Orwellian but mostly just “feel-good” busywork. It’s not against the law for someone to call you a mean name, regardless of how offended you may be. Wasting police resources on that, in my opinion, is irresponsible. Now, if there is extended harassment or threats of violence, then by all means, get a restraining order or take whatever legal action needed.

    Ultimately, your safety is your own personal responsibility, outside of luck and circumstance. Hopefully nothing ever happens, but, be prepared for the worst. Have an emergency contact list on your body, tell friends and family where you’ll be, et cetera. Take the needed steps to protect yourself and be safe. But don’t rely on stickers and written reports of people being mean to protect you. A little situational awareness and a military-grade flashlight goes a long way.

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