The only public meeting not canceled last night was the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, which proceeded with its usual agenda of crime-trend updates from Southwest Precinct leadership, followed by a guest speaker.
Operations Lt. Pierre Davis summarized the wave of burglaries that “hit hard” in West Seattle toward the end of 2011 – and the 17 arrests (as of last week) that he said have made a a dent in the trend. He says regional agencies connected it all to a “burglary ring” that had been working in South King County as well as Seattle (and not just WS), possibly even Portland. The resulting (albeit temporary) explosion in burglaries was so big at one point, he said, that in the first week of December, there were 25 burglaries in this area – but by the first week of January, that was down to five, closer to the usual average. Lt. Davis said arrests were possible largely thanks to good evidence and good witness descriptions – which led to another reminder, if you see something suspicious, call it in.
The night’s special guest was Officer W.J. Witt, who worked with the Aggressive Driver Response Team before moving recently to the new Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Squad. He spent much of his time fielding specific questions – including, what can be done about “aggressive drivers” who aren’t in the usual places often staked out by police. His answer: Call 911 if it’s a problem happening *now*. Otherwise, you can also leave a message with the Traffic division – ADRT is part of that division (not based in WS) – at 206-684-8722. Regarding the CVES – you can get a taste of what they’re up to, by checking out this recent report from SPD Blotter.
Just got word from leadership of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council that they are NOT canceling tonight’s 7 pm meeting – during which, besides getting updates on local crime trends from Southwest Precinct police, they also are scheduled to hear from a representative of the Aggressive Driver Response Team. The meeting’s at the precinct, Delridge/Webster, all welcome (door’s on the west side of the building, by the public parking lot).
Meantime, we promised to follow up on the helicopter seen over Highland Park for a while last Saturday night. Took a while to get the answer because of the holiday weekend, but King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West says it was a search for two people who had stolen from a White Center store and ran across the city/county line into West Seattle. Full story on our partner site White Center Now.
Last but not least, another car break-in reported – this one by Kristina:
Not only was our car broken into, they knocked over our snowman and our trash can. A video camera and a parking pass were the only things stolen also the insert inside the console . No damage to vehicle either. We live in North Admiral.
*Residential burglaries, up 2 percent
*Non-residential burglaries, down 6 percent
*Auto thefts, up 10 percent
*Car prowls “way down” thanks to some recent arrests that “led to others”
Overall, Lt. Davis’s assessment: “We’re getting our bad guys, but there are still a lot more out there.” He stressed that “if you see something, say something” – call 911 if what you see is happening now; don’t worry about possibly “bothering” them with a non-emergency, as the operator’s job is to figure out the best way to route your call. Report #2, coming up – highlights from Metro Transit Police Chief Lisa Mulligan‘s presentation on what her team is all about. (Side note: WSCPC won’t meet in December, so its next meeting is January 17th.)
Story and photos by Katie Meyer
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Can termite damage really cause a fire in your wooden home? A baseboard heater that is turned “off” stays off, doesn’t it? Just how can something “spontaneously combust” (which started the fire at right, in Arbor Heights in August)?
Many questions related to fires – and fire safety – were answered Tuesday night at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting held at the Southwest Precinct. A late but informative addition to the agenda: The Seattle Fire Department provided guest speakers – education specialist Dana Catts and investigator Ronald M. Ready from the Arson and Fire Investigation Unit.
First, Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis gave an update on current crime rates, stressing that recent success in reducing certain crimes was bolstered by “the efforts that have happened with our citizens here and their fantastic job they’re doing in reporting crime to 911, saying the right things to the 911 operators, giving the right information.”
From tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting:
CRIME TRENDS: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis described it as an “up-and-down-type summer,” with burglary “spikes” at times. He said Community Police Team officers (including Ken Mazzuca and Kevin McDaniel, who were also at the meeting) were tasked with helping solve the puzzle, and that led to “very, very favorable arrests” of the “more prolific individuals out there in the West Seattle community” that put a “big dent” in burglaries, car prowls, and similar crimes – including suspects he says were to blame for more than half the burglaries.
He says there were no particular neighborhoods being hit harder than others – it would differ widely “as if a salt shaker were sprinkled all over (the map)” – and so crime analysis was done over and over again, yielding “fantastic arrests.”
As for specific types of crime, Lt. Davis said that car thefts are currently running “a few up from our norm,” which is 10/month, currently running at 13. Burglaries? “They’ve gone way down and we’re particularly happy about that.” Lt. Davis thanked alert community members and advice from Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon, “which has paid off greatly … we’ve gotten some fantastic tips” from people who provided helpful information that assisted them in arresting suspects. He says they’re also working to link suspects to more cases, if applicable, so they can be prosecuted under the Repeat Burglary Initiative and potentially get tougher sentences.
IDENTITY THEFT: Angela Kaake, senior deputy prosecuting attorney with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, was the meeting’s special guest, with a presentation featuring lots of data about its prevalence, as well as advice on prevention and protection, plus a window into what it takes for successful prosecution. (She’s also on the Greater Puget Sound Financial Fraud and Identity Theft Task Force.)
Want to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft? She had specific advice – for prevention and for what to do if it happens anyway – read on: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: How to avoid ID theft…
Low-key meeting for the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council tonight, and its last one till September (bylaws passed last year enable them to skip July and August) – but there was the usual crime-trend briefing, plus informational, albeit casual, presentations about the Seattle Police Foundation and the SPD Explorers program, as well as news of a new graffiti-paint-out program this summer – read on for summaries: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Latest trends, and more…
(4/30/11 photo by Katie Meyer from the Admiral Way Viewpoint drug-takeback dropoff)
The drug-takeback events on April 30th netted 256 pounds of prescription drugs in West Seattle alone, according to the local DEA office. But if you doubt that matters – check out the toplines from last night’s presentation to the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council. While drug-abuse expert Steve Freng talked about all categories of drug abuse, over and over again, he reiterated that it’s legal drugs, not illegal drugs, causing the most problems these days.
Freng is with the team focused on the Northwest HIDTA – high-intensity drug-trafficking area. He also spoke to the WSCPC at the Southwest Precinct two and a half years ago (here’s our report from that meeting), at which time he warned that prescription-drug abuse was on the upswing. His information is not West Seattle-specific, but it’s regional and likely a good indicator of what’s happening here: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, report #2: Legal-drug woes…
First of two reports from tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct: The burglary “spike” reported last month by Capt. Steve Paulsen is over, according to operations Lt. Pierre Davis. He presented one specific statistic as evidence: The second full week in April, this area had 23 burglaries. Second full week in May, there were five. (We doublechecked the online police-reports map, which shows even fewer, if you configure it for 5/8-5/14.) Lt. Davis attributes the drop to more arrests: “We went out and corralled a bunch of our bad guys – we really knocked ‘em dead.” But don’t let your guard down, he said (and while he didn’t mention them specifically, yesterday’s Arbor Heights incidents underscored that) – keep an eye out in your neighborhood, particularly as vacation season kicks in next month and more people are away, and when you see someone or something, get as much descriptive information as you can – car descriptions, suspect descriptions.
Speaking of keeping an eye out, Karen Berge from the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network announced at meeting’s end that their next meeting is next Tuesday, 6:30 pm, also at SW Precinct. Coming up later: Current drug-abuse trends, from tonight’s guest speaker, a regional expert who spoke to the group 2 1/2 years ago (WSB coverage here).
From tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at Southwest Precinct:
“We’re really concerned with our burglaries, car prowls, and auto thefts, said Operations Lt. Pierre Davis. But for the past month, he cited a “significant drop” in those categories. “We are at pretty much an 8-month-to-a-year low, compared to a year ago.” Regarding our “more active individuals in the community – we’ve gotten them recognized,” and arrested and prosecuted, “and they’re out of our hair for a long, long time. … We hope to keep that trend up.” He quoted precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen as saying “We’re doing really good now, but we want to get that down to zero … if you see something out there, let us know.” And toward that, Lt. Davis revealed, an informational campaign is ahead to alert the community to ways to help reduce the chance of auto theft and other car-related crimes. WSCPC president Richard Miller asked Lt. Davis about any current hot spots for auto theft, and the lieutenant replied that “It’s pretty random right now.”
Other toplines from the meeting, including a presentation on a volunteer-staffed program that helps some of the community’s most-vulnerable victims, after the jump: Click to read the rest of Anti-car-crime campaign ahead, police tell West Seattle Crime Prevention Council…
(SPD’s Lt. Pierre Davis (left) and Lt. Darin Chinn talk with community members at the SW Precinct)
Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
West Seattle residents and Block Watch leaders gathered Tuesday night at Southwest Precinct for the monthly meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, to hear positive news about recent crime trends – but also to hear a presentation that served as a sobering reminder of ongoing drug problems facing communities as a whole.
SW Precinct Lt. Pierre Davis (pictured above, at left) reported that in the past month, there has been a “39% decrease in property crimes” in West Seattle, following a “spike in activity” in January in which burglaries and car prowls were more frequent.
Lt. Davis said that SPD “mobilized more patrols” in response to that spike, and worked closely with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and community members to identify troublesome individuals and “basically take them off the streets.” He cited yesterday’s arrest of an “active car prowl suspect” as a major success story in these ongoing efforts, which include a crackdown on catalytic converter thefts from parked cars.
A major goal, Lt. Davis said, is to build strong cases against the repeat offenders to keep them behind bars longer – more like “25-50 months” versus much shorter sentences.
“Welcome to 2011!” With that, West Seattle Crime Prevention Council president Dot Beard opened last night’s meeting at the Southwest Precinct, the first WSCPC meeting in two months – and her last one as president. As the meeting began, more than 15 people were on hand, not counting three uniformed SPD reps – Lt. Pierre Davis and Community Police Team Officers Jonathan Kiehn and Ken Mazzuca – plus soon-to-retire Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow. Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen joined in time to deliver his assessment of the latest West Seattle crime trends – which included at least one surprise. That and other meeting toplines, after the jump: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Surprise!…
As this MLK Day holiday Monday winds up, we’re looking ahead at some of what’s in store for the rest of the week. Tomorrow, for the first time in 2 months, the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets (7 pm Tuesday, Southwest Precinct, Delridge/Webster). In addition to police updates on local crime trends, WSCPC has a guest speaker on the agenda; Robert Gant, who works with local youth as part of the staff at Southwest Youth and Family Services.
First topline from tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct: Crime is notably down. If you’ve noticed we’ve had fewer crime reports lately, it’s not that it’s going unreported – it’s just not happening, according to Capt. Steve Paulsen. Last week, only one burglary was reported in all of West Seattle, he said – bringing the total for the month so far to 11, compared to what would usually be 27 to 30 by midmonth. (We crosschecked with the online police reports – indeed, only one listed from last Wednesday through today.) The precinct commander cited “significant recent arrests” – people suspected of burglarizing homes by day and prowling cars by night, arrested thanks to what Capt. Paulsen described as “outstanding detective work” as well as alert citizens and timely reporting by victims. West Seattle is getting a reputation among thieves as a bad place to do business, he suggested – while promptly cautioning that an uptick in theft is likely within the next month as holiday shopping begins. Time-honored advice: be aware of your surroundings; don’t leave purchases visible in your car while you go from store to store. In one unsolved case, Capt. Paulsen said there’s no arrest yet in last night’s Highland Park armed robbery. Meantime, he introduced “three-quarters of (his newly aligned) command staff”:
At right, Lt. Pierre Davis is the new operations lieutenant – second in command for the precinct – the job Capt. Paulsen had before leaving the SW Precinct early this year for a short stint at the West Precinct (where his SWP successor, Lt. Norm James, now works with former SWP commander Capt. Joe Kessler). At left, Lt. Alan Williams is third-watch commander (night shift); that’s the job from which Lt. Ron Smith, center, moved into the second-watch (day shift) role. Lts. Davis and Williams are new to the SWP. He also noted that the Community Police Team now has three officers (as reported here when one of them, Officer Ken Mazzuca, visited the Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting last week). CPT Officer Jonathan Kiehn, also at tonight’s meeting, praised citizens for providing improved info when calling 911 lately – a topic on which he spoke at the last West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network meeting. In particular, Officer Kiehn said, they’re giving better descriptions of suspects and the direction in which they’re heading.
Special guest at the meeting: Detective Suzanne Moore, who works on abuse/neglect cases, especially those with elderly victims. She shared two hotline numbers that can be used to report suspected cases – if they involve a residential facility, 800-562-6078; if they involve a private caregiver or home, 206-341-7660.
The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets the third Tuesday of the month, but they’re skipping December, so January’s the next meeting; keep an eye on www.wscpc.org.
At last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen mentioned the ongoing search for a suspect believed to be responsible for at least half a dozen recent local burglaries. Just got word from Lt. Ron Rasmussen that the suspect is now in custody:
Through the excellent work of the Southwest Precinct Detectives and Patrol Officers, we arrested a juvenile male last night who we believe is responsible for the series of burglaries that have occurred in West Seattle area over the past couple of weeks. The investigation continues as detectives continue to follow-up on leads developed during the investigation.
Capt. Paulsen said last night that a search warrant had been served even before the suspect’s arrest, and stolen property had been recovered. Meantime, he also said police are actively looking for a suspect in connection with two recent “indecent liberties” incidents involving females walking alone, and he suggested extra precautions – read on: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary suspect nabbed; groper sought…
Tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting was the first one since Capt. Steve Paulsen‘s return to the Southwest Precinct as its new commander. And he took the occasion to announce changes in the ranks of those who directly report to him – Lt. Norm James, who had been SW Precinct Operations Lieutenant – the position Capt. Paulsen held until a 10-month tour of duty downtown prior to his promotion – is now at the West Precinct with Capt. Joe Kessler, the former SW commander. His help is vital “with the challenges they’re facing downtown,” Capt. Paulsen explained. The new SW Operations Lieutenant – second-in-command for the precinct – will be Lt. Pierre Davis, coming from SPD’s Traffic section, arriving in West Seattle around November 10th. And the lineup of watch commanders will change, too – Lt. Ron Rasmussen is moving from days to mornings, Lt. Ron Smith is moving from nights to days, and Lt. Alan Williams is moving from the West Precinct to oversee nights. (According to this item on the SPD website, Lt. Williams is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel.) Capt. Paulsen says this is all also concurrent with some lieutenant-shuffling citywide, which he says tends to happen every few years. More from the WSCPC meeting in a bit.
Big group at Tuesday night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – so big that president Dot Beard exclaimed not once, but twice, how great it was to see them all. No special guest on the agenda, just an hour-plus of information about crime trends, questions/answers about crime concerns, an update from the local State Liquor Control Board officer, and word that West Seattle’s police force is growing – highlights ahead: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: More police for WS…
Tonight’s highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar page:
SOUTHWEST HEALTHY YOUTH PARTNERSHIP: As noted in a much-discussed WSB report last week, this group will talk about neighborhood concerns regarding the plan for a state liquor store to move into the side of Westwood Village closest to Southwest Athletic Complex. SWHYP’s fight against underage drinking also will get a big showcase this Friday night at the West Seattle High School-Chief Sealth High School football game, when coordinator Renae Gaines says the players’ helmets all will display red ribbons. Plus – can you help the SWHYP? Here are ways to pitch in. Meeting’s at Madison Middle School (map), 6 pm.
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: Get the latest crime-trend toplines directly from Southwest Precinct leadership; ask questions, voice concerns, and/or just listen to what’s being done to make the peninsula safer. 7 pm, Southwest Precinct (parking lot’s on Webster just west of Delridge, meeting room entrance is right off the parking lot).
ALKI STATUE OF LIBERTY PLAZA: Phase 2 of work on the 9-month-old plaza is scheduled to start today; as announced last week, fencing will go up (for about 2 weeks) as new bricks and tribute plaques go in.
EMERGENCY CLOSURE OF SOUTHWEST POOL: As the Parks Department announced yesterday , Southwest Pool has to shut down noon-5 pm today for emergency repairs on its main circulation pump. They’re expecting to reopen at 5 pm for “evening programs.”
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: Main item on the agenda tonight – YOU, and whatever concerns you want to bring up to Southwest Precinct police leadership, who also will share their latest toplines on crime trends. Find out what’s happening and how best to keep your family safe, 7 pm, SW Precinct meeting room (map).
Some of these factoids might surprise you; they surprised us, when we heard the infobursts presented by the featured guest at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, Steve Freng, who is a manager for the Northwest HIDTA (pronounced HIGH-tuh – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area). Read on for those infobursts, in bullet-point form: Click to read the rest of Crime Prevention Council report #2: Drug-trend surprises…
From tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (last one of the year – the group won’t meet in December), not only the latest crime-trend toplines from police, but also citizen reports – including a store reportedly selling troubling merchandise – read on: Click to read the rest of Crime Prevention Council meeting: West Seattle crime trends…
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So many times in recent weeks, we’ve seen the power of neighbors banding together to do what needs to be done – including fighting crime – and that task gets easier when you have the latest info on what’s happening in our area. Tonight, it’s your last chance of the year to get that info, and answers to your crime/safety questions, by attending one of the most worth-your-time monthly events in West Seattle, if you’re at all concerned about neighborhood safety: The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, 7 pm, Southwest Precinct meeting room (Google Street View above shows where you’re going). See you there.
We see this list at every West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting we cover … and today it just turned up in e-mail, with tonight’s agenda. It’s not just about crime – it’s about safety. If you want the numbers for the graffiti hotline, abandoned vehicle hotline, Public Health rat reports, Parking Enforcement, street-light repairs, etc., all on one sheet you can tuck into your wallet or slap on the fridge – print this and snip off the agenda part. (Thanks to Seattle Neighborhood Group, which provides staff to assist groups like WSCPC.)
Timely topic at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council — a briefing from Sergeant Jim Dyment, who leads the Seattle Police Gang Unit. Just a day earlier, we had shared the story of the latest wave of gang-related (or at least gang-inspired) tagging in Highland Park (photo at left), so tagging came up as well as many other topics, including what kind of gang activity is most prevalent in West Seattle. Southwest Precinct reps had something to say about graffiti, too. Read on: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Gang Unit briefing…
The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council is always on our list of must-attend meetings. We strongly urge you to be there too, if you have any kind of crime/safety concern in your neighborhood (that includes “nuisance properties”), since Southwest Precinct police leaders are always in attendance and you get the chance to bring up questions/concerns – and tonight features a special guest of timely interest, from the Seattle Police Gang Unit. See you at the SW Precinct meeting room, 7 pm (off Webster, just west of Delridge, parking lot’s on the south side of the building, steps away from the meeting room).
Just announced by the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Special guest at its next meeting (next Tuesday 8/16, 7 pm, Southwest Precinct meeting room) will be Sgt. Dyment of the Seattle Police Gang Unit. The WSCPC staff liaison from Seattle Neighborhood Group, Jennifer Duong, is inviting those who plan to attend to send questions in advance, to help make sure the sergeant can pre-research specific West Seattle gang-related issues. Anything in particular you’d like to know about? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org – and be there one week from tonight.
We weren’t sure whether to chuckle or cry when we found out last night’s Seattle Police Department Citizen Appreciation Awards event would keep us from visiting the Southwest Precinct to personally report on the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, which we consider a monthly must-cover. Luckily, we were able to draft previous WSB contributor Evan Baumgardner into service for the occasion – and he brought back important info, including an update on a recent business break-in, other West Seattle crime trends, and a request for ideas from YOU – here’s his report: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Updates from last night…
That’s what organizers told us when we returned to the Southwest Precinct tonight during the final half-hour of the first-ever Police Appreciation Day organized by the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council — by then, the board you see above was covered with dozens and dozens of handmade thank-you notes and cards (we photographed it in the early going, for our first report). Organizers’ running count tallied up more than 170 people participating in the daylong event — some of course were the appreciation recipients themselves:
Community appreciation is also well-deserved by the organizers – including leaders of the WSCPC, whose president Dot Beard (below left) took a moment to pose for us with Seattle Neighborhood Group staff liaison, Jennifer Duong:
WSCPC vice president Kay Newton worked hard to line up sponsors/donors to make this a festive event with everything from food and beverages to fun kid stuff, enjoyed by young visitors including these (thanks to Kacy for these next two photos):
Those with a few more years in the rear-view mirror made cards and shared sentiments – from serious to whimsical:
This event was in lieu of the Crime Prevention Council’s regular meeting for July – they’ll be back in session August 19th. Two other related events in the meantime: Night Out August 5 (register your block party here, so you can close off your street!) and Picnic at the Precinct August 16.
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