West Seattle, Washington
If you had hoped to check out the first West Seattle edition of Coffee With a Cop at the Junction Starbucks this afternoon, but couldn’t get there … there will be a sequel. It seems Starbucks thought it had been rescheduled, explained Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge, but nobody got the memo, so she and some officers showed up, including the bicycle squad, as evidenced by parking outside:
Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis dropped by too:
We haven’t yet verified the new date – hoping to get that info tomorrow – but we’re hearing early May. This is a national program, and Starbucks is supporting 100 of the meetings coast-to-coast this year.
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.
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
PACKAGE-THEFT ATTEMPT: From Jim:
We found a package half opened in our front yard today… looks like someone grabbed it from our porch and, when it turned out to be very light in spite of its large-ish size, half opened it and saw there was just a hat inside and dropped it… We’re on 20th SW just south of Barton. I think we got lucky, but wondered if anyone else might have been hit through here today.
SUSPICIOUS PERSON: From a Beach Drive resident:
I wanted to alert my neighbors in the Beach Drive/Seaview area about a man who has been casing my property multiple times this week; one time we noted him driving a 2010ish silver Toyota sedan. We activated our security camera and (Sunday) we caught him and a woman on camera walking around our front yard. We are hoping someone may recognize them and contact the police with additional information. This is our incident number with the SPD, 2017-132766.
TWO CHANCES TO TALK WITH POLICE: If you have questions or concerns – this week brings two public events where you can talk with local police. Tomorrow (Tuesday) night, 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster), it’s the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, including a guest who’ll talk about the SPD Safe Place program and Metropolitan Police Museum. Then Wednesday at 1 pm, it’s the first West Seattle Coffee with a Cop, at Starbucks in The Junction (California/Alaska).
By Patrick Sand and Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
“We’re making a dent in the crime issues in West Seattle.”
If you go to monthly meetings such as the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council or West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network – and/or if you read our regular coverage of those meetings – you’ve seen/heard Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis say that repeatedly lately.
Today, he brought SW Precinct crime trends/updates to a different audience – the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly lunch meeting. He was there with the precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith and newly hired Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge (read our recent story about her). Here’s our video:
Last year’s property crimes were, he acknowledged, “almost 19 percent over where we needed to be.” So the progress they’re making is to get back down from there. And he talked about how his officers are arresting some repeat offenders “over and over … when my officers arrest these individuals, they don’t want to see (them) back out on the street again” before the ink on the paperwork is dry. There are efforts to change the justice system’s revolving door, he said, as police work with others (including prosecutors).
One recent success story: Car prowls are “down double-digits,” he told the Chamber, as he has told other recent meetings. That’s largely because they’ve gotten repeat offenders behind bars – some of whom are not just car prowlers, but also burglars and shoplifters, generally because they need money for drugs. Read More
Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
CAR PROWL: From Brian:
Thought I’d report this in case so Neighborhood Watch will be on the lookout. Car prowler entered my girlfriend’s car Tuesday night. She doesn’t keep valuables so nothing was taken. Her paperwork from the glovebox was strewn about. My cross street is Brandon and 23rd. Reported to police. Going to set up surveillance.
DUMPED LOOT? Steve e-mailed the photo below after finding “a pack and a lunch sack on 42nd between Andover and Dakota”:
Yours? Let us know.
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: WSCPC president Richard Miller has announced the special guest for next Tuesday’s meeting (7 pm April 18th, Southwest Precinct, 2300 SW Webster): Officer James Ritter, who will talk about the SPD Safe Place program and the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum. And as always, SW precinct reps will talk with attendees in an open discussion of crime trends and neighborhood concerns.
5:20 PM: If you’re wondering about the police search in East Admiral, including K-9, they’re looking for a suspect in a burglary attempt. That’s all we know right now.
5:45 PM: The search continues. The break-in attempt happened at a house on or near the east side of Admiral Way north of the bridge.
First, three reader reports, two with video; then, details on an arrest in the Genesee Hill area on Sunday:
PACKAGE THIEF: Fabio says this happened near 14th/Henderson at 6:24 pm Sunday (April 2nd):
If you know the person in the video, you can inform SPD and refer to incident #17-115548.
PACKAGE THIEF, THWARTED: From Patrick:
Just wanted to let the community know about a package thief working in the vicinity of SW Hudson and Fauntleroy. I was working in my home office at about 2:45 PM (today) and saw a man get out of a ’70s VW Bug (bright red) and approach my neighbor’s. He took a package that Fedex delivered earlier. I ran out yelling at him. He apparently was having difficulty getting it in gear so I opened the passenger door and grabbed the package. He took off and headed north on Fauntleroy. Man had a goatee and was wearing a Navy blue/blackish hoody. I called 911 and also just spoke to an officer. Officer said that that car description is a new one for them but should be easy to find since it is distinct.
EGGING VANDALS: While this next clip is not crystal-clear, Timothy is hoping that someone will recognize the vandals throwing eggs at his house, and/or their car:
He says, “I’m hoping someone recognizes the car or the characters inside. I realize the video quality isn’t great, but enough to be identifiable to the right person. It’s also disconcerting that the perpetrator is heard gleefully exclaiming that he’d hit a window. They were trying to do damage.” It happened last Friday night and he says he’s heard reports of other houses hit too.
HIT & RUN ON 35TH: Maybe you know who hit James’s car sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning:
“Someone sideswiped their car into mine (a black 2013 Mazda hatchback). My car was parked on the east side of busy 35th Ave SW in the 7500 block. The hit & run caused body damage along my driver’s side door and broke-off my driver-side mirror. The police have been notified. If anyone was an eyewitness to this incident and/or knows any information, please call me, the vehicle owner, James @ (206) 658-5295. Thank you.”
SUSPECT FOUND IN STOLEN CAR: From SPD Blotter today, the details on a sizable police response in the Genesee Hill area on Sunday morning. In short, police found a 43-year-old suspect asleep inside a stolen car, “in possession of other unreported stolen items.” The 2016 Nissan had been taken early Sunday from the 3500 block of SW Trenton, and its owner used a tracking system to show it was in the 4700 block of SW Dakota, engine running, “full of unreported stolen items (clothing, power tools, air compressor, etc.). Officers took the suspect into custody without incident.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the first time in six years, the Southwest Precinct has its own Crime Prevention Coordinator.
As first reported in our coverage of this week’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, Jennifer Burbridge is the new CPC. Mark Solomon has done double CPC duty for the Southwest and South Precincts since the retirement of Benjamin Kinlow in 2011; this year’s city budget included funding for each precinct to have a dedicated CPC (a civilian position with SPD).
You might know Burbridge already, as she explained in this message about what she’ll be doing:
As some of you may know, for the last two years I have worked out of the SW Precinct as the Seattle University Graduate Research Analyst, specifically tasked with the Micro-Community Policing Plan (MCPP) project.
In my new capacity, I will be working closely with the SW Precinct community, as well as the officers of the SW Precinct, in order to decrease crime by developing, implementing and coordinating a variety of police programs in the area of crime prevention.
I will organize special Seattle Police Department functions such as Night Out, Community Cleanups and help organize and participate in the annual Precinct Picnic. I will also be regularly attending Block Watch and community crime-prevention meetings. Over the next few months, I will be receiving a variety of helpful trainings and certifications.
Having a dedicated CPC for this community, Burbridge believes, will mean “more time, more involvement, and more outreach,” and “consistent, specialized crime prevention attention” for each community within the precinct’s jurisdiction: “Hopefully the work I will do for this community will be beneficial and well-received, but will also have a direct impact on reducing the crimes our community deals with.” She adds that she hopes to “make a difference when it comes to crime in this area. I hope that the work I do will have a lasting effect on the community, the precinct, and the community members here. I honestly believe crime prevention is not only extremely important, but I also think it can be immensely effective – and I am so looking forward to being part of the solution.”
We also asked Burbridge why she decided to go into public-safety work:
As cheesy as this may sound, I truly want to make a difference.
When I began my Master’s Degree program in Criminal Justice at Seattle University, I thought the way I was going to make a difference was through the corrections system, specifically in probation or parole.
However, through my Master’s program, I was selected for the amazing opportunity to be an intern for the Seattle Police Department at the SW Precinct. I can honestly say that this internship changed my life. I found a passion that I didn’t know that I had. I truly discovered how much I enjoy working with law enforcement and working towards a productive solution. In our society today, there are a great deal of negative views pushed toward the police, and I find it extremely beneficial to have working partnerships between the community and the police. I am very excited and feel very fortunate to play a small part in making these partnerships successful in the SW Precinct area.
And her last message for you as she gets started as CPC: “If you have questions about crime prevention or would like to speak with me about your crime concerns, please feel free to email me at: Jennifer.Burbridge@seattle.gov. I will get back to you just as soon as possible.”
Last Friday, hours after we first reported that a woman riding her bicycle from her West Seattle job to her Georgetown home had been attacked near Spokane and East Marginal, the city promised action this week – including clearing campers encroaching on the bicycle path in the area.
We’re following up on those promises, and to start with, we met up this afternoon with the Seattle Police sergeant who leads the Navigation Team (explained here), a team of officers and outreach workers.
Sgt. Eric Zerr tells us that the “hazard” clearance does not require the 72-hour notice called for in other areas, but they have been out talking to the people in the area, so they have been warned. He said an area on the north side of Spokane with about 10 “structures” will be cleared, but is not sure if they are all currently occupied. Here’s our five-minute interview recorded in that area this afternoon:
The Navigation Team is a citywide squad. Enforcement and patroling of the area is separate, handled by local officers (this area is in the South Precinct’s jurisdiction, not the West Seattle-based Southwest Precinct). While the RV camp to the south is not being cleared, as Sgt. Zerr reiterated and as the city Human Services Department explained on Friday, a major trash cleanup is planned in the area too later this week – starting on Wednesday. We’ll be following up tomorrow on specifics of those plans.
5:30 PM: If you’re seeing/hearing the sizable police response on the south side of The Junction right now, police are looking for a man after a reported street robbery. Per police radio, the man stole a woman’s purse in the alley between 45th and 46th at Edmunds, and dropped a gun as he ran away with it, southbound. With the caveat that description information can change from what’s first reported, so far we’ve heard the robber described as a black man in his 30s, black jacket or hoodie, black pants. The purse is described as large and brown. If you have any information about the robber, call 911.
5:54 PM UPDATE: Added/changed description: White/mixed-race man, thin build.
6:39 PM UPDATE: No arrest reported yet. The search has included a K-9 team.
One day after a woman was robbed in her home northwest of The Junction, police have made a sketch based on the description she gave:
He is described as a white man in his 30s, 5’10”, medium build, short sandy brown hair, clean-shaven, wearing a tan “windbreaker” jacket and jeans. If you have any idea who he is, call detectives at 206-684-5535.
11:02 AM: Land and water crews have been on a “water rescue response” from the south end of Harbor Island this past hour. According to Seattle Police, a “possible theft suspect fell or jumped” into the Duwamish River. They say the person is now in custody and being taken to Harborview Medical Center for evaluation. We don’t yet know what preceded this but we’ll add anything more we find out.
11:49 AM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli spoke with police at the scene. He reports that they told him: An owner at the nearby marina encountered a suspected burglar and called police. At first, the suspect was cooperative, police were told, but then the suspect asked the owner for a cigarette (presumably as a distraction) and then pepper-sprayed the owner. When the police arrived, the suspect jumped into the water and hid under one of the floating structures and refused to come out. SFD was called out and they had to cut a hole in one of the floating docks to gain access to the suspect, about 30 years old and taken to the hospital with possible hypothermia.
1:03 PM: The SPD Blotter update on this adds two details: the suspect allegedly was trying to break into a boathouse, and had a kayak, which police seized.
After hearing about possible gunfire and a car stopped in The Junction early today, we asked SPD for the report. Turns out they were in the process of publishing this summary via SPD Blotter:
Two teens were arrested early Friday after a patrol officer heard gunshots coming from a car on a West Seattle street.
Officer Carl Woodward was driving near Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Edmunds Street when he heard shots being fired from a black Dodge Avenger down the block.
The driver of the Dodge sped off, but the officer was able to follow and stop the car a block away.
Police detained the female driver and male passenger, both 17, who claimed not to have any weapons.
However, officers quickly spotted a gun on the floor of the car and arrested both teens for discharging a firearm. Officers also discovered the male suspect is a convicted felon, and unable to legally possess firearms.
Police weren’t able to find any victims or damage from the shooting, but recovered shell casings from where the teens had been parked at the time of the incident.
Both teens were booked into the King County Youth Service Center. The Dodge, which belongs to the female driver’s dad, was seized for gang detectives.
According to the reports we received, the stop was around 40th/Edmunds.
Police are still sorting out the circumstances of this crash on Delridge Way near SW Kenyon. It was first reported as a car fire, then a collision in which a parked car was reported to have been hit by a moving car, and police were looking for the person or people involved (sorry, we don’t have any description information). Then came word that one of the cars might have been stolen. We’ll check back tomorrow to see how the final report turned out, but in the meantime, for those wondering what the police response was all about, this is what we have so far. Traffic is getting by.
(WSB photo from March 2016, ANA president Larry Wymer at left, CPT Officer Jon Flores at right)
Just in, the plan for next Tuesday night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting. In the spotlight, your local Southwest Precinct Community Police Team officer. Here’s the announcement from ANA president Larry Wymer:
COMMUNITY POLICING UPDATE
7:00 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Officer Jon Flores – Community Police Team (CPT) Officer with the Seattle Police Department – returns to update the neighborhood on the state of policing in Admiral, with an open Q&A session to listen to any of our concerns, and answer any questions we might have.
We will also address and discuss a number of issues of interest to Admiral, and some interesting suggestions for consideration, including:
• Admiral Urban Village Upzone – Follow up community input including potentially a collective letter from ANA.
• Expansion of ‘Sphere of Influence’ for Admiral neighborhood (as our Association recognizes it) towards the southeast (35th & 34th Streets).
• Pedestrian Safety in Admiral – signage/flashing signage, painted or perhaps lighted crosswalks.
• King County Chelan CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) Control Project
The ANA meets at The Sanctuary at Admiral, at 2656 42nd Ave SW. Our monthly meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Here’s our coverage of the meeting a year ago which also spotlighted the CPT and local crime/safety.
8:31 AM: Thanks for the texts. We’re on our way to check on a report of police at/near Chief Sealth International High School and a shelter-in-place situation. SPD has tweeted that it is an “apparent false report of weapons.” More to come.
8:41 AM: Our crew is at the school (photo added above) and have talked to police who confirm so far they haven’t found anyone or anything. This is close to the start of classes and aside from the police presence, activity appears normal – people coming and going, students being dropped off.
8:46 AM: Shelter-in-place has been lifted and police are leaving, our crew reports. Police say that the unfounded report was made by telephone.
ADDED 1:40 PM: Here’s the letter sent to Sealth and Denny families, in English and Spanish, signed by Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer and Denny principal Jeff Clark:
Dear Denny and Sealth Scholars and Families:
We want to update you and share information regarding a situation that occurred early this morning.
At approximately 8:15am, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) received a 911 phone call reporting that there were shots fired at the Denny/Sealth campus. SPD responded immediately and contacted our schools. Although both schools reported that there was no unusual activity, in an abundance of caution both Denny and Sealth went into a brief shelter in place while the police investigated the situation. At this time, SPD believes this was a fictitious or “prank” call and they are continuing their investigation to determine the source of the call.
We are very proud of how our staff and scholars responded to the situation. Prank calls can sometimes increase scholars’ level of concern about their safety – staff are available to provide support as needed.
As always, maintaining the safety of the students and staff on our campus is our top priority. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. Thanks for your ongoing support.
Estimadas Familias y Alumnos de Denny y Sealth,
Queremos actualizarle y compartir información sobre una situación que ocurrió temprano esta mañana.
Aproximadamente a las 8:15 am, el Departamento de Policía de Seattle (SPD) recibió una llamada telefónica al 911 informando que hubo disparos en el campus de Denny / Sealth. SPD respondió de inmediato y se puso en contacto con nuestras escuelas. Aunque ambas escuelas informaron que no había ninguna actividad inusual, como una medida de precaución, Denny y Sealth entraron en un breve estado de refugio mientras la policía investigaba la situación. En este momento, SPD cree que esto era una llamada ficticia o una “broma” y continúan su investigación para determinar la fuente de la llamada.
Estamos muy orgullosos de cómo nuestro personal y estudiantes respondieron a la situación. Las llamadas de broma a veces pueden aumentar el nivel de preocupación de los estudiantes en cuanto a su seguridad – el personal está disponible para brindar apoyo cuando es necesario.
Como siempre, mantener la seguridad de los estudiantes y el personal en nuestro campus es nuestra máxima prioridad. Por favor, no dude en ponerse en contacto con nosotros con cualquier pregunta o preocupación. Gracias por su apoyo continuo.
1:03 PM: Thanks for the tips. We are at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, as are at least eight SPD cars. We are told this started with someone thinking they saw someone with a gun, but so far police aren’t finding any evidence of that.
1:10 PM We have since found SW Precinct Capt. Pierre Davis at the scene. He says police are working to get a search warrant for a car that might be connected to the alleged weapon sighting.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For those interested in more alerts about repeat offenders (like the ones we wrote about last weekend) – police might soon be sharing that kind of information publicly.
That was one revelation from last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, along with a guest presentation about what to do in case of an “active shooter” situation.
More than 25 people were at the WSCPC’s monthly meeting at the Southwest Precinct, including two groups of neighbors from areas of North Delridge and Puget Ridge. Here’s how it unfolded:
CRIME TRENDS: “We’ve arrested a significant amount of people out there,” began precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. Much of the property crime is linked to drug use, he noted, because users need to get money and “just don’t care.” So “don’t leave valuables in your car,” he reminded people. That would “help us out” in terms of discouraging criminals.
And make sure your valuables are identifiable, in case they are stolen (by burglary, for example). He mentioned repeat offenders, saying “we’re ready to start putting their faces out to the general public … so you guys can see exactly what these individuals are up to and what they look like … they don’t like it, they’ve told us they don’t like it … we’re going to ramp it up.” Read More
ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:57 PM: Thanks to everyone who texted about a big police response near 63rd/Alki. Most of the units had cleared, along with a Seattle Fire engine that had responded, before we got there, but we spotted one last police car in the area and tracked down an officer to ask. They say it started with a report that a man was going through employees’ belongings at Cactus. They were told he was harassing one employee in particular. Witnesses told us about a loud argument/confrontation of some sort out in the street. Then when police arrived, officers tell us, the man claimed he had ingested drugs, so he was eventually sent to Harborview to be checked out. No one was physically hurt, we’re told.
UPDATE, 10:35 AM WEDNESDAY: We’ve requested the report narrative from SPD and hope to have it soon.
11:49 AM: After talking up with police, we have just one more major detail to add – after treatment at Harborview, the 24-year-old suspect was booked into King County Jail.
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.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:48 PM MONDAY: Moments after we published a Crime Watch roundup, this happened – a big police response at the 35th/Holden gas station. Thanks for the tips! Per the scanner, officers recovered this stolen Honda Accord:
We don’t know yet if there’s anything more to the case than “stolen/recovered car,” but even if there isn’t, the sizable response is standard – since motor-vehicle theft is a felony, it requires what is referred to as a “felony stop” (guns drawn).
UPDATE, 11:10 AM TUESDAY: We followed up this morning with SPD. What ended at the gas station started at Westwood Village, where an officer spotted the stolen car, alerting others along the way, and finally catching up with it. Its occupants, who were taken into custody, “had stolen credit cards and IDs” in their possession, per SPD.