Neighborhood traffic-safety talk launches West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network for Year 5

January 28, 2014 at 11:56 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 2 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Deb Greer and Karen Berge, founders of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network, launched its first meeting of 2014 by announcing proudly that WSBWCN is starting its fifth year.

They have always noted that you don’t have to be a captain, or even a Block Watch member, to attend, and in fact, about a third of the ~15 attendees said they were not – though some were getting ready to organize one. Others, meantime, identified themselves as longtime captains.

Also on hand for the meeting in the Southwest Precinct‘s meeting room: The precinct’s current top two leaders, new commander Captain Pierre Davis and Operations Lt. Ron Smith.

Capt. Davis told the group that Block Watches are the first step to “helping us catch the bad guys” and that the setup here in West Seattle is “second to none,” a “true partnership.” Lt. Smith echoed the appreciation and reiterated, “If you see something suspicious, report it.”

Centerpiece of the meeting was an appearance by Stephen Padua of SDOT, talking about the city’s Neighborhood Traffic Operations program – making clear he’s taking about neighborhood streets, not arterials. (Volume defines which streets are arterials and which are not – there’s a different process for arterials.)

Click to read the rest of Neighborhood traffic-safety talk launches West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network for Year 5…

Police search for driver who approached girl near Beach Drive/Alki

January 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 8 Comments

From Kate:

My daughter was taking out the trash, when she was approached by a male stranger driving a newer white compact car. He offered her a ride. As she came in to tell me, he slowly drove south on Beach Drive and stopped a few buildings away. Then he turned around and drove back north on Alki.

She says it happened at about 7:35 pm, and she called 911. We did hear police dispatched to look around the area (described as near where Alki/Beach Drive meet). That’s all the description information we have; last report of someone being approached was January 9th in the Roxhill area, and that car was described as silver/gray.

West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, report #2: Changes at the top; Ryan Cox arrest; how Seattle Animal Shelter works…

January 23, 2014 at 6:20 pm | In Crime, West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting began with the formal introduction of the Southwest Precinct‘s new leadership, and quickly moved on to a series of hot topics – including one citizen concern that already has led to action.

And until the citizen concerns were all spoken, the new precinct commander remained at the meeting with a larger accompanying contingent than is usually seen at the meetings – members of the Anti-Crime Team (ACT).

(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
“I’m Captain Davis, current Southwest Precinct commander.” Pierre Davis (at right in photo above) introduced himself for the first time since the two promotions reported here last week – his elevation from lieutenant, and previous commander Joe Kessler‘s promotion to assistant chief. He also introduced Lt. Ron Smith as the new operations lieutenant (second-in-command), and explained the black-uniformed ACT members filling the northwest corner of the room: “These are our bird-dogs, these are the individuals who go out and make things happen, they are our strike team, if you will.”

No current crime spikes, he said, and one particular category is half its usual rate – while burglaries run “10-12 a week” this time of year, “right now they’re at five or six.” He attributed that to the arrest of multiple suspects, which he described as “a crew that was just devastating our area.”

Then he asked for neighborhood concerns. First question was about last month’s High Point murder – we’ve already reported the reply, and questions about other unsolved murders, here.

Next, the community concern that seems to already have led to action: Ryan Cox is back in jail, for the third time in two months.

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, report #2: Changes at the top; Ryan Cox arrest; how Seattle Animal Shelter works……

Update: Police shoot gun-brandishing man at SODO bus stop

January 20, 2014 at 10:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 3 Comments

10:45 PM: If you expect to be driving to/from the West Seattle Bridge via 1st Avenue South any time in the next few hours – you’ll likely want to choose an alternate route. There’s heavy police activity at 1st and Hanford, near the on/offramp to/from the westbound bridge, right now after a shooting involving police. No official information about the circumstances yet, but our partners at The Seattle Times report a man in his 30s undergoing CPR after this happened shortly before 10 pm.

11:46 PM: Still no official updates but you can see from KING 5′s report that this was indeed close to the 1st Avenue South ramp on the north side of the bridge.

1:52 AM: Police have just posted a summary on SPD Blotter. They say they were called about a man “waving” a gun at a bus stop in the 2700 block of 1st South (which would be closer to Lander than the address described earlier), and that an officer shot the man while he was still holding the gun. He is described as having life-threatening injuries when transported, but no current condition is given.

2:09 AM: Per radio communications, police are reopening 1st Avenue South.

2:50 PM: SPD has just updated the Blotter summary with news that the 36-year-old man who was shot has died.

SPD shakeup: Southwest Precinct commander Kessler to become assistant chief

January 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

3:19 PM: Changes continue at the top in Seattle Police – and now there’s a West Seattle ripple effect: This afternoon multiple sources confirm to WSB that Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler is becoming an assistant chief. Just yesterday, he told us about the promotion of his second-in-command, Pierre Davis, to captain. This follows Mayor Ed Murray‘s recent announcement of Harry Bailey as interim chief, with previous interim chief Jim Pugel returning to assistant chief, a rank from which three men have recently or are about to have departed. No other details yet about exactly what this means for West Seattle police leadership, but we expect to find out more during next Tuesday’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the precinct, if not sooner. Kessler worked in the downtown administration before returning to lead the local precinct one year ago.

ADDED 7:02 PM: Capt. Davis confirms that he “will be commanding this precinct until other decisions are made.” And Assistant Chief Kessler’s promotion, among others, is now officially mentioned on SPD Blotter.

ADDED 10:29 PM: A farewell note from Kessler:

As I prepare to move once again from the Southwest Precinct, I would like to take a minute to thank all of you for allowing me to come back “home” again last year. After spending two and a half years as your Precinct Commander prior to my departure in 2010, it was my great pleasure to have the opportunity to come back to the Southwest Precinct and again serve this community.

The men and women of your Precinct bring a high level of professionalism and pride to their work.

It is only through your support and working together that creates the great environment that allows our officers to provide the quality of service you have come to expect. I have appreciated the hard work of you and our community leaders who have developed strong working relationships with our officers to make this community safe.

Again, it has been a pleasure to serve your community and thank you for your support and I look forward to working with you in the future.


A/Chief Joe Kessler
Southwest Precinct

Promotion for Southwest Precinct’s second-in-command – now he’s Capt. Pierre Davis

January 14, 2014 at 4:42 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

Three years after arriving at the Southwest Precinct to serve as its second-in-command, the Operations Lieutenant, Pierre Davis (left) has a new rank – captain. That’s the word from precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler today. He tells WSB, “I couldn’t be prouder of him. It is a well-deserved promotion to one of the best commanders in the Police Department. He will be staying with us at the Precinct until the Chief makes the final decision on where he will be permanently assigned.” Capt. Davis is expected to present the crime-trends briefing at next Tuesday’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, so if you go, you can congratulate him in person.

Police checking on reports of possible gunfire

January 9, 2014 at 9:50 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 12 Comments

Police are checking on possible gunfire that has been heard – according to reports we’ve received – in North Delridge, High Point, and Puget Ridge. We haven’t heard anything yet indicating whether they’ve determined if it was shots or fireworks, but we do know that so far, no one has turned up anywhere as having BEEN shot.

Update: New interim chief announced for Seattle Police: Harry Bailey; West Seattle community forum for permanent-chief search

January 8, 2014 at 11:08 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 1 Comment

11:08 AM: The official announcement has just been made at City Hall: Mayor Ed Murray has appointed a new interim Chief of Police, retired former assistant chief Harry Bailey. The previous interim chief, Jim Pugel, returns to his previous assistant-chief role. The mayor is appointing a committee to help find a permanent chief and hopes it will happen fast – by April. More details are in this report from our partners at The Seattle Times (we’ll update the link when they publish a longer story later). Though Chief Bailey retired more than five years ago, he worked as a liaison/consultant for SPD and the mayor’s office as they worked through reform, ethics, and community relations in the past few years, as did Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler, who is with Bailey in the 2012 photo at right, shared with us during Night Out coverage, when the two visited SW Precinct Advisory Committee rep Pete Spalding (who shared the photo that night) and neighbors on Pigeon Point. First reaction in is from the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, which calls the appointment an “excellent decision,” adding, “Chief Bailey is highly respected by the rank and file officers and the communities of Seattle.”

12:10 PM: The official news release is out and it includes word of a new city website related to the search for a permanent chief; there we find that community forums are set as part of the search, including one in West Seattle, 6 pm January 30th at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).

ADDED: The mayor has also sent a letter to the SPD rank-and-file – see it here (PDF).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Gunfire investigated; no injuries

January 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 17 Comments

Police have been searching near Delridge/Findlay (map) after reports of gunfire. No one is reported so far to have been hit/injured, but police at the scene told us they did find shell casings in the alley west of Delridge. One person who heard it told us it sounded like five rapid-fire shots. Officers are investigating reports of suspects seen running and/or driving away to the east. (Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this.)

One person taken to hospital after 35th/Thistle crash

December 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

Four cars were involved in a crash on SW Thistle at 35th SW earlier this evening, but you would have only counted three at the scene; police say they found a fourth driver a few blocks away at 37th and Cloverdale. We’re told one person was taken to the hospital “for observation.” Officers were still sorting out what happened; the scene is now cleared.

West Seattle holidays: Southwest Precinct’s top two take a Junction turn

December 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 15 Comments

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
The Southwest Precinct promised more foot patrols during the holiday season, as reiterated when we published this year’s round of safety advice. This afternoon, the precinct’s top two were on foot in The Junction – Operations Lt. Pierre Davis and precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler. They stopped in businesses, greeted passersby, and talked with us for a few minutes too. We asked about the recent major investigations – no new information in either the High Point murder or Roxhill Park rape; Capt. Kessler mentioned that Seattle Parks had been out in the park clearing some overgrowth to improve visibility. Asked if today had been as relatively quiet as it has sounded to us so far, they did mention that if you saw a major response in Arbor Heights earlier, that was a search warrant being served. (No other details yet.)

P.S. Before we caught up with Lt. Davis and Capt. Kessler in The Junction, the precinct asked us to share this holiday message:

Southwest Precinct's Holiday Message

If you can’t see the message in the frame above – click here for a PDF version.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police search in North Delridge

December 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

Thanks to Thomas for the photo. We finally have a tidbit of information regarding what the police search near Delridge and Brandon was about – it’s related to an auto-theft case, according to radio communications. No other details at this point, but we’ve received enough questions about this that we’re mentioning it.

West Seattle Crime Watch: WSHS student grabbed, hits, escapes

December 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 52 Comments

1:58 PM: Seattle Police are searching for a man reported to have jumped out of the bushes near the east side of West Seattle High School, in the Walnut/Stevens vicinity. Police say the man was reported to have grabbed the arm of a passing female, who hit him and ran into the school. Police were not able to tell us if she is a student. She was not hurt. The man was described as white, 30s-40s, medium build, shoulder-length brown hair, about 5-11, in a blue zipup jacket and black pants.

2:06 PM UPDATE: Right after we talked with SPD media-relations Det. Jeff Kappel about this incident, which we had heard on the scanner, SPD mentioned it on Twitter and described the victim as a student. (Added: The SPD Blotter version pulls back on that but says she’s 16.)

2:43 PM UPDATE: Here’s principal Ruth Medsker‘s note just sent to WSHS families, forwarded to us by a parent:

Today, one of our students was off campus during lunch when she was grabbed by a male stranger. She was able to break away and ran back to school, where she immediately reported it to our school administration. We called 9-1-1 and the police responded quickly.

Please be assured that we are committed to keeping our students safe while they are at school. We will continue to remind students to report these types of incidents to us immediately, and we also encourage you to discuss personal safety with your student.

The WSBeat: Life saved; ‘stabbing’ explained; bus pickpocket…

December 5, 2013 at 11:23 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police, WSBeat | 7 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge…

*On the 29th, around 10:30 a.m., a passing citizen’s phone call led officers to the high rise of the West Seattle Bridge, where a despondent man had his head in his hands. The man drove off but officers followed when they saw him raise his right hand and make the shape of a gun. Fellow drivers pulled aside because of the patrol car’s siren and officers were able to stop the driver on Highway 99 northbound. He cried and apologized saying that the gun in the center console was not loaded, but confirmed that he had, indeed, intended to jump from the bridge. Officers found many suicidal notes in the car. The man was taken to Harborview for treatment.

Four more summaries ahead, including more details on the “assault with weapons” call reported here as breaking news last weekend: Click to read the rest of The WSBeat: Life saved; ‘stabbing’ explained; bus pickpocket……

West Seattle holidays: Advice for staying safe, preventing crime

November 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 4 Comments

Southwest Precinct police have begun the holiday-safety plan they previewed at recent community meetings, starting with the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council in October. We talked this week with Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores about the plan; he said you can expect to see stepped-up presence, including foot patrols, in areas that are busier than ever this time of year, particularly The Junction and Westwood Village.

As always, taking safety precautions is a vital part of the equation, too, and toward that end, the precinct has shared advice from Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon:

Seattle Police Safety Advice for Holiday Season

Even if you think you’ve heard it all before – take a few minutes to read it. Make sure other members of your family know.

P.S. While the document touches only briefly on preventing package theft, Officer Flores said the most important thing is to avoid having a package left in plain view from the street. So if you have to have something delivered, they recommend:

-Signature required on delivery
-Pick up from local carrier hub
-Leave the package with a trusted neighbor if delivery window is within time you know the neighbor will be home

And if all the above fail, at the very least:

-Placement of the package in as a discreet a location as possible

We’d add – if crime DOES happen, even if it seems “minor,” please report it to police so they can track trends and redeploy the “emphasis patrols” as needed. (And once you do, consider letting us know, so we can share it in West Seattle Crime Watch reports and keep others informed – police reports take up to a week to get through the system, so unless we hear directly, we don’t necessarily get the information in a timely manner.)

West Seattle man hailed for quick help after police-motorcycle crash

November 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 14 Comments

Quick shoutout in honor of a West Seattleite’s fast action after a collision involving a police officer: You might have heard about what Michael Katz did when he saw a driver hit a Seattle Police motorcycle officer in SODO yesterday – as explained in the SPD Blotter summary, “A man ran over to our officer and notified dispatch by using the officer’s radio. His quick-thinking and calm demeanor alerted officers to the situation and sped up emergency response.” A WSB reader tipped us later that the man was a West Seattleite, and we made contact with Katz today to confirm. No, he’s never used a radio like that before, he told us, but “they’re pretty user-friendly.” P.S.: We have an inquiry out to SPD to ask how the officer is doing.

Followup: Capsized boat examined at Don Armeni; victim identified

November 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | Comments Off

(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
At Don Armeni Boat Ramp this morning, Seattle Police were with Ballard Marine Construction, the company that owns the boat that capsized off Constellation Park in a Friday gale (WSB coverage here), examining it:

The overturned boat was towed to Don Armeni late yesterday, hours after the Seattle Fire and Police Departments and U.S. Coast Guard teamed up for the rescue effort. Three crew members survived; the man described by SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore as the boat’s captain did not. Today, our partners at The Seattle Times report that the King County Medical Examiner’s Office is identifying him as 40-year-old Anthony Collins of Port Orchard. He was found in the boat’s cabin more than half an hour after it flipped, according to Moore, and flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center after SFD divers got him out. The three survivors, taken ashore by the Coast Guard and then transported to HMC, were described as being in satisfactory condition.

Diving was part of today’s work at Don Armeni; from the lookout north of the ramp, communications equipment connected to someone underwater was visible on the dock, and audible. Another salvage service was on hand too.

According to a comment on our Friday coverage, the crew’s survey work was related to a King County outfall in the area. The county has a stormwater-treatment plant across Beach Drive from Constellation Park. BMC’s website lists numerous local public-sector projects with which it has worked, including the South Park Bridge and Highway 99 tunnel.

The WSBeat: Leash rage; soccer rage; tree crime; more…

November 14, 2013 at 10:42 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police, WSBeat | 36 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of the WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?”

*A woman walking with an offleash dog at Lincoln Park berated a citizen for “not being friendly” when he stepped between his own leashed dog and hers. He walked away but the woman kept yelling. He turned and told her to follow the rules and leash her pet. She walked toward him, pushed him in the chest, and took a swing with a dog chain, hitting him in the arm and leaving his shirt sleeve blood-soaked. Several strangers intervened and separated the two, but no one called 911. The victim asked some nearby teens to call but they refused, saying they didn’t want to get involved. The victim notes that the teens were drinking alcohol. The suspect is described as white, in her 30s, about 5’8″, with a heavy build. In addition to her small black dog, she was walking with a child, about seven years of age.

*On the evening of the 12th, a man became angry after being “yellow carded” during a league soccer match at Hiawatha Field. He began shouting and punched a member of the opposing team. When all of the team members joined in with the yelling, the ref stopped the game.

*Early on the 10th, a man cocked a handgun and threatened to “smoke” two men leaving a Junction bar. One said, “Go ahead and shoot me in the back,” and walked off. He turned around and saw his friend get hit in the jaw and crumple to the ground. The victim ended up at Harborview with fractures of both the left and right jaw bones. The suspect is described as black, in his early 30s, with dreadlocks and a light goatee. He drove a dark plum or navy-colored Audi A8.

Seven more summaries ahead:

Click to read the rest of The WSBeat: Leash rage; soccer rage; tree crime; more……

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police checking out stolen car, searching for suspected thieves

November 14, 2013 at 9:28 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 2 Comments

Thanks to Wendy for the photo and West Seattle Crime Watch report:

Just wanted to get the word out that there was a stolen car left in our alley this morning around 7:30 am and we saw a man and woman (20s-30s, woman had long, brownish-red hair) get out with backpacks on. Our neighbor saw them walking down 39th Ave SW, near Hanford. They are on foot and could be in the North Admiral/Belvidere area.

There is a lot of stolen goods in the car so they might be out stealing again so it would be good to let people know to keep an eye out for this couple and watch out for their cars and garages. The police are here now looking through the car.

It’s a Plymouth Sundance, and Wendy says it’s listed on the SPD stolen-car Twitter feed @getyourcarback. If you think you see the suspects, call 911.

Why the Seattle Police SWAT team was in The Junction tonight

November 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 1 Comment

In case you wondered what the Seattle Police SWAT team was doing near 42nd and Oregon tonight – no, there’s no crime, no standoff, no warrant service. They’re training at houses that will be torn down for the 78-unit Junction Flats apartment project in the 4400 block of 42nd SW. The daylight photo is courtesy of Jason:

Kitty corner from this site, where the Oregon 42 apartment building is almost complete, the SWAT team trained at then-to-be-demolished homes a year and a half ago.

(P.S. Thanks to the parent from Hope Lutheran across the street who gave us heads-up after a note from the school mentioned this training was scheduled.)

Update: Police search in Highland Park, with helicopter

November 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 49 Comments

(VIDEO ADDED 11:08 PM: KCSO video of part of the operation)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:17 PM: If you’re seeing police in Highland Park, there’s a search on for possible car-theft suspects who were pursued northbound from the White Center area by King County Sheriff’s Office deputies. We understand Guardian One is on the way or there now. The search area includes 14th and Trenton, according to radio communications. One possible suspect is described as a white male about six feet tall, shaved head and black hoodie, last seen going eastbound on Trenton; the car apparently has been abandoned in the area.

8:36 PM: Our crew in the area says the helicopter is still assisting in the search.

8:44 PM: Added a photo. One person has been found and is being questioned, according to a commenter and our crew on the scene.

9:10 PM: Chopper has left. No other updates.

10:02 PM: KCSO’s Sgt. Cindi West tells us this all started in Burien, around 12th/136th. The car was indeed stolen; it first caught a deputy’s attention because it had plates with two different numbers. Followed to Highland Par, five people abandoned the car and ran; three are in custody, including the driver. She says most if not all are “known” from other cases. Seattle Police worked with deputies to make arrests, she says, including a K-9 team.

11:55 PM: Note that we have added video uploaded by the KCSO Air Support Team – a five-minute stretch of time during which suspects were found in Highland Park. The audio suggests a Taser was used on at least one.

Election 2013: County Executive, Seattle School Board, Port Commission results

November 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 3 Comments

*EDITOR’S NOTE: While this was published Tuesday night, you can still get the NEWEST results at any point afterward, by clicking the headline for each race*

8:39 PM UPDATE: We’re adding numbers to this story now; meantime, the headline for each race links to its designated results page on the King County Elections website:

Dow Constantine 78 percent
Alan Lobdell 22 percent

*Note: This is the largest victory margin ever for a County Executive, reports Constantine, who tweeted:

Suzanne Dale Estey 48 percent
Sue Peters 51 percent

Stephan Blanford 88 percent
LaCrese Green 12 percent

John Creighton 69 percent
Pete Lewis 31 percent

Courtney Gregoire 83 percent
John Naubert 17 percent

Stephanie Bowman 70 percent
Michael Wolfe 29 percent

Tom Albro 58 percent
Richard Pope 42 percent

After tonight’s one batch of King County results, the next one isn’t due out until late Wednesday afternoon.

West Seattleites in the spotlight at Seattle Police Foundation’s annual awards banquet

October 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 3 Comments

Congratulations to Ken Wicklund, honored by the Seattle Police Foundation as Community Member of the Year! We were there as he received the award Friday night at the SPF’s 12th annual Police Awards Banquet; he is second from left in our photo. It was almost a year ago that he noticed police scuffling with a suspect in an incident near the old Charlestown Café site; he jumped in to help. Shortly thereafter, he was honored at the precinct (WSB coverage here); Captain Steve Paulsen, who was Southwest Precinct commander when the incident happened, nominated Ken, writing “…It is people like Kenneth who make the City of Seattle a greater community for all. On behalf of the men and women of the Seattle Police Department, thanks for coming to the aid of officers.”

Two other West Seattle civilians in the spotlight Friday night were there to help thank police for what they do:

Karen Berge (left) and Deb Greer from the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network were two of the community members featured in a video – and then “live” – with signs of support for SPD. The SPF video, shown at the banquet, also included WS Block Watch Captains Nancy Calos-Nakano, Mayo Ochiltree, Ron Oldham, and JoDean Edelheit.

The Southwest Precinct Officer of the Year, also honored at the banquet, is Willie Askew (photo at left is courtesy the SPD Photo Unit), honored for “a high level of knowledge, compassion for fellow officers and citizens, and a general command of the job of a police officer.” In particular, Officer Askew was singled out for his work during an incident last January in which an armed man described as “distraught” drove his van up to the gate at the precinct; the situation was defused without anyone being hurt. Also honored for his work during the incident, Officer Greg Traver, who received a Medal of Courage.

P.S. The Seattle Police Foundation, which presents the Awards Banquet, is a nonprofit organization whose president/CEO, Renée Hopkins, is a West Seattleite.

Request from police: Got video recorded within a square mile around Gatewood Elementary?

October 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 13 Comments

So far, there is no evidence of an actual abduction related to the reported sighting near Gatewood Elementary today (here’s our earlier coverage; [added] here’s an SPD Blotter update) BUT police have a request for you tonight, in hopes it will help them figure out what DID happen, if anything:

Southwest Precinct Sgt. Joe Bauer, asks that, if your home or business is within a square mile or so of the school (which fronts on both Myrtle and Frontenac just west of California; map) and you have a video-camera system – or happened to be rolling video in the area for any other reason – please check it, particularly for the time period between about 12:30 pm and 1 pm today. If you see anything at all that might be of interest to police related to this investigation, please e-mail Sgt. Bauer at

Update: Police search in West Seattle after child reports seeing possible abduction

October 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 79 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN for newest information)

12:55 PM: We need to say for starters that this is ***NOT yet verified*** BUT we don’t want to wait any longer before putting something out in case it is.

This is all according to scanner information. SPD has just tweeted something we will add in a moment.

Police got a call that a man was seen “duct taping” and putting a child in a pickup truck near Gatewood Elementary School. The truck was described as silver, no canopy. The man was described as wearing a black robe and blue jeans.

Every officer in the area is on the lookout, while the school is doing a head count to make sure no one was missing.

We have a crew on the way to the school to see if this has been verified. If we hear anything more about the description of the POSSIBLE truck, we will let you know.

12:58 PM UPDATE: All SPD has tweeted is “Officers investigating possible student abduction in West Seattle. Still working to confirm. More details to come.”

Our crew is now in the Gatewood Elementary area, but there’s no additional information available there so far.

A bit of added description information: The possible suspect is a white male, in his 30s/40s. The possible victim was described as wearing a pink top, 6 to 12 years old, long black hair.

The description being broadcast citywide says the report comes from a 6-year-old who reported seeing this happen at a “nearby house.” That house is reported to be on the Frontenac side (north side) of the school. That street is currently closed off.

Police are continuing to put out information via Twitter, all details we have published already. Still no word of anyone being CONFIRMED missing.

1:17 PM: Police have reiterated via Twitter that there is no verification of anyone missing yet but say they “do not believe a child was taken from a school.” Commenter Steph, who is a Gatewood parent, says she has spoken with the school office and they said ALL students there are accounted for.

1:38 PM: We’re monitoring all info channels, but there is nothing new.

1:59 PM: If you saw police with a silver truck on 48th SW a short time ago – it was checked out but determined NOT to be related. Meantime, Seattle Public Schools public affairs says that while Gatewood’s doors are locked as a precaution, they are not technically in lockdown or shelter-in-place status, and are still working out dismissal details, though expecting it to be at the regular time.

2:21 PM: Police are still keeping an eye out for any potential vehicles but otherwise standing down a bit. No word of an actual missing child anywhere, but nor has the sighting been explained. If anything new emerges, we’ll add it here.

2:26 PM: There’s been conflicting info about Gatewood’s status between what parents were told and what the district told us. We just got a call from the school directly, and here’s the CURRENT information: The school is not currently sheltering-in-place. Dismissal and after-school activities will be normal.

5:52 PM – A REQUEST FROM POLICE: Southwest Precinct Sgt. Joe Bauer asked us to publish this request: If your home or business is within a square mile or so of Gatewood Elementary (which fronts on both Myrtle and Frontenac just west of California) and you have a video-camera system – or happened to be rolling video in the area for any other reason – please check it, particularly for the time period between about 12:30 pm and 1 pm today. If you see anything at all that might be of interest to police related to this investigation, please e-mail him at (We are also mentioning this in comments and will post it separately.)

7:46 PM: SPD Blotter has just summarized what police have learned so far, but the bottom line remains: “At this point, officers have not found any evidence that a crime occurred.”

The WSBeat: Squabbling in squalor; speeder’s car confiscated; more

October 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police, WSBeat | 6 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of the WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?”

*On Wednesday the 9th, officers investigated an altercation between friends in the 6500 block of 44th SW. But it was quickly apparent that the real issue was the living conditions of the 64-year-old homeowner: Feces covered the bathroom floor and the kitchen was littered with dirty dishes. Paper goods piled on top of the stove were deemed a fire hazard. A cat was found in the basement; its litter box was a solid block (from “months of not being changed,” the officer speculated). And the officer saw no food or water available for the cat. Adult services has been requested to visit the man and evaluate his situation, and Animal Control has been requested to check on the cat’s welfare.

*On the 3rd, an officer on the Spokane St. Viaduct clocked a westbound car going 49 mph in the 35 mph zone. He caught up to the car and activated his lights, but the driver sped off at speeds up to 80 mph. She refused to yield and almost rear-ended a car at the intersection of 35th SW and Fauntleroy. The officer stopped the pursuit but later found the car in the 3800 block of Belvidere SW. The registered owner was driving with a suspended license and had multiple speeding tickets. The car was impounded.

Five more summaries ahead: Click to read the rest of The WSBeat: Squabbling in squalor; speeder’s car confiscated; more…

Update: Man in hospital after assault near south side of Roxhill Park

October 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 36 Comments

10:32 PM: Thanks for the tips/questions regarding a sizable police/fire presence on the south side of Roxhill Park, near the Westwood Heights building on Roxbury. Police on the scene told us they are still trying to sort out who did what to who; according to radio communications monitored before we got there, a man in his mid-20s was found unconscious and was believed to have been repeatedly kicked in the head. Medics planned to take him to Harborview Medical Center. We’ll be following up to find out more about the circumstances and whether anyone was arrested.

UPDATE, 11:11 AM TUESDAY: Just received the report on this, after requesting it from SPD. It says police were called by someone who reported they had heard “there was possibly an assault, and the victim was possibly dead.” On arrival, officers found the victim on his back in the parking lot west of Westwood Heights, bleeding, going in and out of consciousness. Witnesses told conflicting stories of what had happened – one said they saw a group of teens kicking the victim, another said they heard “sounds of fighting” and saw three adults. Police weren’t able to find any potential suspects in the area. The victim is described in the report as having been in critical condition when taken to the hospital.

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