“December was catch-a-burglar month”

January 16, 2008 11:59 pm
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 |   Crime | Neighborhoods | Safety | West Seattle news

That quote from Southwest Precinct Sgt. Jeff Durden at Tuesday night’s West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting — from which we have a few holdover notes to share with you before too much more time elapses, in addition to the news we reported last night about the high-security funeral that’ll be at Freedom Church next Tuesday. To elaborate on that quote, in the past month, SW Precinct leadership estimates its team has arrested more than 15 burglary suspects. Lt. Steve Paulsen noted that detectives and patrol officers are working more closely together, literally – four detectives are now based at the precinct, rather than elsewhere, which means more chances for them to talk face-to-face with the officers working the streets. “Our clearance [case-solving] rate has just been remarkable,” Lt. Paulsen noted. Not only are they arresting suspects, but he says they’re recovering lots of stolen property too. And they also praised community members whose eagle eyes and quick phone calls are helping them detect crimes and catch suspects more quickly. Other notes from the WSCSP meeting, including community “trouble spots” they’re watching:

-WSCSP has elected new officers, and honored outgoing president Desi Russell-Seefeld for her hard work leading the group for more than seven years. The new officers are president Dot Beard, vice president Kay Newton, and secretary Betty Wiberg.

-At least four Southwest Precinct officers will join in a graffiti paint-out in South Park next Monday, which is a “Day of Service” for many community organizations and volunteers, in honor of MLK Day.

-WSCSP’s Seattle Neighborhood Group staff liaison Lois Grammon-Simpson always presents photos of “hot spots” at these meetings, featuring problem areas — crime, graffiti, other troubles — she’s been looking into. Among those she highlighted on Tuesday night were the “for-sale” cars that line Barton across from Westwood Village, which obstruct drivers and pedestrians’ views; she says it’s obvious from a check of the signs in the cars’ windows that many are being sold by the same people, suggesting someone is using this spot to run a business. She noted that the Westwood Neighborhood Council has been working with the city to try to get parking restrictions in place in this area. She also showed photos of areas of concern around 28th/Yancy — trash and graffiti at the “old mill” buliding, suspicious activity near the dragonfly sculpture involving people seen leaving small bags in the shrubbery which are picked up by other people soon afterward.

-Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow is working with neighborhoods on new Block Watches in areas including Highland Park and High Point, but no matter where you are in West Seattle, he’d like to help you set up a Block Watch. Here’s his newly revamped webpage with contact info.

-The next WSCSP meeting is Feb. 19. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: If you have any crime/safety concerns in your neighborhood and want the chance to present them face-to-face to police, including precinct leadership and Community Police Team officers, they’re all at these meetings and there’s ample opportunity for attendees to speak out. Lots of good inside info and prevention tips, too. Mark your calendar.

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