Alki’s Larry Carpenter asked us to pass this along:
About 4 pm today I got up to answer a brusque knock at the door in my neighborhood at 63rd and Hinds near the Alki UCC church. A repair man had just given me an estimate 30 minutes earlier, so I figured he was back with a question. The knocker turned out to be a 25-ish, normally dressed, white man who announced in good English that he was touring the neighborhood as part of an army exercise to “test his communication skills.” He then handed over his US Army i/d bearing the name Regan. I kept waiting for some sort of solicitation such as selling magazines to support combat readiness or whatever. However, he explained that his only purpose was to improve his ability to approach strangers and win their confidence via straighforward speech and strong eye contact. After saying that his team chief had left some 25 of his mates in the surrounding area and that I might see others walking about, he extended his hand for a firm handshake and headed off around the corner. H-mm. I wonder how this approach would go over in Baghdad’s Sadr City.
[Larry spent 20 minutes trying to reach police on a non-emergency basis …] I finally tried a few neighbors, but nobody was home yet. My last call found a woman neighbor at home, who reported that she had earlier noticed several strange young men hanging around the USPS mailbox on the corner and had already decided not to answer the door if anyone rang. [SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator] Benjamin Kinlow had just briefed us at the Alki Council on Thursday that we should always report suspect activities to the police and to our block watch neighbors. When wife Marge observed my rising frustration, she suggested that if I really wanted anybody to get the word, I should send it to the WS Blog.
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