The Alki Community Council met this week for the first time since last month’s deadly shooting.
No arrest yet, Southwest Precinct Lt. Ron Smith told the group on Thursday night.
Aside from that high-profile crime, the area’s main ongoing problems – like the rest of West Seattle – remain car prowls and auto thefts, both of which are up this year from the same time last year. “Crimes against persons,” such as assaults, are down 17 percent.
SPD continues tracking “shots fired” incidents – confirmed cases with a victim and/or casings and/or property damage – and so far, West Seattle and South Park have 32 confirmed cases this year. That includes the Alki murder and five incidents with injuries, Lt. Smith told the ACC. That’s double the number of victims, but nine fewer cases of shots fired.
At the ACC’s last meeting, which was five nights before the murder, people voiced interest in more SPD presence on the beach rather than the side streets, but Lt. Smith said the side streets are where more incidents happen. With officers patroling, he said, there are more “on-view” incidents – spotted by officers rather than called in by citizens. He said Assistant Chief Steve Wilske has directed them to put more of a focus on on-views. But, Lt. Smith reminded attendees, they can’t be in all places at all times with a force that is the same size as it was when he joined SPD, despite a much-larger population.
Lately, their area of emphasis along the waterfront has been Don Armeni Boat Ramp, he added: “That’s where (the trouble) starts … idiots doing donuts – we’ve written a lot of tickets … impounded vehicles … made some physical arrests.” (And in fact, we heard a police-radio mention of “kicking (people) out of” that park as we finished this story late Sunday night.) They added officers via overtime for five nights in a row after the shooting, and they’ll have extra patrols the remainder of the summer, focused on Fridays and Saturdays. They’re hoping to get traffic-enforcement resources too.
Is there any way to tell whether something major is about to happen? Lt. Smith was asked. Not really, he said. And when reporting to police, they have to respond to behavior – be clear and descriptive about what’s happening. And include descriptive details, including license-plate numbers if vehicles are involved.
Ensuing discussion included speeding on Alki – which is why the precinct is looking for traffic-enforcement help – and traffic calming such as speed humps. Plus, technology such as automated license-plate readers – Lt. Smith said they wish they had more.
Later in the meeting, ACC president Tony Fragada mentioned the plan for an ACC-Admiral Neighborhood Association joint safety/crime meeting sometime this summer.
NOISE SURVEY: Jesse Robbins has been talking with several local community groups since last year (as noted in WSB stories here and here), including the ACC, and brought results of his surveys about vehicle noise. From Alki, he said, almost 100 responses came in (here are those results); West Seattle-wide, just over 300 responses (here are those results). Overall, he said, respondents would like to see the city spend more time and money on the problem, and he sent summaries to City Councilmembers. “We are honing in on a potential technological solution that will be tested this summer,” he said, and they’ll be looking for a location in the Alki area to test it. “The solution that we’ve created is a solution that we want the city to look at.” What exactly is it? For now, he said they’re trying to be secretive about it. ACC vice president Randie Stone said she and other area residents, especially those in condos, are excited for something/someone to take on the noise problem.
STATUE OF LIBERTY PLAZA: ACC’s 2009 memorandum of agreement regarding maintenance of the Statue of Liberty Plaza expires next year, and there’s still a $74,000 account somewhere, said Fragada, adding that he has been trying to reach out to the city to find out its status and next steps, and isn’t getting responses. Stone said doesn’t want to see the money disappear or get reallocated. They’ll be pursuing it higher in the Parks Department. The bricks are starting to erode (with saltwater rising up over the plaza more often, as shown in the photo above), and that’s one problem that needs to be tackled.
The Alki Community Council meets third Thursdays most months, 7 pm at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds).