Four weeks after Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s most-recent walking tour in West Seattle, she’s announced that two local areas are part of “extra holiday patrols” planned by Seattle Police. From a news release just sent by the mayor’s office:
To help enhance public safety for Seattle residents and visitors during the holiday season, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Chief of Police Carmen Best announced today that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) will begin extra holiday patrols in nine areas across Seattle on November 30 and continue them through December. SPD will also deploy specific operational plans and patrols on both November 29 (Black Friday) and December 31 (New Year’s Eve) …
… Neighborhoods that see high volume of holiday shoppers and holiday events with emphasis patrols will include:
Downtown retail core between 3rd and 6th Avenues between Olive and Union
Westwood Village/Roxhill Park
West Seattle Junction/California Ave SW
Residents and visitors in areas with extra holiday patrols can expect to see an increased presence by SPD officers both on foot and on bikes.
Earlier this year, Mayor Durkan and Chief Best announced pre-summer and summer emphasis programs to improve public safety and address maintenance needs in neighborhoods across Seattle.
Emphasis patrols are a recognized practice in police departments across the country and an evidence-based strategy to fight crime. They are also a decades-long strategy in Seattle.
In 2019, the emphasis patrols, combined with the work of City departments to address maintenance needs, showed positive results. Officers in emphasis zones made contact with hundreds of individuals, offering services, referrals to Law Enforcement Assisted-Diversion (LEAD), warnings, and citations. Residents have reported increased visibility by SPD officers.
Holiday emphasis patrols will not reduce regular SPD and City of Seattle operations, including police patrols and criminal investigations throughout Seattle; regular operations and criminal investigations will continue. SPD will continue to evaluate the impact to understand continued and future deployments in those and other areas.
As part of her 2020 Proposed Budget currently being considered by City Council, Mayor Durkan proposed including $847,000 to continue those community-based emphasis patrols at 2019 levels in 2020.
As of November 20, 2019, Citywide crime is down six percent compared to the same time in 2018.
These won’t be the first such patrols in those areas of West Seattle – precinct leadership has mentioned them multiple times before in local community meetings.