If not for COVID-19, tonight would bring the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council community meeting at the Southwest Precinct, usually starting with a crime-trend briefing from local police leadership. Since that’s not happening, we asked them if they’d provide a briefing for us to publish. This is what operations commander Lt. Steve Strand sent:
The Seattle Police Department is making adjustments, during this unprecedented time, to provide public safety to our various communities. The Southwest Precinct is fully functional and our employees are healthy, as we manage our operations, and respond to calls for service. A few changes we have made:
Our Precinct Lobby is locked with a sign telling potential walk-ups how to contact us.
Our Precinct is not holding public meetings but will explore the possibility of alternative formats via email or internet.
Calls are being screened for online, or telephonic, reporting when feasible. Officers are still responding in-person and will take necessary precautions by wearing Personal Protective Equipment if recommended.
Emphasis Patrols have been modified, or canceled, due to the current lack of activity in most of the locations.
It will take some time to see how this will affect our crime trends but for now we are focused on life safety and getting safely through this precarious time.
The last part was in response to our question about how crimes like burglary and package theft have been trending, given that far fewer homes are unoccupied in the daytime (which is prime time for those crimes, contrary to popular belief). Leafing through the Southwest Precinct sectors’ Tweets by Beat (automated brief incident type/area mentions that are aggregated on the WSB Crime Watch page), we only see one residential burglary in the past three days, for example.
P.S. Regarding the “emphasis patrol” areas, those have included Westwood Village, The Junction, and South Park.