Why Guardian 1 was over Arbor Heights

Sorry that took a while to sleuth – we had to drive over and look around for an officer on the ground to find out why the Guardian One helicopter was over Arbor Heights. They were looking for a domestic-violence suspect in connection with a protection-order violation.

36 Replies to "Why Guardian 1 was over Arbor Heights"

  • Melissa Swetland June 15, 2020 (5:57 pm)

    Great work! Thank you for the update!Melissa S.

  • AH Resident June 15, 2020 (5:58 pm)

    Thank you.

  • AN June 15, 2020 (6:07 pm)

    it looked more like it was circling by fauntleroy ferry 

    • WSB June 15, 2020 (6:17 pm)

      Sorry, north Arbor Heights.

  • Bradley June 15, 2020 (6:16 pm)

    If our already-short-staffed Seattle police are defunded by 50%, there won’t be anyone to respond to domestic violence calls in Arbor Heights or anywhere else. I really wish we could break our beautiful Arbor Heights away from Seattle and become our own municipality with our own police. I envy our neighbors a couple blocks away who are in unincorporated King County. They will have police protection after Mayor Durkan and the city council takes it away from us.  

    • Colby June 16, 2020 (12:13 am)

      Lived in unincorporated King County (White Center) for 6 years. Rarely saw the Sheriff despite there being a good amount of crime. Moving to Arbor Heights, things are much better.Anyway, White Center will eventually be part of Seattle, as King County does not have the funding/resources to keep supporting it. That’s why property taxes in White Center are more than Seattle, and they keep rising there. 

      • Bradley June 16, 2020 (2:17 am)

        Burien nor Seattle wants to annex White Center and unincorporated residents don’t want to be part of the insanity of Seattle. We almost never see SPD around here and their response time is measured in hours when we’ve had rare break-ins on our street over the years. We see KCS deputies in the unincorporated streets around here quite often and their response time to Safeway and Roxbury Lanes is fast.

    • Funding moves June 16, 2020 (6:44 am)

      Bradley, it’s not fair to assume defunding the police would mean no one to respond to domestic violence calls. Right now police respond to all sorts of calls that would be better suited to a social worker, for instance. There is lots of information available about what, specifically, is meant by defunding the police. I’d encourage you to look a little deeper. 

      • S - in West Seattle June 16, 2020 (8:13 am)

        You are living in a pipe dream a social worker is not better suited for the first contact on a domestic violence call. The word Violence is in there for a reason and thus a fully funded police department is the correct way to go.  A social worker would be best for a follow-up or even court ordered requirement after a domestic violence call has been made.  

        • Sarah June 16, 2020 (9:25 am)

          S, well said. It would be a nice world to live in if we didn’t have to be concerned about a call going south.  Has everyone forgotten that hindsight is 20/20?  It’s easy to say after the fact “oh we didn’t need an armed PO there, how silly” but when the call comes in no one knows what will happen!  Domestic violence, break ins, even noise violations and a host of other cases you can think of can easily go horribly wrong and god forbid there was a social worker there instead of the police. 

        • Funding moves June 16, 2020 (10:32 am)

          I didn’t say a social worker was the best responder to a domestic violence call. What I meant (and said) was that there are a lot of things that don’t require armed police to respond. If we free up funding to support community needs, the police can focus on things that do require armed response, which would include DV calls. 

      • Bradley June 16, 2020 (3:38 pm)

        90+% of the total SPD budget is for officers’ salaries and pensions. ANY defunding means less officers, emboldened criminals, and a more dangerous community.

        • heartless June 16, 2020 (7:07 pm)

          Bradley: I’m going to go out on a limb here–without looking up anything!–and say you’re full of it.  If you can show me that “90+% of the total SPD budget is for officers’ salaries and pensions” I will eat my hat, publicly apologize, and buy you a beer. 


          What you got?

          Cuz I smell bull—t.

    • Jill June 16, 2020 (11:00 am)

      Great idea. Would love that as well. Defunding SPD is a really bad plan 

  • Reeker June 15, 2020 (7:11 pm)

    They were looking for my neighbor again the police are there every 24 to 48 hours for the last 15 years mind-boggling

    • Alki resident June 15, 2020 (8:44 pm)

      Reeker what street? I’m sorry your neighbors have to deal with this selfishness. 

    • Reeker June 16, 2020 (11:33 am)

      Put the politics aside you all are getting away from the point the helicopter looking for domestic abuser I don’t know what the answer is but the cops are on the street every 48 hours for the last 15 years

      • heartless June 16, 2020 (7:11 pm)

        Notice how they still don’t tell you the street.  Says something, don’t it.

        • Alki resident June 16, 2020 (10:41 pm)

          Yep, seemed like a simple, logical question. I’ll ask again. What street was this on?

          • ally cat June 17, 2020 (7:03 am)

            Maybe the privacy in these situations is part of the problem. 

            Maybe neighbors should be made aware of domestic violence situations so they can keep and eye and presence on the situation.

            Maybe these people feel isolated within their relationship and would benefit from a sense of community. Maybe if neighbors reached out to them, brought over a casserole, extended some kindness, it could be of help.

            I hope this family receives some effective help and support for their situation. 

          • Reeker June 17, 2020 (1:15 pm)

            I should have just kept my mouth shut I’m not giving out somebody else’s address I believe that’s illegal? I’ll keep my thoughts to myself the next time the chopper is out and stay out of Internet trouble ✌️

          • ally cat June 17, 2020 (4:00 pm)

            I agree with your not sharing this.

            The thoughts I shared above were about looking to the future and possible social and systemic change, not about this specific situation, just to be clear.

            I hope any victims of abuse are receiving immediate help, and wish a good outcome for this family.

          • heartless June 17, 2020 (3:20 pm)

            Why on earth would it be illegal to give out someone’s address?  And we weren’t even asking for an address, just the street!  

            But I understand better, now, why you are reluctant to do it, and respect that choice.  I just thought the part about cops showing up 2,500 times over the last 15 years seemed really weird.

  • DoneAndDone June 15, 2020 (10:05 pm)

    Blaming the defunding of the police for an inability to show up to DV calls is bull.They never came to my home when I called them, bloodied and beaten by my ex husband, phone call after phone call begging for help. EMTs rarely came. Even hospitalised, reports they took in the ER were never treated seriously. So, defund them or not, it doesn’t matter. They. Don’t. Show. Up. Anyway.

    • Bradley June 15, 2020 (11:32 pm)

      That’s because we’re already about 1700 officers short in Seattle. We only have 1300, and only about 1/4 of them are on duty for each shift. A city of our size should have at least 3000. 90+% of the SPD budget is for officers’ salaries and pensions. ANY defunding will result in fewer than 1300 officers. Luckily, you survived your DV nightmare. Many will not if SPD is cut any further.

      • Foop June 16, 2020 (6:17 am)

        Or perhaps more DV cases will be responded to when we lower our investment in men with guns and redirect that into social services where people who are actually trained and equipped with the right tools can respond and actually work towards fixing the problem. Cops aren’t the answer for domestic violence. Or many things they currently respond to.

    • John W June 16, 2020 (8:43 am)

      DONEANDDONE, Please do not be done with it.  If SPD did not respond to your 911 domestic violence call, you should file a formal and public complaint.  Please contact  Mayor Durkan, SPD Chief Best as well as Lisa Herbold’s office about your case. I am astounded by your report and want to offer support  and help.Let’s hear about it, exposing it is the only way to protect other lives.   Domestic Violence is a highly deadly crime and police response is currently our only tool for intervention.  I’m absolutely gobsmacked, by you account and can’t imagine making a DM 911 call without SPD response.  The record of the 911 can be requested in a Public Records Request, please do.If SPS is not responding to 911 domestic violence  calls, it is a major story.  Please approach and share  your story with The Seattle Times where they have staff and resources.Please be well, please seek help, please report police negligence for the sake of all.

  • D-Mom June 15, 2020 (11:47 pm)

    They seriously need a helicopter for that? The neighborhood sounded like a warzone for awhile with that thing doing circles. Maybe instead of visiting this guy every 24-48 hours, they could try a different, more effective approach.  

  • CrylessCareMore June 16, 2020 (4:12 am)

    Whatever happen to privacy rights surrounding a DV call especially when children were involved SPD and WSB?????DID THAT JUST GO TO THE WAYSIDE? TBH THIS WAS A FELONY WARRANT SEARCH ANYONE LISTENING TO THE SCANNER COULD TELL YOU THAT MUCH.

    • WSB June 16, 2020 (8:57 am)

      (a) No privacy was violated. Our brief report contains no identities, no addresses, no descriptions.

      (b) Our brief description of what police said was the reason for their search – again, obtained from a short conversation with an officer we found on the ground (to be specific, we were driving west on a street and saw the SPD car headed our way eastbound and waved them down) – was the same thing tweeted a short time later by Guardian One (which sometimes but not always tweets after a call, not during):

      I don’t know what specifically the original dispatch was because I had stepped away from the desk for a few minutes. Heard the helicopter – that’s not far south of us – and then the hotline started going off with texts from people wondering what was going on. Locked in on the scanner but didn’t hear anything obvious, so going out in hopes of finding an explanation on the ground was all we could do – TR

  • anonyme June 16, 2020 (7:23 am)

    I was hoping it would be a new form of public transportation for Arbor Heights now that Metro has abandoned us.  We are now an island within an island.

  • ally cat June 16, 2020 (7:57 am)

    This seems to speak to the ineffectiveness of police for some situations, and supports the idea of defunding. If there was a specialized community group who could better support domestic violence situations and interventions, perhaps there could be better outcomes. 

    Something to think about, what about cases of domestic abuse involving a police officer? What is that victim to do? Call the police? I can imagine that might feel like an impossible, unsafe situation.

    Here is one outline to a community intervention approach:


    Not saying this would be the best solution, but I think it’s interesting to consider, and good to discuss and evaluate existing systems and their failures, and look for improvements and new solutions.

  • Sassy June 16, 2020 (8:35 am)

    If more money was going to services that help DV victims … sigh … that’s one of the important problems to be addressed about inflated police budgets at the cost of rehabilitation, treatment, and other preventative and support services for just this kind of situation.  As any parent knows, discipline is 90% prevention.  All our society seems to prefer is the punishment model — that has got to change.  People are waking up.

    • Phil M. June 17, 2020 (6:49 pm)

      Seattle spends close to a HALF BILLION dollars per year on police.  The SPD budget is a bit more than $400,000,000 per year.  It’s obscene.  The public do not get good value for the money, police regularly harm–kill, even–people in the process of doing their jobs, those who aren’t harming people stand by in support of those who do, and a disproportionate number of the people killed or harmed by police are people of color.  This is madness. We should stop throwing money at a bad situation and try something else.  Incremental changes have not worked.  It is time to defund the police and re-fund communities.

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