SAFETY: West Seattle Junction Association hiring private security patrols

(WSB photo, December 24, 2022)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It wasn’t the first time a West Seattle Junction business had been hit by crime, but the crash-and-grab attempt at Menashe and Sons Jewelers on Christmas Eve was the most jolting, in multiple ways.

That shop and others have taken individual steps toward fortification in the meantime, and the West Seattle Junction Association has been increasingly focused on security strategies in addition to what’s already in its portfolio – from parking to planters, festivals to flags. Now it’s planning a major move: Hiring private security patrols.

WSJA executive director Chris Mackay tells WSB, “We signed a contract with Praetorian to have 6 patrols a night on both foot and car to cover the entire Junction 7 nights a week from 9 pm to 5 am. We may increase these hours in response to incidents.” The patrol personnel will start as soon as next week and will not carry guns.

That’s not all Mackay says WSJA is doing: “We are addressing better lighting, creating a phone tree for businesses, creating a cheat sheet for merchant of ‘who to call,’ and directing businesses toward help with locks and gates. Everything is under way now.” Regarding lighting, “All city lights which were out have been called in through Find It Fix It.” Mackay also spoke with the Parks Department, which committed to increased lighting in Junction Plaza Park at 42nd/Alaska.

She adds, “I am also taking to SPD to get more presence from Community Service Officers.” CSOs are uniformed civilian SPD personnel who currently work citywide as community liaisons and problem-solvers.

DATA: SPD crime stats are not broken out between businesses and individuals, but looking at the West Seattle Junction stats on the SPD dashboard so far this year, through the end of March, 11 robberies, 12 aggravated assaults, 43 burglaries, and 107 larceny/theft incidents were reported. Compared to the totals for all of last year, robberies are slightly up, burglaries are about the same, and both aggravated assaults and larceny/theft reports are down. Last year in turn was up from 2021 totals, especially in aggravated assaults, which went up more than 60 percent from 2021 to 2022, and larceny/thefts, which increased 25 percent between the two years.

67 Replies to "SAFETY: West Seattle Junction Association hiring private security patrols"

  • Eric1 April 20, 2023 (4:30 pm)

    No Blasters?  I am sure those Praetorian Guards will be ok facing the average Mandaloran privateer. But what happens if the run into a Mandaloran and his Jedi apprentice? Do they not have Disney+?

    • Dooh April 20, 2023 (7:48 pm)

      I would think they call the police. And a presence by them may deter action. Do you know anything about this company, or just making fun of the name. Give them a chance before judging. 

      • Elton April 21, 2023 (10:52 am)

        He was trying to make a Star Wars joke, but he misspelled Mandalorian :)

        • Michael April 23, 2023 (6:45 am)

          Yet none of this is funny !

      • Alex c April 22, 2023 (9:54 pm)

        I can’t believe you took this comment so seriously you were actually offended by it. It’s clearly a joke, buddy. Take a breath and try to enjoy life a little

    • Moff Gideon April 21, 2023 (7:29 am)

      Vibro blades only along with the hope that helmets without eyeholes scare people away. 

    • WellReadinWSea April 21, 2023 (11:32 am)

      It’s a shame that a classical education is no longer being taught. Otherwise, many more would know their Roman history. “Praetorian” is not of Disney origin. 

      • 1994 April 21, 2023 (11:37 pm)

        That was the final answer on Jeopardy tonight  – Praetorian – how coincidental! and of course the question was educational :)

      • LotofTVinWSEA April 22, 2023 (7:09 am)

        “Get off your high horse” is of medieval origin.  

  • Adam April 20, 2023 (6:07 pm)

    This is awesome news and sounds well-planned. I’d be interested to see what objections there are, but I don’t feel like a lot of that coat should be the burden of fellow businesses. Still, highly encouraged by what I’ve read here. 

    • Carl April 22, 2023 (1:36 am)

      Agreed, businesses shouldn’t have to pay additional costs that police typically provide.  It would be nice if Lisa Herbold, our city council representative was responsive to the needs of her constituents. We need new leadership that cares about West Seattle!

  • WS5 April 20, 2023 (6:33 pm)

    Fantastic news, I hope this helps. Our West Seattle businesses need support to keep our Junction alive and less vacant storefronts with lease signs in them. Which has happened to so many small business districts in other areas.  Set up a go-fund me so we can pitch in our support to help.

  • Shadowtripper April 20, 2023 (7:04 pm)

    I’m sorry to say that a lot of these criminals are armed and will shoot anyone that attempts to stop them.  Retailers are telling employees to not attempt to stop criminals stealing merchandise due to the violent nature of the thieves. Putting a unarmed security individual on foot or car will not stop a crash and grab.  They are in and out in under 3 minutes and probably armed.  There are probably very few criminals that are repeating the crimes again and again.  Might be worth more to have the West Seattle Business Association nominate a Seattle City Council person that will vote to enforce laws and jail criminals.  I would support the old  law that supported a mandatory 5 year jail term added to the original charge if a gun was used in a criminal act. 

    • WSB April 20, 2023 (8:18 pm)

      That sentencing law still exists and is used when applicable.

    • Ferns April 20, 2023 (8:55 pm)

      I hear you but the deterrence these patrols will provide may make robbery less appealing to some criminals. I hope they wear body cameras so anything they see is recorded – more deterrent. It makes so much sense I’m not sure why the business district didn’t do this sooner. I remember an apartment I lived in a few years ago had its own patrol even though it wasn’t an unsafe place snd the local police were responsive. It was just a way to keep it nice I think since it was near a 7/11 and subsidized housing. And to stop people from sneaking in the pool area late at night. 

      • Brendan Kolding April 21, 2023 (7:01 am)

        I doubt they will be have body-worn cameras.  When you use private security to supplement law enforcement, you lose certain accountability measures.

        • jayspeidell April 21, 2023 (2:00 pm)

          Private security often wear body cams. And they have WAY more accountability than police. SPD officers are shielded from any accountability by Qualified Immunity and SPOG (the Seattle police union), which has more power than city council and the mayor in this area. Private security can and will go to jail if they needlessly harass, hurt, and kill people. I feel safer around private security guards than police, especially in Seattle. Having to follow the law makes private security much more accountable and trustworthy than police.

          • 937 April 21, 2023 (7:18 pm)

            This is disingenuous and absolutely false. 

          • Al King April 21, 2023 (8:01 pm)

            jayspeidell. Nice try. Nothing you’ve said here is even remotely true.

    • Delridge Dude April 20, 2023 (9:35 pm)

      Phil Tavel is that candidate!  He is the only candidate in D1 who will inspire officers to remain on the SPD and recruit others to come join them.  

      • Shadowtripper April 21, 2023 (8:08 am)

        Gets my vote !     He didn’t make it last election, but I think that the tide is changing on enforcing the law and holding criminals accountable for their actions.     We need a positive change in leadership.     

        • Andros April 21, 2023 (12:57 pm)

          Why did all the Tavel supports suddenly rush in here?  This wasn’t about politics. It’s a pretty weak argument to try to connect this, as it’s not simply just police numbers or enforcement that is the cause. Someone shilling for Tavel doesn’t bode well for that contingent. 

    • Jenben April 20, 2023 (10:02 pm)

      They will be armed see the link to their website 

      • WSB April 20, 2023 (10:43 pm)

        No, I specifically asked WSJA’s Chris Mackay, since I noted that on the website. The people patrolling The Junction, she said, will not be armed.

  • Mando Fan April 20, 2023 (7:13 pm)

    Finally we are bringing in the Praetorians!  This is a well timed cross over event for those watching Mandalorian. I cannot wait to see their shiny red selves on the walk all ways intersection.

  • Junction Resident April 20, 2023 (9:16 pm)

    Happy to hear there will be increased security and lighting in the area, especially at Plaza Junction Park. As a resident nearby, I see public urination, vandalism, and drug deals in the park. In the summer, the loitering at all hours of the night results in a lot of noise, making it difficult for surrounding apartment residents to get any sleep. I hope increased security can address some of these issues.

    • CAM April 21, 2023 (7:55 am)

      I hope they don’t attempt to address any of those issues other than to call the police because they are not there to stop people from 1) violating any kind of sound ordinance or 2) breaking any kind of law. They are there to prevent loss for the businesses. We don’t need overenthusiastic private security roaming the Junction attempting to be police. 

  • shadowtripper April 20, 2023 (9:21 pm)

    Clearly felons with guns are the major cause of the criminal misuse of firearms. It follows that providing a strong sentence for felons caught with a gun will either deter them from possessing a gun, or keep them behind bars where they can’t use one. This would undeniably limit felonious gun possession, and the resulting gun violence, by either deterrence or incarceration.

  • oerthehill April 20, 2023 (9:36 pm)

    We need Praetorians in our public schools.

    • Reed April 21, 2023 (6:52 am)

      No, we don’t. We need parents to actually parent instead of relying on TV/smartphones, video games and social media to do it for them.

  • Armando Johnston April 20, 2023 (9:41 pm)

    This is a result of Lisa Herbold’s anti-police rhetoric. Don’t forget that she once promised them increased police presence in exchange for higher taxes.  I voted for Kolding and Tavel in 2019 and will be voting for Tavel this time around, too.  

    • Derek April 20, 2023 (10:56 pm)

      I’d say it’s more of a result of capitalism. You get the crime at this rate at peak recession always. No amount of cops are fixing this. Herbold’s message was a response to cops putting their knee on somebody to end their life. Different. I will never vote for Tavel the grifter.

      • Johnny Stulic April 21, 2023 (7:57 pm)

        Thanks for letting us know we’re in the middle of recession. It was hard to tell what with the booming economy and a record low unemployment, but yes, why else would we be facing increase in crime? Clearly these people just want to feed their families and is that really a crime?

    • Andy April 21, 2023 (5:43 am)

      I voted for Tavil last time and I, too, will be voting for him this time. 

    • Mr J April 21, 2023 (8:59 am)

      Chill. She’s not running, and there’s nothing that even remotely could link her views on this. Your feelings are not facts.

    • JunctionResident April 21, 2023 (9:01 am)

      Myself and a lot of others are very enthusiastic about Tavel. I’m working to spread the word and getting others to vote for him as well.

    • reed April 21, 2023 (9:17 am)

      Crime is up everywhere dude, even in conservative “Law and Order” cities and states.

    • Alki resident April 21, 2023 (10:08 am)

      Absolutely! Herbold is directly responsible for the mess Seattle is in. We need a Sara Nelson type to fill her seat. No more activists! Including the one who “soft launched” her campaign today. Tavel is the only option if we want to take our city back from the criminals. 

      • James April 21, 2023 (12:12 pm)

        You say no more activists, and I say no most business owners like Nelson who care only about bottom lines than people!

      • WestSeattleBadTakes April 21, 2023 (1:21 pm)

        Sara Nelson is a business activist. You just prefer her activism.

        At least pretend to be honest.

  • Chrissy D April 20, 2023 (9:53 pm)

    This is great news, nice work Chris and team!

  • Admiral April 20, 2023 (10:32 pm)

    And the price of the products and services in junction will go up to pay for the added security. 

    It’s past time to bring back old school long stays behind bars for criminals, perps and with vandals at a minimum make them pay full restitution.

    • CAM April 21, 2023 (7:56 am)

      And then the amount of taxes you pay will go up to cover the increased expense of imprisoning and caring for all of those people for all the time you want to keep them in secure facilities. That costs a lot of money, more than private security. 

    • Ex-Westwood Resident April 21, 2023 (9:37 am)

      And you think the prices haven’t been going up to cover the increase cost of; loss of merchandise due to theft, repairs to damage caused by the criminals and rise in insurance costs because of the rise in crime in the area???

    • Jort April 21, 2023 (11:15 am)

      America already has more police and locks up more people for longer periods of time than most wealthy & well-developed countries. Those other countries, by the way, have lower crime rates. Maybe we should ask ourselves: why isn’t our current world-leading incarceration approach not doing the trick? Do you have any thoughts on this? Anybody? What is different about America that makes us think we’ll have better luck with a more punitive approach. What, specifically, is different about America? Why do other countries have better crime rates with less incarceration?

      • bill April 21, 2023 (3:56 pm)

        Jort, Jort, Jort, Deep thinking is un-American. Whatever are you expecting? 

      • Byron James April 22, 2023 (9:28 pm)

        Highest number of police officers per capita worldwide #1 is Vatican City. #30 is Spain.The United States isn’t in the top 30. Nice try, dude.

  • T Rex April 21, 2023 (7:14 am)

    I vote for them being armed, what is the point? I would imagine that IF they are armed, some idiot criminal may think twice if he sees an armed, well-trained person. If he is that stupid to challenge that individual, then the cards fall where they fall. I know this is not the favorite choice and I am sure I will hear from the anti-gun folks, but so be it. 

    • reed April 21, 2023 (10:54 am)

      I’d be willing to bet they will conceal carry, just not open carry, despite what WSJA says. Well trained/appropriate for the task is subjective; the ex-military and ex-law enforcement employed by these outfits are often  bottom of the barrel candidates with no other option. 

    • Raptor April 21, 2023 (10:59 am)

      From one dino to another – I am for armed patrols at this point. My tune changed after being jumped and held up at knife point for my phone and wallet. 

    • Elton April 21, 2023 (11:00 am)

      It’s not about being pro/anti-gun, I imagine it’s about liability (and on cost for the WSJA – I imagine it costs a good bit more for armed security). Plus, as mentioned earlier: the accountability level for private security is different from police.

      If you want to “vote” for them being armed, you can donate the resources to the WSJA necessary for that.

    • Jort April 21, 2023 (11:17 am)

      YEAH! Summary executions for break-ins!!! And no need for justice, a jury, a judge, just SHOOT ‘EM UP!!! Arm EVERYBODY! I for one would LOVE just more, more, more, more, more GUNS in the Junction! That’s what the Junction needs! MORE GUNS! Then I’ll want to go to the Junction. I’ll want to go because they’ll be more guns around!!!!!

      • WestSeattleBadTakes April 21, 2023 (1:00 pm)

        Maybe one of our patriot neighbors will open a gun shop and really get the Junction popping!

    • bill April 21, 2023 (12:04 pm)

      Armed + well-trained = police, even though sometimes we wonder how well-trained the police are. The issue isn’t being anti-gun, it is whether these private cops would have the training to wade into volatile situations, which carrying guns might embolden them to do. Odds are a lot of these folks are wanna-be police who couldn’t make the cut. 

    • James April 21, 2023 (12:13 pm)

      Wild guess but more guns = cost of more lives. Even criminals of dangly jewelry shouldn’t have be shot. 

  • Onlyalittleworried April 21, 2023 (9:41 am)

    Hopefully WSJA has had more luck getting their business license and specific training/certification info than I did. I still don’t see a Praetorian DA registered in WA. The closest I see is Praetorian Security Services, formed a few weeks ago. They’re based out of Snohomish though and this company’s website specifically says Seattle based (and goes by the detective agency name instead) so unless they’re playing tax games it’s probably not them. I’m all for more security in the junction, but I’m crossing my fingers so hard they’re cramping that it’s actual certified/trained/licensed security and not some unproven or sketchy group or individual that may make poor decisions resulting in situations that are even less safe.

    • WSB April 21, 2023 (12:24 pm)

      The website linked in the story is the one WSJA provided to us when we sought comment for the story, so that’s who they’re dealing with. Re: Snohomish vs. Seattle, I can tell you that for better or for worse, many companies/organizations call themselves and/or their services/activities “Seattle” when they’re anywhere within an hour’s drive – I’ve noticed this in everything from home-repair companies to entertainment-event news releases. But if you have any specific concerns to share with WSJA re: this, contact info is on their site at – TR

    • Grimaldus April 22, 2023 (12:48 am)

      They are registered as a Private Detective Agency like Pinkerton. Company opened in 2018 you can find them on the DOR

  • HS April 21, 2023 (10:13 am)

    I have mixed feelings about this.

  • WestSeattleLite April 21, 2023 (11:15 am)

    Let’s address the root of the problem. Make drugs illegal again. Change the police pursuit laws so that police can pull over criminals. Hire more police officers.  This is a band aid at best and for these people to be unarmed will make a small dent- maybe. These criminals will look you straight in the face while committing their crime and they are likely armed. I never did get the defund the police movement. Criminals are criminals and there just are bad people out there. That’s why we’ve always had some time of “law enforcement” since the dawn of time. 

    • K April 21, 2023 (8:36 pm)

      Drugs are illegal, pursuits are legal, police can pull over criminals, everyone has staffing shortages, there is no unwillingness to hire more police, the police were never defunded.

  • Admiral April 21, 2023 (12:06 pm)

    Ex-Westwood resident – I have previously commented that theft and vandalism increases costs to everyone on past post’s.  It’s very frustrating that the system is so broken that the businesses need to resort to private security.

  • Jim P. April 21, 2023 (1:47 pm)

    When the government fails in its primary duty to protect the citizens and their lawful occupations, this is the result.When criminals do not fear repercussions for their acts, this too is the result.

  • Gritty Grits April 23, 2023 (9:06 pm)

    Menashe and Sons appear to be completely prepared to  ward off any possible robberies.  It sucks that they have to install such barriers to prevent possible future robberies. 

Sorry, comment time is over.