From homicide cases to parking enforcement @ Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Crime updates and parking enforcement were the primary topics at last night’s Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council meeting, facilitated in person and online by chair Melody Sarkies and the precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner.

(WSB photo, 15th SW homicide scene, Monday)

POLICE UPDATE: Lt. Dorothy Kim, the precinct’s second-in-command, offered the same overview we’ve heard at other recent community meetings – most categories of crime are down, except for auto theft, which remains way up. One other category that’s up, homicides – West Seattle has had four unsolved shooting deaths in the past six months. Lt. Kim said she had checked with homicide detectives about the most recent two. In the case of 20-year-old Ka’Don Brown, found dead a month ago on the Chief Sealth International High School campus, investigators are “waiting on search warrants” and also still hoping to hear from people with tips, information, or security video that might help (206-233-5000 is the tipline).

In this week’s shooting death of 41-year-old Chad Anderson, found dead on 15th SW between Barton and Cambridge, Lt. Kim said the murder was “probably associated with a house we’ve had issues with in the past,” though she didn’t know whether that house was near where the victim was found (there was some question that morning about whether the shooting had happened there or elsewhere).

There also was a question about the unauthorized encampment at Myers/Olson. No new information since the meeting we covered at Arrowhead Gardens on Monday, just a reiteration that “working with (multiple jurisdictions’ bureaucracies) is slow.”

PARKING ENFORCEMENT: Clayton Harrington, who’s been with city for barely a month, is Parking Enforcement Manager. RV remediation “is a big issue for us,” They have rules and laws to follow. Also there was SDOT’s engineering and design manager Matt Beaulieu – “we’re doubling down on Vision Zero” to improve safety. He said various strategies are being emphasized – “no turn on red” is a big one, Home Zones, trying to focus on where the majority of our collisions occur. Safety work is not its own silo, Beaulieu said. What are you going to do to solve the safety problem? asked Sarkies. “If it was easy, we would have already done it,” Beaulieu acknowledged.

Fauntleroy residents were there to ask about concerns regarding the Residential Parking Zone going to “virtual permits,” no more tags hanging in cars, so no simple way to know if someone’s in violation, and they don’t want to call a police officer to come scan a car to see if they’re permitted or not. Over time, people from Vashon and Kitsap may go back to parking on the streets overnight, if they find it’s not being enforced. Another Fauntleroy resident said houses were long unmarketable in that area because the streets were overparked. The RPZ solved that, but now, “It’s being violated every day,” he said.

Another attendee brought up the RV-parking situation and wondered what PEOs can really do. Harrington said he was at the meeting to hear about challenges and concerns like that. Harrington said he couldn’t commit to bringing on personnel in the middle of the night to check for RPZ offenders, though. “Right now we barely have resources to deal with the stuff we need to deal with in the middle of the day.”

And there’s an important point, said Lt. Kim – SPD doesn’t have the technical capability to read whether plates are signed up with the RPZ system; their plate numbers can detect if a car is stolen or not, and that’s it. Harrington said he wasn’t previously familiar with that issue so he doesn’t know yet what’s being done about it. It could run afoul of the city’s surveillance policies – as city attorney liaison Joe Everett noted, another review process might be needed to expand the readers to check something else, such as whether a vehicle is permitted to park in a certain zone. This might require City Council changing the laws. Lt. Kim suggested one problem regarding junk RVs might be that Lincoln Towing‘s yard is out of room to store more.

Next question again from Fauntleroy – the plan for getting speed bumps seems to have changed, with residents having to pay part of the cost, she said. And, she said, SDOT told her the process of getting a speed bump could take four years. “It seemed like a lost cause,” she said. She said another block had paid to get an unauthorized speed bump installed at their own cost and maybe her block would just do the same, “since SDOT never came and took it out.” Beaulieu said that the formerly well-supported Neighborhood Traffic Control Program went away around pandemic time and was largely replaced by the Home Zone program that installed many dozens of traffic control bumps and other things while the West Seattle Bridge was closed. What they’re asking people to do now is to go through Neighborhood Matching Fund – and that’s where the neighborhood covering part of the cost comes in. “We recognize that’s not an ideal process,” Beaulieu acknowledged. But right now “that’s the best tool we have.” The attendee said, “But the more the city puts speed humps on arterials, the more people gravitate toward residential streets.” She mentioned rogue traffic-calming attempts like putting garbage cans in the street to try to slow people down.

An online attendee asked about no-parking signs that have been discussed for Harbor Avenue – “no parking 11 pm to 5 am,” for example, even if it’s not regularly enforced. The Harbor Avenue rep at the in-person session said there are also proposals out to change zoning so that RV parking wouldn’t be legally allowable on the water side of the street. He said that all the residents’ proposals have been turned over to the mayor’s office.

NIGHT OUT: Registration opened this week. Danner said the registration process is a bit different this year – you can opt into a “public-facing map” of street parties if you want to. SPD will also proactively send out important info to registrants, such as how to properly close their street, how to tell whether their street is an arterial, etc. Night Out is Tuesday, August 1st, this year.

NEXT MEETING: Tentatively set for Thursday, June 8, 6 pm, with Jim Fuda of CrimeStoppers as a spotlight guest.

18 Replies to "From homicide cases to parking enforcement @ Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council"

  • wsres May 12, 2023 (5:46 pm)

    Virtual permits for RPZs? what is the point in that?

    • BJG May 12, 2023 (7:38 pm)

      What’s the point of any RPZ permits other than as city money makers. Meter maids never write citations in our Zone 35 neighborhood.  The daily parkers are back since they know they’re absolutely safe.  We were recently informed that our useless “permits” will now cost us $30 more. Talk about adding insult to injury.

      • bill May 12, 2023 (9:44 pm)

        Are you calling in violations or just bellyaching here? Certainly there are too few parking officers. 

        • BJG May 13, 2023 (12:11 am)

          Not “bellyaching.” Stating realities of city’s RPZ enforcement. Call how often? Daily? They are aware.

          • bill May 13, 2023 (9:13 am)

            Yes, call daily. If you happen to see a parking officer go talk to them. When I found a commercial truck was parked on my sidewalk and had broken a water meter cover, I fortuitously spotted a parking officer a block away. I had to follow the officer for a while before I was able to get out of my car and talk to her. She was more than willing to follow me back to the truck. 

      • Sal May 13, 2023 (12:22 pm)

        The “meter maids” do in fact write citations in the Junction RPZ Zone 35.  
        I can attest to that.
        I also see virtually  empty streets like 45th Ave SW in the RPZ.  
        Most homeowners park in garages or driveways rather than paying a fee. 

        I would like hear where, in RPZ 35 that people are complaining about lack of parking?

  • flimflam May 12, 2023 (6:02 pm)

    Whats so difficult about ticketing all parking violators? Rolls Royce, 1993 Honda, busted up RV – treat them the same and if they are illegally parked, ticket them. Same goes for current tabs.

    • Rhonda May 12, 2023 (7:58 pm)

      From my perspective I see more expired tabs per day than I can keep track of without hand-held a click-counter.

      • B w May 12, 2023 (8:31 pm)

        Take their plates. Won’t be able to get another one without paying for the tabs. 

        • Rhonda May 13, 2023 (1:31 pm)

          They’ll just take the plates (with tabs) off of another car that’s the same make and model. Maybe they’ll take yours? This is why it’s important to buy a couple sets of security screws for your license plates (similar to wheel lock bolts).

          • CAM May 13, 2023 (9:52 pm)

            You’re assuming that the majority of people with unpaid tabs are going to steal license plates from other vehicles if they are caught by authorities rather than pay for the tabs on their current plates? You realize the majority of people with unpaid tabs are just people who are late paying them or haven’t put the stickers on or are like some on this blog that publicly announce they won’t pay their tabs because they don’t like paying taxes and are not actually career criminals that would go take license plates off another vehicle to cover up their behavior, right? 

  • CheeseWS777 May 12, 2023 (6:22 pm)

    Everybody wants to say change the zone to make it illegal, like they fixed a problem. No the problem still exists its just not on your same block. Find a place somewhere where they can park and be out of the way and not interfere with your fragile lifestyles and insecurities 

  • Fiz May 12, 2023 (8:34 pm)

    Before the Junction RPZ our street was a parking lot for Metro Transit and local business employees.  Friends and family usually had to find space blocks away if they didn’t come very early or late.   The frequency of overtime parking increased during Covid and has not abated.  I’m paying $95 for a permit and one guest pass which increases with the renewal and will not provide a visible sticker.  How to know, then, who abides by the rules and who doesn’t give a damn?

  • 937 May 12, 2023 (9:15 pm)

    Did they touch on the EV charging spots outside of the bowling alley? That’s 4-5 spots of highly desirable parking –  dedicated and signed for (inoperable) car chargers. I can’t remember a time when they were ever operating. Are these fair game? Will one get ticketed for parking there? Even though the spots CANNOT be used for their intended purpose?

    I mean, its 4 or 5 spots….But they ARE spots….

    • CAM May 13, 2023 (9:57 pm)

      Maybe we should talk about why they haven’t repaired those chargers instead? And also talk about auto enforcement of nonEV vehicles using EV spaces since that is a consistent problem no matter where you go. I’m sure they can put cameras on those charging stations for security against future damage and for mailing out tickets to people parking illegally. It’d be easy to tell when someone is parked and the charger is inactive. 

    • Harbor Avenue K May 13, 2023 (11:50 pm)

      I can confirm that they will ticket you for parking in these spots and it’s not your standard parking fine, it is $150 (+-$10, I cannot recall precisely). I have received two of them and both during the period in which they were not working. Ironically, I’d been using those spots for probably 9 months when they *did* work and did not get one ticket. They are often the only spots open (the exception being the ZipCar parking spaces ) along there.

  • Admiral May 12, 2023 (10:06 pm)

    flimflam – that is a really good question especially in a City that purports that everyone should be treated equally!

  • Slow Down May 13, 2023 (10:42 am)

    I’m not sure who the “she” is but you know speeding on residential streets is a problem when you hear this …
    “She mentioned rogue traffic-calming attempts like putting garbage cans in the street to try to slow people down.”

    Garbage cans, check!  Also, old furniture, refrigerators, concrete blocks … pretty much anything.

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