West Seattle, Washington
That’s what Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis told the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting last night.
The tower recently turned up in a Rainier Valley supermarket parking lot, but not for long. In West Seattle, police intend to use it in the expansive parking lots at Westwood Village and the Delridge Home Depot – both hot spots for theft, with strong-arm robberies also a problem at the former. Capt. Davis said the tower, sold as SkyWatch, will be backed by emphasis teams on the ground including the bicycle squad. No time frame yet.
Also at the lightly attended (five members of the general public) meeting:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Street robberies remain a top crime concern for the Southwest Precinct.
That’s what attendees heard at this past week’s monthly meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, which also featured a Q&A opportunity with a manager for the SPD 911 center.
The robbery trend has continued since the meeting – with officers dispatched to three more robbery reports this weekend, one in The Junction, one in North Delridge, one on Harbor Avenue. We have no details on the latter but we know the first was for a purse and the second for a phone, which is what police say most victims are being targeted for. Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis and operations Lt. Steve Strand told the WSCPC that more than two dozen such robberies had been reported since the start of the year, often teens robbing other teens.
One attendee then spoke up to identify herself as the mother of a victim of a phone robbery and assault.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Hours after a shoutout in the mayor’s State of the City address, the city’s Navigation Team was in the spotlight at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting.
Sgt. Eric Zerr, who’s been the SPD team leader since the team started its homelessness-focused work two years ago, was the featured guest, as you can see in our video above and toplines below. But first, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis gave a crime/safety update:
We first met Sgt. Eric Zerr shortly after the city’s Navigation Team was launched two years ago. Since then, its work with homeless people has continued to gain attention. If you have a question about that work, you have a chance to hear from, and talk with, Sgt. Zerr and other Navigation Team members at this Tuesday’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. WSCPC president Richard Miller tells WSB that he’s confirmed them as guests at the monthly meeting. As always, you’re also welcome to bring neighborhood crime/safety concerns to Southwest Precinct police who’ll be there too. Tuesday’s meeting is at the precinct, 2300 SW Webster, 7 pm.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
If you have a crime/safety trouble spot to surface to local police, the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is the place. Just a handful of community members showed up tonight. Here’s what they heard, and said:
CAPTAIN’S UPDATE: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis gave the “2018 synopsis” including a reduction in crimes against people, but a small increase in property crime – +2.8% – that would have been worse if not for stepped-up action. As he does at every WSCPC meeting, he pleaded for community members to “help us help you,” including by not leaving items in cars, reporting everything that does happen, and surfacing “ongoing issues.”
UPDATE ON HAMILTON VIEWPOINT ASSAULT: Capt. Davis was asked about the assault we reported last Saturday at the North Admiral park. It wasn’t a random attack, he said, but instead was an altercation with a “specific story line” and the person who wound up with a “bump on his head” had been “drinking heavily.” No arrest reported.
Home safety was the spotlight topic at the final West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting of the year, Tuesday night at the Southwest Precinct, so we’re starting with what the ~15 people in attendance heard from Jennifer Danner, the precinct’s crime-prevention coordinator:
She began by going around the room and asking people what they wanted to know about. Most had questions about video and cameras. Danner reminded everyone that she can do home-security assessments. She started with some myth debunking – “when a door is kicked in, it’s not the door that breaks, usually it’s the frame.” Changing the length of the screws with which your door is fastened is an easy, cheap way to help secure it, Danner said. When it comes to locks, exterior doors should have deadbolts – there too, the length is important; an inch-and-a-half throw is even better than the more-standard inch.
Window security – “You always want to add one more thing to your window,” since most windows can be broken into from the outside.
Toplines from last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, which turned out to have a featured guest after all:
CAPTAIN’S UPDATE: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis spoke about Myers Way and says the city’s Navigation Team is “ready and willing” to remove the unsanctioned camp in the woods on the east side – outreach is under way now, posting is next, and “hopefully by the end of October that (area) will be cleaned and repurposed.” (Operations Lt. Steve Strand had said at another recent meeting – as we reported – that a big cleanup was coming up.) They have been trying for two years to get to this point, Davis said, adding that they have a small window of opportunity coming up before rainy weather and muddy conditions make it unsafe for heavy equipment. He said they’ve made the case by talking with SPD/city brass about the items found there and who’s been arrested there. Davis said, also, “the state is on board” with clearing and repurposing that area – much of which is state-owned.
Regarding area crime problems in general, Capt. Davis singled out auto theft, saying it continues to run high (you can check crime stats here). Since it’s a regional problem, not just within city limits, Davis said they’re partnering with other law-enforcement agencies to get detectives involved and tie cases together “and we go after either the ring or the individual” – and he repeated something he has said time and time again, once repeat offenders are behind bars, there’s a big dent in crime.
Capt. Davis was asked by WSCPC president Richard Miller about staffing status. He and Lt. Strand have been making their case about shorthandedness to top department leaders, and they say the reply is always that everyone is shorthanded. SPD recruiters are even working in other states to recruit officers for “lateral” – department to department – moves. They’re still working just to “catch up to attrition,” Davis said. The SW Precinct, whose jurisdiction includes West Seattle and South Park, is assigned 85 officers, he said, while wishing he could have 95. As always, he also credited watchful community members for helping solve crimes.
First community question – How has the summer gone, patroling Alki, noise enforcement?
Capt. Davis: This year “we spent a little bit of extra money and besides our walking officers …we put together a team focused specifically on traffic … I know we wrote a lot of tickets (and) a lot of parking tickets … a lot of people who came here to act up got their cars towed (and/or ticketed) … an arrest or two too. It was all good. Community members loved it. We’re going to try to do the same next year, and enhance it.” Regarding noise, he mentioned the new ordinance enhancement is “a tool” that they “haven’t used to its fullest yet” but “next summer” they hope to.
Next, a comment – a person said she was at Westwood Village about six months ago and encountered a person who was behaving erratically and aggressively, so she found police who were there on patrol, and they dealt with him, which she appreciated.
After that, another comment of gratitude, from a person said she came to thank the precinct for intervening in a drug/camping problem at the Delridge P-Patch. “We’d been picking up so much drug paraphernalia, I was just so happy” that something was done. Lt. Strand said Community Police Team Acting Sgt. John O’Neil had been marshaling that over the past week or so. The resident said there were up to 15 people camping there at one point; Lt. Strand said that there had been some connection with the camping on the slope behind Louisa Boren STEM K-8. The woman said she volunteers at Camp Second Chance and there’s a “real difference” between those living at that clean/sober sanctioned encampment and the camping they found at the P-Patch.
The police recommended Find It, Fix It as a good way to report problems/concerns from illegal camping to graffiti vandalism.
GUEST SPEAKER: School Emphasis Officer Tre Smith, who started in the Explorer program, talked about what he does at Washington Middle School – one of four middle schools in the city (including, in West Seattle, Denny International Middle School) that have these officers. The program has evolved with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative – they are not there to enforce (unless a serious crime occurs) – school security will handle everything from drugs to fighting. His job is to pinpoint kids who are at risk, connect them with resources, get them into programs with rewards for success. Maybe 10 to 15 kids at higher risk are eligible for incentivizing like that.
When the bell rings, Officer Smith is in the hallway connecting with kids. He even does some teaching (“just got done teaching constitutional rights to 6th graders”). The SEOs are assigned to middle schools – focusing on the formative years when kids “are deciding who they are, who they want to be … becoming young adults.” He works with school counselors to be sure that the kids who need services get them. And he’s mostly there as a resource – “as a human being, to have a conversation.” He said many students refuse to believe he’s a full-fledged police officer (he is, and he’s 25 years old) but think he instead is a security guard. (The school has one of those, too, he said.)
They’re seeing less gang affiliation in middle school; he said his presence has helped cut through the fake-tough veneer that some kids put up – “hey, this guy kind of cares about me.” A lot of them have reduced adult involvement in their lives because their parent(s) are working two jobs just to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.
Asked about school violence, Officer Smith said they are always watchful about students who might need help, might have shown warning signs.
So what’s the danger time at school? asked Miller. Varies kid by kid, said Officer Smith – depends on whether the child faced trouble as their day began at home, or if trouble built during the day at school. He keeps close tabs on “20 to 30” kids, knowing that “if we get them off to a good start in the morning, they can have a good day.” It’s important that kids “feel they can tell an adult anything, and they’re not going to face retribution for it.”
The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets at 7 pm third Tuesdays most months, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster). Watch the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for agenda info once it’s announced.
Tuesday night, the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council resumes monthly meetings after summer break – and it’s all about you. WSCPC president Richard Miller tells WSB the agenda is simple: Updates from local police, followed by open time for you to ask police questions and voice crime/safety-related concerns. It’s a unique chance to talk with police face to face, 7 pm Tuesday (September 18th) at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).
Toplines from Tuesday night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct:
CRIME TRENDS: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis presented the report. As always, property crimes are the main problem in our area. Car prowls are ticking upward but a bigger spike is in burglaries; as noted in a recent precinct bulletin, outbuildings (such as sheds) are a big target, and thieves are also going into fenced yards, looking for bicycles and other items that can be fenced quickly. If you store anything outside, be sure it has some kind of unique marking so it can be matched to you if it’s taken and subsequently found. He also said there’s some investigation around the growing number of what he called “RV hubs” – central places where multiple RVs are parked. Police are checking to see if there’s a correlation between “hub” locations and criminal activity nearby. As always – if you see something, say something.
BIAS CRIMES: The meeting’s featured guest was Detective Elizabeth Wareing from this unit. She presented an overview explaining bias crimes, which fall into these categories:
– Malicious harassment – Harassment of person or group based on religious, racial, or sexual bias, for example (see the full list of protected groups/statuses here).
– Crimes with an element of bias – e.g. an assault, but during the assault, the attacker called the victim names. She said that these are investigated to see whether or not the attacker is troubled with mental issues or addiction, which can sometimes factor into this kind of crime
– Non-criminal bias – People may have seen or heard something and become concerned, though a crime might not have been committed.
Det. Wareing said she works out of the homicide and assault division and last year more than 400 incidents were reported to her branch. She said a large portion of her job is to do outreach to communities who could be affected by bias crimes, to talk about how to report those crimes and what avenues people have to redress problems, not only with the police, but with other city agencies.
The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets third Tuesdays most months, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct. Next month’s scheduled guest is Jim Curtin from SDOT’s Vision Zero team.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
With the scheduled guest out sick, this month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting was all about questions and concerns brought by those in attendance – from tagging to harassment to park problems.
First, the regular update from Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, who as usual lauded community members for “seeing something and saying something.” Property crime remains West Seattle’s biggest problem – “always has been” – right now, all categories are spiking, and he says police suspect that’s because some “prolific offenders” are out of jail again. He vowed “to get back out there and … round them all up,” noting that police circulate weekly, sometimes daily bulletins about particular suspects, “especially if they have warrants.” If they suspect they know where specific offenders are re-offending, they “saturate the area.”
Sometimes they can get “more time for these individuals” if they can be linked to multiple crimes. “That can be the difference between having a safe and sane six or seven months and a chaotic six or seve months.” He said he knows car prowls for example “are a pain in the butt” and once they get people arrested, they see what they can do to get them kept in custody. He mentions the value of letters from individuals about defendants facing sentencing, saying those letters can be “hell on wheels,” impressing judges.
Then he opened the floor to questions.
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight – two reader reports, plus a reminder:
CR-V STOLEN FOR THE THIRD TIME: We’ve shown you Joe‘s 2001 red Honda CR-V twice before – it was stolen, spotted by a WSB reader, then stolen again the day it was picked up from the repair shop, found again, this time in the county. Now, Joe’s mom Linda e-mails to say it’s been taken for the third time in three weeks from outside his residence near 16th SW/SW Thistle. When last found, it was drivable, but with “trash strewn inside,” Linda says, including “a female’s ID card and a letter from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office addressed to a guy with a record.” Then on Saturday night, the car was stolen again. He has since purchased a used car and she’s given him a “Club” for that one. But if you see the red CR-V – call 911.
MUSICAL EQUIPMENT TAKEN IN CAR PROWL: From Clipper:
I would like to report that in the early hours of Sunday morning February 18th, I was victim of a car prowl. The back window of my van was broken and musical equipment stolen from the vehicle. The incident occurred near 48th Ave. SW and Andover. Items taken were:
-15 inch Bag End speaker Model S15-N, Serial # K10678. Purple colored exterior.
-Peavey 112M Wedge floor monitor speaker w/volume control
-2 black duffel bags with small items such as pedals, mike cords, speaker cables, stand lights, power cords, direct box and a SM58 Beta microphone.
A police report was filed. If anyone has any info, the case number is 18-61429. Thanks!
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: Concerns/questions for police? Want to hear about local crime trends firsthand? The monthly WSCPC meeting at the Southwest Precinct is tomorrow night (Tuesday, February 20th), 7 pm. Along with the community update and Q&A, there’s a special guest this month, SPD Bias Crimes Unit Detective Elizabeth Wareing. All welcome – the precinct is at 2300 SW Webster, and the meeting room is right off the public parking lot.
No special guest at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, so it was a shorter-than-usual meeting devoted to police updates and community concerns. Read More
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
AUTO THEFT: Darlene‘s silver 2009 Chevy Traverse, personalized plate MGICIAN, was stolen Thursday night/Friday morning near 17th/Dawson. If you see it, call 911, and refer to police report #17-196428.
PREVENTION ADVICE: Auto theft is up in the Southwest Precinct this year – Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge says that 215 cases were reported in the SWP jurisdiction (West Seattle and South Park) January through April of this year, compared to 179 in the same period last year. Here’s a one-sheet with SPD advice for protecting your vehicle(s).
ROCK THROUGH WINDSHIELD: A texter reports this vandalism in Arbor Heights early today:
It happened near 42nd and 100th.
NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING: The special guest booked by WSCPC president Richard Miller will talk, and answer questions about, gangs – 7 pm June 20th at the precinct, 2300 SW Webster.
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Opioid addiction continues to be the root cause behind much of West Seattle’s property crime problems, Captain Pierre Davis explained at last night’s meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council.
Opening the meeting, the Southwest Precinct commander updated community leaders and interested residents on the West Seattle/South Park police force’s progress on a number of crime-related issues. Later in the meeting, SPD’s citywide Traffic Enforcement Section commander was the special guest.
First, trends and issues: Davis says car prowls are down 22 percent from last year over the first four months of 2017, but that there continues to be a lot of auto thefts occurring in West Seattle neighborhoods (neighborhood-crime statistics are available via the SPD Crime Dashboard). While police continue to track cases and make a significant number of arrests, Davis says that reacting to crimes after the fact will have minimal impact on the issue.
“As the chief says, we will never arrest our way out of problems like this,” said Davis.
The captain reiterated advice about assuring valuables are not left in vehicles to help prevent becoming a victim, especially with the warmer weather of summer months approaching, when Davis says activity tends to rise. Read More
The questions come up often in story comments here on WSB – why don’t you see Seattle Police Traffic Enforcement officers at certain trouble spots? Why do you see them at certain spots some consider to be “speed traps”? How can you get them assigned to enforcement where you believe they’re needed? Those are just a few. Next Tuesday (May 16th), you can bring those questions directly to the commander of the traffic unit, Capt. Eric Sano, who is the scheduled guest at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. The monthly WSCPC meeting is also where you can bring local crime questions/concerns to Southwest Precinct leadership, and hear the latest on crime trends. The meeting’s at 7 pm Tuesday in the meeting room just off the precinct parking lot, 2300 SW Webster.
Despite the overnight gunfire spree hours earlier, turnout was low at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, so we recorded highlights on video. Above is what precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis told attendees; below, special guest Officer James Ritter, talking about the SPD Safe Place program, which has now been adopted by more than 50 cities across the country.
Toplines: Capt. Davis said a multi-city/multi-agency task force is working on the gunfire situation, which has seen recent incidents in South Park as well as West Seattle (SP also is part of the SW Precinct’s jurisdiction). None of the WS incidents have resulted in injuries – so far; the precinct is working with special teams including the Gang Unit and SWAT and trying to get more officers out on patrol to try to get ahead of the problem. They are working to identify potential suspects who might be from out of the area – he mentioned Kent, Renton, Federal Way – but spending time with family in this area.
Also, as he has mentioned at other recent community meetings including the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce lunch last week (WSB coverage here), Capt. Davis said shoplifting is spiking and the Community Police Team is working with business owners (and, when necessary, contacting out-of-town corporate ownership) to help them prevent it.
And yes, they’re gearing up for the warm-weather crowds at Alki and elsewhere.
One more bit of news: Southwest/South Precinct Liaison city attorney Matthew York is leaving that job after almost three years – he’s just been appointed to an open judge position in King County District Court’s southeast division.
P.S. As mentioned again in today’s preview, if you’re on-peninsula and interested in talking with/hearing from police, you’re welcome at West Seattle’s first Coffee with a Cop event at the Junction Starbucks (SE corner of California/Alaska), 1-2:30 pm.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For those interested in more alerts about repeat offenders (like the ones we wrote about last weekend) – police might soon be sharing that kind of information publicly.
That was one revelation from last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, along with a guest presentation about what to do in case of an “active shooter” situation.
More than 25 people were at the WSCPC’s monthly meeting at the Southwest Precinct, including two groups of neighbors from areas of North Delridge and Puget Ridge. Here’s how it unfolded:
CRIME TRENDS: “We’ve arrested a significant amount of people out there,” began precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. Much of the property crime is linked to drug use, he noted, because users need to get money and “just don’t care.” So “don’t leave valuables in your car,” he reminded people. That would “help us out” in terms of discouraging criminals.
And make sure your valuables are identifiable, in case they are stolen (by burglary, for example). He mentioned repeat offenders, saying “we’re ready to start putting their faces out to the general public … so you guys can see exactly what these individuals are up to and what they look like … they don’t like it, they’ve told us they don’t like it … we’re going to ramp it up.” Read More
Toplines from last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting: The Southwest Precinct has new bicycle officers who, among other things, are tasked with patroling for car prowlers. That’s still the biggest crime problem in our area, so the precinct is hopeful this is a new way of making a dent in it.
As always, the heart of the meeting was the opportunity for attendees to discuss neighborhood crime/safety concerns. Most of the three dozen or so attendees were there because of concerns related to last Thursday’s stabbing (WSB coverage here) at a house in the 6700 block of 18th SW on Puget Ridge.
The suspect is still at large, confirmed precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, and the investigation continues. Some attendees who identified themselves as parents and PTA members at nearby Sanislo Elementary wanted to know why the school hadn’t been in lockdown while police were searching that afternoon. Capt. Davis said he and Operations Lt. Ron Smith would see what they could find out about how that decision was made.
Others pointed out that this wasn’t the first trouble at the house in question, reminding police that it had been brought up at a Crime Prevention Council meeting about a year and a half ago. Taking action against “nuisance houses” is not a fast process, Lt. Smith noted, saying the precinct is aware this is a trouble spot. Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores will be out to talk to neighbors, he promised, to figure out what steps can be taken next.
The scheduled guest for the meeting, scheduled to talk about “active shooter” situations, was a no-show. So that made extra time for the community-concerns discussion. Next WSCPC meeting is set for February 21st, 7 pm, at the precinct (2300 SW Webster).
Just in from Richard Miller, president of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council – the plan for its meeting next Tuesday (7 pm, January 17th):
As always, Southwest Precinct police will be there with updates on local crime trends and the chance for you to ask about/bring up neighborhood concerns. And a special guest has just been confirmed: SPD Officer Edward Anderson, a Firearms and Tactics instructor who “will lead an interactive active-shooter-mitigation presentation.” This will be the shorter version of the presentation, about an hour including 15 minutes for questions, shorter than the full version, but worth your time to come hear from an expert. All are welcome at the meeting, which is in the community room at the precinct (2300 SW Webster), right off the parking lot.
Most months, the third Tuesday brings the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, an opportunity to bring neighborhood concerns to local police, to get updates on local crime trends, and to hear from a guest speaker on a crime-related issue. Not this month, though – WSCPC president Richard Miller has canceled tomorrow’s meeting while recovering from an injury. The group doesn’t usually meet in December, so that means the next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, January 17th.
(Past week of reported car prowls, from SPD police-report map)
SOUTHWEST PRECINCT UPDATE: Car prowls remain “the crime of the day,” and “we attribute it to the drug use that’s out there,” began Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. A resident of an apartment building north of Morgan Junction said that they’ve had two car prowls in the past month and have found needles in the alley – “what are we supposed to do?” A discussion ensued about whether, if spotting a car prowl in progress, residents should try to detain the prowler themselves. With the caveat that “we’re not your lawyer,” the general advice was no – “you never know who you’re dealing with,” Capt. Davis observed.
Another attendee said her area of Puget Ridge has been hit “19 times in two weeks,” including bicycle thefts, emergency kits stolen from porches. But she said most probably hadn’t been reported.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:
ATTEMPTED GARAGE BURGLARIES: From Darren, who lives in an Alki townhome complex near 60th and Admiral: “Last night someone attempted to break into 3 of our neighbors’ garages (after 7 pm, as one of our neighbors didn’t notice damage to his garage when he was taking garbage and recycling out to the curb). They didn’t get in but did some damage to the doors. Our neighbor who reported it to the police isn’t able to open her garage now as the damage affected the sensor.” SPD case number is 16-339756.
CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL TOMORROW: One last mention before the Tuesday highlight list – the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council returns from summer hiatus tomorrow night. 7 pm Tuesday at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster), bring your neighborhood concerns to local police, and hear from them about local crime trends. Plus, this month’s special guest is Lisa Love, manager of Health Education for Seattle Public Schools, who WSCPC president Richard Miller says will “discuss the topic of harassment, intimidation and bullying in our schools.”