West Seattle, Washington
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.
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.
That memorial for 20-year-old murder victim Ka’Don Brown is set up near the spot where he was found dead of gunshot wounds last Saturday morning in the southwest corner of the Chief Sealth International High School campus. Toward the start of the Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council meeting this past Thursday night, the precinct’s Operations Lt. Dorothy Kim said she had no update yet from homicide detectives on how the investigation into West Seattle’s first murder of the year was going. She did have some stats: Confirmed gunfire incidents in the precinct area (West Seattle/South Park) are down from this time last year – 23 so far in 2023, including this murder, and two injuries. By this time last year, she said, there had been 30. Shots-fired incidents are also down citywide – 207 to date in 2022, 165 this year.
Other crime trends: Major categories are down except for auto thefts, which Lt. Kim noted is a “citywide problem,” in part because of the social-media-fueled Hyundai and Kia theft wave. Aside from some of those thefts, which are more of a joyride/dare situation, “most vehicles are stolen to commit another crime,” she explained. “Chop shops are not super-common here.)
Obviously the recently cleared encampment area near the 1st Avenue South Bridge is an exception to that, she acknowledged. She said that area is the subject of a directive for any attempt at re-occupying to be addressed/cleared quickly.
Also at the SWPCPC meeting, held both in person and online:
CRIME PREVENTION ADVICE: The precinct’s longtime crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner offered some advice for the upcoming warm-weather months. Car prowls, for one, tend to increase, so don’t leave anything in your car, she urged: “Unfortunately our cars aren’t a safe place to store things any more” – even just a sweatshirt or grocery bag, as prowlers might think it’s covering/hiding something, and they’ll break in just to check. Summer is also prime time for “non-force” burglaries, she noted, so remember that leaving doors/windows open leaves you vulnerable.
She also mentioned upcoming precinct events, including the steering-wheel-lock giveaways for Hyundai and Kia owners (one was held Saturday, and another is coming up Thursday, 2-4 pm) and next Saturday’s Drug Take-Back Day (10 am-2 pm). “We take ALL medications, no questions asked – we don’t even look at it, you can just put it in the bag and walk away.”
Her final words: “Remember, we’re data-driven, and we want the stats to be accurate, so (if something happens), REPORT IT. If it’s happening now or just happened, 911 is the best route.
NEEDLE DISPOSAL: Michael Eggers from the Clean City Division of Seattle Public Utilities offered a primer on this city service. His division deals with illegal dumping, graffiti, and more, including “sharps.” If you find a needle/syringe on public property, report it via Find It Fix It, and it should get picked up within 24 hours. (Other debris could take up to a week.) Walking attendees through how the reporting system works, he recommended providing your email address if you’re interested in updates, though you can report completely anonymously, he said. The city also maintains 23 sharps-disposal boxes; the nly one in West Seattle is at the restroom building in Roxhill Park. Citywide, those boxes were used for disposal of 456,000 sharps last year, Eggers said. (Read more about the sharps-disposal program here.)
But since the city won’t pick up needles/syringes on private property, what should you do if you find one? He gave a quick demonstration – wear gloves, use a utensil (such as tongs) to pick up the item – keeping it as far from your body as possible – grab the syringe by the barrel (midsection), have a hard-plastic container ready to drop it in, pointed side down, and then afterward, use bleach to disinfect the utensil/tool you used.
COMMUNITY CONCERNS: One attendee wanted to know how to get advice on dealing with neighborhood concerns; Danner said she’s the person to contact and can for example set up a Block Watch meeting … Danner also offered to help with the RPZ enforcement concerns that Fauntleroy Community Association president Mike Dey brought, following up on the most-recent FCA board meeting – they’re concerned about the discontinuance of visible permit tags, and enforcement challenges without them. Lt. Kim noted that the new system that Parking Enforcement Officers are supposed to use differs from what police officers are equipped with. Danner offered to organize a multidepartmental meeting with SPD and SDOT to discuss the problem.
COMMUNITY SERVICE OFFICERS: Two CSOs were in attendance at the SWPCPC meeting. They’re not assigned to or from precincts, though – they are currently deployed from downtown.
NEXT MEETING: Watch for word of a May meeting.
The date has changed for your next chance to hear from and talk with local police at the SW Precinct Crime Prevention Council meeting – it’s been moved to next week. Here’s the new announcement:
This meeting is open to everyone! We hope you can join us.
Date: Thursday, April 13th 2023
Time: 6pm- 7pm
Location: SW Precinct Community Meeting Room (2300 SW Webster St) or virtually
6pm – 6:05pm Introductions
6:05pm – 6:15pm Precinct and Crime Update from Lt. Kim
6:15pm – 6:30pm Crime Prevention & Reporting from Crime Prevention Coordinator Jen Danner
6:30pm – 6:45pm Needle Disposal by Seattle’s Clean City Division from Michael Eggers
6:45pm – 6:55pm Q&A
6:55pm – 7pm Closing Comments and Next Meeting Date
We’ll have the video connection info in our calendar listing before the meeting.
Questions for local police? Bring them to the next Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council meeting, now set for 6 pm Thursday, April 6th. Chair Melody Sarkies says that along with local police, two guests are scheduled: The precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner will talk about home safety/security measures and “personal wellbeing”; Michael Eggers from the city’s Clean City Initiative will bring “information about safe techniques to collect needles found on private and public property and various collection-box locations.” You can attend in person at the precinct – 2300 SW Webster – or online (link to come – it’ll be in our calendar listing when available).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Encampment and police updates comprised most of last night’s Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council meeting, plus community Q&A.
The group, chaired by Melody Sarkies, meets monthly as an open opportunity to talk with and hear from police and featured guests. Last night, Tom Van Bronkhorst, a city official who has long been involved with homelessness response, was the guest.
As we reported late last night, he announced toward the end of the meeting that the Harbor Avenue RV encampment is set for another sweep in late February. But he was there mostly to discuss the far-bigger encampment at 2nd/Michigan, near the 1st Avenue South Bridge, following up on the revelation at the last SWPCPC meeting that a sweep had been planned and then called off. Officially, he’s on the Seattle Parks payroll, but he participates in the Unified Care Team meetings at which priorities and planned cleanups are discussed.
Though the stolen-car-magnet encampment by the 1st Avenue South Bridge was the central topic of tonight’s Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council meeting, another encampment is the subject of our first headline from the meeting: City rep Tom Van Bronkhorst told the group that the Harbor Avenue RV encampment is scheduled to be swept again “at the end of this month.” RVs that don’t voluntarily move will be towed, he said. That’s unless there’s evidence someone is living there, added Operations Lt. Dorothy Kim, although she said outreach workers believe that several of the Harbor RVs are NOT being used as homes and may even have the same owner. Leading up to the sweep, Van Bronkhorst said, SDOT is going to the area for “debris removal” weekly. Lt. Kim noted that people with houses and businesses in the area need to be aware that when the sweep happens, the area will be posted as “no parking” for a few weeks. So how will they keep the RVs from returning again this time? Lt. Kim said police, including Parking Enforcement Officers, plan to be “diligent” about enforcement. What about more-permanent action like an RPZ, as has been suggested? That’s all still being discussed.
As for the 1st Avenue South encampment and other topics addressed tonight – we’ll have a separate full report on that, including video of the meeting, Friday morning.
PACKAGE GRABBER: Around 8 am today, this package thief struck in Highland Park:
Mike, who sent the video and report, says this happened near 12th SW and SW Kenyon.
MEETING REMINDER: You’re invited to hear from and talk with police at the Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council meeting this Thursday, in person or online. The featured guest will be from the city’s Unified Care Team, which deals with encampments. The meeting’s at 7 pm Thursday (February 16) at the precinct (2300 SW Webster); online and phone attendance info is in our calendar listing.
This month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting offered more than police updates and community Q&A – it also offered the opportunity to learn about an agency you might never have heard of – King County Crisis and Commitment Services. KCCCS has people on duty 24/7, explained Frank Couch, to deal with complaints/allegations about someone who’s become threatening and/or a danger to themselves and/or others. Their potential tool is the Involuntary Treatment Act, which, Couch explained, despite its name, is about public safety, not treatment. Here’s our video of what he told the WSCPC last night at the Southwest Precinct:
Key points from his presentation:
The agency is headquartered in downtown Seattle but serves people countywide, working with more than 30 law-enforcement agencies. Yet to cover all that, they have just 41 people – 6 to 8 crisis responders on duty at any given time, 2 always available by phone to take calls about potential referrals. And right now, they’re short-staffed. Attracting and retaining people is difficult because It’s a challenging job – they are involved in the heat of the crisis and don’t get to see what happens after that. Couch explained, “We’re triaging all day, every day’ – the work is nonstop. But he was clear that they are not “first responders.” They investigate in person and decide if someone needs to be involuntarily detained, for up to 120 hours, after which a hospital can file to keep them for another 14 days or put them on an agreed order.
Keeping people for longer is not a default goal, Couch stressed. “Our job is not only to detain people but also to find less-restrictive options.” Their duty is to protect the patient and community – and to “de-institutionalize” people, compared to the old days of institutionalizing people indefinitely, which is now considered “not appropriate.” People need “a clear path to reintegrate back into the community …. learn to live a productive life.” It’s considered “not appropriate” to institutionalize someone forever.
They may also be called in to evaluate people in jail before they’re released.
Couch explained the decisionmaking progress about whether to “detain” someone – it’s not just law-enforcement referrals, but also the general public, In 2018, the law changed – among other things, references to “designated mental health providers” became references to “responders.” You have the legal right to have a behavioral condition and not be detained for it – but once it becomes a danger to others, or yourself, that’s where this comes in. Complicating matters, though, Couch continued, they run into a capacity problem – there might not be a bed if someone needs it. “We can’t detain unless there’s a bed.” They have to fill out a “no-bed” report if there’s no place for someone to go.
He also offered advice: If you’re reporting someone, tell them everything you can about the person and their behavior rather than trying to make an evaluation/determination – “don’t try to dictate it, just (tell us everything) and we’ll (figure it out) … We don’t detain everyone.” Federal rules limit how many beds a facility can have, he noted in response to a question – you can’t just decide to expand a facility by adding beds. Another question: What can be done about an area with many people likely in danger/crisis, such as an encampment? They deal only with specific individual people who are referred, Couch said.
Contact information for Crisis and Commitment Services is on their webpage.
Updates on two West Seattle encampments:
SW MARGINAL PLACE SWEPT: Thanks to those who sent tips that the SW Marginal Place RV encampment [map] has been swept again. The cul-de-sac by the bridge was swept in August, but RVs and associated vehicles eventually showed up again. At tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, Southwest Precinct operations Lt. Dorothy Kim confirmed that the encampment was swept today. The street also has been at least temporarily blocked off as closed – it’s always been a route betweem the bridge-side path and West Marginal Way, but now that the low bridge is closed to riders (among others), the street is a major link in the bike route.
2ND/MICHIGAN: Also at the WSCPC meeting, Lt. Kim was asked about the notorious encampment next to the 1st Avenue South Bridge – best known for stolen cars (she said tonight that police have recovered more than 100 there). At the November WSCPC meeting (WSB coverage here), she had said dates were set for a cleanup of that site. Tonight, when the topic came up, she said police were frustrated because the cleanup plan “fell through.” Both she and City Attorney’s Office precinct liaison Joe Everett talked about the situation. (Added: Here’s our video)
Everett said that dates had been worked out at a meeting with city and state reps – it’s state-owned land – in early December. All are well aware that it’s a “huge drain on SPD resources” as well as a major problem for nearby businesses. But as the dates got closer, something caused it to be called off – possibly concerns from the mayor’s office, possibly logistics, possibly because of a “request from WSDOT to share resources,” whatever the case, it didn’t happen, and “two bureaucracies trying to work together” didn’t make things any easier – “there’s a lot of coordination that needs to happen.” But they’re now “trying to put it together again.” We’ll be following up on this tomorrow.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the first time in more than two and a half years, tonight the Southwest Precinct meeting room was filled with community members there to hear from and talk with local police.
This was technically the return of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, but for several years the council was really just whoever showed up for the meetings, plus longtime chair Richard Miller. Tonight the precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner announced Melody Sarkies as the WSCPC’s new chair. And with that, the meeting was off and running. We recorded it on video – first, here are the introductions, and the first speaker, the precinct’s Operations Lt. Dorothy Kim:
If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s our summary of what Lt. Kim said:
PRECINCT UPDATES: Current focuses include the Harbor Ave. and 2nd/Michigan (near the 1st Avenue South Bridge) encampments. She said some “firm dates” are set for cleanup of the latter – which had to be worked out with state agencies since it’s state land (this was pointed out to us last time we asked the city homelessness-response spokesperson about plans for that area). She said it’s more a “criminal enterprise” site than an encampment. “We all know what’s going on there … but with staffing issues,” they haven’t been able to do much. So rather than put a longterm investigation into motion, they’re just going to “clean it up.” She also explained how encampment reports are handled in the Find It Fix It system – they’re assigned a point value, and certain sites, such as those in parks and near schools, get higher point values. Then a city team. goes out to offer services; after that the city interdepartmental team, which meets weekly, will talk about what resources are needed for the cleanup. … Lt. Kim also noted that the summertime Alki “emphasis patrol” is over so now they’ve moved those resources to Westwood Village and are putting officers there at times determined by data or the past two years. She said WWV’s new management is “responsive to law enforcement.” Regarding staffing, Lt. Kim said “it’s challenging” – 10 new officer recruits are in the pipeline and she says the Southwest Precinct probably won’t get any of them. Currently they’re continuing to “augment” – volunteers working double shifts to bring staffing to minimum levels – but she notes that’s voluntary – “at some point that’s not sustainable.” She reiterated that there’s no Traffic Unit in SPD any more, a bare-bones motorcycle unit that generally deals with “big events.”
CITY ATTORNEY: Ann Davison (above) was the second speaker. That’s where the rest of our meeting video begins, followed by our summary:
She says she’s been to the precinct previously to speak to SPD roll calls. “We are closing in on my first year of being in office,” she noted. She said she “walked into a 5,000-case backlog” of cases waiting for months on charging decisions. That sent the wrong message to both victims and suspects, she said.
Just got last-minute word from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner that the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting scheduled for tonight – first one in almost a year and a half – has now been postponed to 6 pm Thursday, October 13th.
It’s been almost a year and a half since the last West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. It was always an opportunity for West Seattle community members to hear from and talk with Southwest Precinct police, regarding any crime/safety concerns, from specific incidents to general trends/issues. Tomorrow (Monday, September 19th), it’s the first WSCPC meeting since April of 2021 (here’s our coverage of that meeting), and much has changed since then, including precinct leadership – Captain Martin Rivera became SWP commander last November. All are invited to tomorrow’s online meeting. It’ll start at 6 pm; connection/call-in info is in our calendar listing.
The third Tuesday of the month usually brings the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, primarily a chance for community members to hear from and talk with local police. Since that’s tomorrow and we hadn’t heard anything, we checked – the. precinct tells us there’s no meeting this month. (If you missed last month’s coverage, read it here.) But police reps are often at local community-council meetings, so watch for news of those if you have an issue to bring up. The most recent briefing we covered was at the District 1 Community Network‘s May meeting.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After last month’s cancellation, this month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting had plenty to talk about. It happened online last night, moderated by Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner and featuring precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman.
CRIME TRENDS: Data shows crime up 8 percent in West Seattle over last year, Capt. Grossman said, showing the SeaStat dashboard for Southwest Precinct stats.
Part of that: Violent crime is up 21 percent – mostly because of domestic violence, he said. Property crime is up 7 percent; the most-common types are burglaries, auto thefts, and arsons at encampments. (Those too have included domestic violence – here’s one example.) He’s working with the Arson/Bomb Squad to see if there’s anything more proactive they can do. The Junction is the current hotspot for property crimes, especially parking-garage storage area break-ins – if one burglar breaks into multiple storage units in a single garage, each one counts as a separate burglary.
STAFFING: Capt. Grossman repeated what he and precinct lieutenants have said at other meetings – that a third of the officers have been lost since he came to the SW Precinct last July. Read More
The third Tuesday of the month usually brings your chance to hear from and talk with local police at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, but Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner tells us it’s canceled for this month, so no WSCPC meeting tomorrow. Local police often have a spot on the agenda at neighborhood council meetings – like the wide-ranging update at last week’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting – so watch for those announcements, and if you have a crime-prevention question, Jennifer’s at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Don’t email her to report a crime, though – if something’s happening right now, call 911; otherwise, call 206-625-5011 or report it online.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the first time in six years, City Attorney Pete Holmes visited the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council for Q&A, one week after he announced he’s running for re-election.
Much has changed in the six years since that previous visit, though the City Attorney’s responsibilities have not: The office is responsible for prosecuting low-level crimes – misdemeanors – while felonies are handled by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. It’s also the official legal representative for the city in a wide variety of matters, whether it’s defending the city in court or taking action against, say, a nuisance property owner.
That last type of work is most often handled by the City Attorney’s Precinct Liaisons, a position that Joe Everett currently holds for the Southwest and South Precincts, and that was explained as Holmes began speaking. (It was also reiterated in response to an attendee questions; if the City Attorney’s Office can help with “chronic neighborhood problems,” for example, Holmes said, then that lightens the load on police and can lead to a “better resolution.”)
So confirmed Lt. Dorothy Kim during tonight’s online West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, a short and sparsely attended gathering. It was led by precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner. Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman was unable to attend, so the meeting-opening update was brief, just a quick recap of some of the 2020 crime stats we reported last week.
#1 – The one-week-delayed (because of the holiday) Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meeting is tomorrow (Sunday, September 13th), 2 pm, online. If you have questions or concerns about West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned tiny-house encampment, or if you want to hear updates firsthand, be there. Link here; password 9701; access code 858 5523 4269; or, call 253-215-8782.
#2 – No West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting this month, says WSCPC president Richard Miller, because precinct leaders are unavailable. (The meeting otherwise would be this Tuesday; instead, next meeting is October 20th.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Hours before a protest group gathered outside the Southwest Precinct, its new commander was talking about police reform at the first online meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council.
Capt. Kevin Grossman and his second-in-command, Operations Lt. Sina Ebinger, had a lot more to say – from West Seattle’s crime drop, to police staffing.
The WSCPC, rather than an organized group, has long been a monthly gathering of whoever shows up, coordinated by community member Richard Miller, often with special guests as well as local police leadership. Meetings went on hiatus after February because of the pandemic; last night, the WSCPC returned, with the help of SW Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner.
Capt. Grossman opened with a recap of his background (which we’ve covered at other community meetings, as well as in our interview with him). Then – the trends:
“We currently have crime rates much, much lower than 2019,” he said, while making it clear that the pandemic and bridge closure were undoubtedly major factors.
Last time the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council met, it was mid-February, pre-pandemic (WSB coverage here). But this group is ready to get going again, online – as we first noted in last week’s District 1 Community Network report – and will do so one week from Tuesday, at 7 pm
August 18th. The WSCPC has always been a chance for community members to hear from, and bring concerns to, local police. At this meeting, you’ll get to “meet” the Southwest Precinct’s new commander Capt. Kevin Grossman and operations Lt. Sina Ebinger. It’ll be conducted via Microsoft Teams. at this link (we’ll be checking on a call-in option).
After the holiday, the first community meeting of the week will be your monthly chance for Q&A with local police at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, 7 pm Tuesday (February 18) at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster). After Q&A with, and updates from, police, you’ll hear from this mnnth’s spotlight guest, from the SPD Victim Support Team (which is currently recruiting new volunteers).
Here are the toplines from the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council‘s first meeting since October:
CRIME TRENDS: Southwest Precinct crime overall was down almost five percent in 2019 from 2018, said the precinct’s operations commander, Lt. Steve Strand. They’re hoping to repeat that in 2020. Lt. Strand stressed the importance of reporting all crime so they know what’s happening and where to focus patrols. (If it’s happening now, call 911; if not, most crimes can be reported online – go here.)
Three months have passed since the last West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (WSB coverage here), and tomorrow, it reconvenes after holiday hiatus. Who is the WSCPC, you ask? President Richard Miller has long worked to keep it going – but otherwise, it’s really whoever shows up. A centerpiece of each meeting is an update from Southwest Precinct police leadership and a chance to bring up questions and concerns. There’s often a spotlight guest, too; tomorrow night, you’ll hear from a rep with the state Corrections Department. It all starts at 7 pm Tuesday at the precinct meeting room right off the parking lot, 2300 SW Webster (next to Home Depot).