West Seattle police 1541 results

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Police @ school; 2 car break-ins; 2 more found bicycles; more…

Today’s West Seattle Crime Watch notes:

POLICE @ SCHOOL: A few readers mentioned early-morning social-media chatter about a police response at Arbor Heights Elementary. The call was ultimately classified “trespassing.” We checked with SPD this morning; they confirmed there was no evidence of burglary or vandalism, adding, “Patrol officers hailed using their PA system but weren’t able to locate anyone.”

CAMPING GEAR STOLEN: Scott‘s car was broken into overnight in his driveway near 39th/Olga:

Thieves made away with my brown Alps tent (but left the poles), and a large tan tote with a bunch of camping gear including a mess kit. Also in the tote was a silver zippered case with a battery and charger for a Serfas headlight. Also look out for a WALL-E fleece blanket, which was covering up the stolen items.

Police report # is 2020-922548.

CAR-THEFT ATTEMPT: Jason‘s car was also broken into, early today:

My work van was the victim of an attempted theft this morning on 28th Ave SW in High Point. They did get away with some power tools and broke the ignition switch but did not get away with the van itself. This was at 4:15 am this morning and it looks like a minivan cased the block, dropped someone off then a sedan came back and picked up the guy and loot! Also, the neighbor at the end of the block had their Audi broken into and they also tried to steal the car unsuccessfully. All beware, thugs are running rampant!

BICYCLES FOUND: From the dumped-and-likely-stolen file, two more abandoned bicycles. First, from Tiffany:

This bike, which I assume stolen and ditched, has been leaning against my building for a couple weeks now. 4050 California Ave SW

This one was via text:

Nice commuter bike dumped in EC Hughes park [earlier this week]. Northwest corner of park.

CATALYTIC-CONVERTER REMINDER: Last but not least, we’ve had multiple reader reports in recent weeks about catalytic-converter thefts, and Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner has sent this notice:

The SW Precinct has noticed a string of catalytic converter thefts over the past few weeks. In an effort to decrease future incidents, we would like to provide the following prevention suggestions:

-Speak with your vehicle manufacture to inquire about specific devices that can be added to shield or lock the catalytic converter

-If possible, ensure your vehicle is parked in a busy, locked, monitored and/or well-lit location

-Check on your vehicle regularly to ensure no damage has been done

-Work with neighbors to establish or maintain a Block Watch group to increase “eyes on”

-Report all suspicious and/or criminal activity to the SPD by 911 immediately

Please feel free to reach out to me directly [jennifer.danner@seattle.gov] if you are interested in discussing this further and/or if you would like to schedule a free safety/security assessment.

And a reminder that the precinct commander will be part of the public-safety discussion in the first hour of tonight’s Town Hall, starting at 5:30 pm; more info here. We’ll be covering it live.

About last night’s emergency response in Arbor Heights

We received multiple questions last night about a police/fire response on SW 104th last night because SFD classified the call as “scenes of violence, aid.” The last word is key – it’s a lower-level medical response than the usual “scenes of violence” callout; the “scenes of violence” designation is usually because of how a victim was injured, generally involving a weapon of some kind. We don’t automatically go out on the “aid” level of calls but with all the questions, we went over to try to find out more. The response was already wrapping up and officers on the scene wouldn’t comment. We found out from SFD later via email that a 30-year-old man had been taken to a hospital, in stable condition, but had to wait until this morning to ask SPD media relations for more information on their part of the response. The response: “This was a crisis call and a domestic-violence assault. One person was arrested.”

UPDATE: ‘Scenes of violence’ response in High Point

5:43 PM: Another major emergency response, this time in High Point, near 32nd/Juneau. A 24-year-old man is reported to have suffered a gunshot wound inside a home. Police are trying to sort out the circumstances, while SFD tends to the victim. (The call classification “scenes of violence” applies generally to injuries or deaths involving a weapon.)

5:58 PM: The wounded man is being taken to Harborview Medical Center.

6:05 PM: We went over to check, as there was early radio communication that this might have been self-inflicted; officers on the scene are not commenting but they’re wrapping up, so thus far it’s not being treated as a crime scene.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Triangle response; stolen rollerblades; abandoned bicycle

Three notes this afternoon:

TRIANGLE POLICE RESPONSE: Thanks to the reader who sent a tip about that big police response in the alley between Link and Lien Animal Clinic a short time ago. We went over to find out what was going on; police at the scene told us they had detained a suspect they had been seeking in relation to an assault on an officer. No other details so far.

STOLEN ROLLERBLADES: Tracey emailed this report this morning:

Reporting a car prowl at 30th ave SW and Holden evening of 9/13. Hoping readers could keep an eye out for my stolen rollerblades. I imagine they will get dumped. Sunglasses and prescription glasses too.

ABANDONED BICYCLE: From Amy:

I found this ditched bike near my apartment (Alki area) this morning.

Yours? Let us know and we’ll connect you.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car arson; stolen gun found

Two West Seattle incident reports just sent by the Southwest Precinct:

CAR ARSON: The Seattle Fire log shows a car fire at 3:30 am today. According to the precinct, this is an arson investigation, and the car turned out to have been stolen from Bellevue. “A male suspect was seen running away from the vehicle,” the precinct reports.

STOLEN GUN FOUND: An officer assigned to patrol Alki on Labor Day “noticed two vehicles illegally parked in a trailer-only parking stall of the Don Armeni Boat Ramp.” The first, with four people, was told to leave, and did. The second had no one inside; when an officer looked through its open windows, he “observed a handgun with an extended magazine on the driver side floorboard.” The report says he “discovered the serial number of the firearm, which returned stolen out of Utah. The SW Precinct Sergeant instructed the Officer to photograph the vehicle and location of the handgun.” The vehicle subsequently was impounded and remains under investigation.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Park search; prowler report

In West Seattle Crime Watch:

PARK SEARCH: Right now police are searching the Roxhill Park vicinity, with K-9, after a report of gunfire – called in as someone saying they were shot at. No injuries reported, and we don’t yet know if police have found evidence of gunshots. We’re continuing to monitor this.

PROWLER: Emailed by C:

Today 9/4 at 6:15, I caught a sketchy guy sneaking in the garage door at my apartment building on the 3600 block of aw Avalon way. He was a light build, white male, about 5’7”, dark baseball hat, dark long sleeve shirt and dark pants, dark bandana (facial hair underneath). He was carrying a black duffel bag. He hid in the garage for a bit then tried leaving out a locked door. When confronted, he tried some dumb story about delivering medicine to a relative in the building, then got defensive and left. Called the cops.

FOLLOWUP: Where those ‘redeployed’ Seattle Police patrol officers will come from

(WSB file photo)

More news released by the city just before the holiday weekend: From SPD Blotter, we learn that the question we and others asked earlier this week has been answered – in part, anyway. When interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz announced that about 100 officers would be redeployed to patrol/911 response, he didn’t offer specifics, though he noted that many would come from “similar” responsibilities – like the Community Police Team and Traffic Enforcement. Later that day, SPD explained it couldn’t offer specifics until all the affected personnel had been notified. Now, that’s been done, so here’s the citywide breakdown:

Precinct CPT [Community Police Team] officers/sergeants – 29
Traffic and TCI [Traffic Collision Investigation] Detectives/officers/sergeants – 21
Precinct Burg/Theft Detectives/sergeants – 20
Community Outreach officers – 2
Crisis Intervention/SHA [Seattle Housing Authority] Liaison officers – 4
Drug Court Detective – 1
DV Unit Detectives – 5
Intelligence Unit Detectives – 5
Narcotics Detectives – 1

In addition to these 88 officers resuming responsibilities in Patrol, the department is also forming the Community Response Group, made up of 100 officers and 10 sergeants whose priority will be to address the increased response times to 911 calls throughout the city.

The announcement did not include any precinct-by-precinct numbers, so we won’t be able to follow up on that until next week. There are five precincts citywide, including the Southwest Precinct in West Seattle (which also handles South Park). Also of note, this reallocation does not resemble the list of units from which the City Council wanted to see cuts, as specified in the budget-rebalancing plan that the mayor vetoed. (Whether the council will vote to override the veto has not yet been announced – it’s not on their agenda for Tuesday, when they meet for the first time following a two-week recess.)

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle’s police commander on staffing and more

Hours after interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz‘s media briefing about staffing changes, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman spoke with the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle, online. He said he has no further details, yet, about how the 100 “redeployments” will affect his staffing levels, but of course he’s hopeful it means more officers headed this way. Right now, Capt. Grossman said, the precinct staff is 10 percent below what it was when he started, due to attrition – retirements, officers moving to other parts of the city, or moving to other cities’ departments. In addition, this precinct and the others all have to contribute to the “task forces” that deal with some of the ongoing protests on Capitol Hill. On another note, he and operations Lt. Sina Ebinger, who also was at the meeting (as was Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner), will not be regularly attending community meetings as they have since taking over two months ago. Grossman says he wants patrol officers to attend the meetings in the areas they cover, so they can build relationships. (That was part of the reason Chief Diaz cited on Wednesday for moving more officers into patrol.) A special focus of the Kiwanis’s community work is mentoring youth, particularly via Key Clubs, so some Q&A last night focused on that; Danner will be working to set up meetings where she and officers can talk with high-school and middle-school students and hear their concerns.

P.S. Another Kiwanis note – they’re expecting this year’s Pancake Breakfast, usually the first Saturday of December, to be a “virtual” event, so stand by for more on that.

VIDEO: Chief, mayor explain Seattle Police staffing changes

11:06 AM: As previewed last night, interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz and Mayor Jenny Durkan are briefing reporters on plans to move 100 SPD staff into patrol operations. You can watch live above (we’ll substitute the archived video later); we’ll also add notes below, as it goes.

This will “enable us to respond to 911 calls … on a more-rapid basis,” says the mayor. She also says this is a move toward saving some money on overtime, with “more, shorter shifts” being added. She also says this “lays the groundwork for future changes” in SPD. But ‘we know we still need police,” she declares, saying they’ll evaluate what 911 calls require “traditional armed police response” and which don’t.

11:15 AM: Chief Diaz takes the microphone. He says the department currently has the lowest number of officers in patrol operations “in recent memory.” The moves will address a concern consistently voiced by community members, he says – the lack of police presence in neighborhoods. He hopes this also will enable officers to get out of their cars and make connections with residents, delivering a “neighborhood-based style of policing.” This also means less reliance on “emphasis patrols” to address ongoing problems.

11:20 AM: No further specifics, so it’s now on to Q&A. First one: How do they anticipate the council (which recently voted to cut 100 officers) reacting? “Positively,” says the mayor. How will the moves affect ongoing detective work? 40 percent of the moves will come from units already doing similar work – community police teams, traffic enforcement, etc., Diaz says. Will it encourage more attrition if those who haven’t been on the street for years are asked to move back? Diaz says it will actually affect more younger, newer officers than veterans. In response to another question, he mentions one of the new shifts will be a 4-day 3 pm-1 am shift, covering the time when call levels are at the highest.

The timeline, the chief says in response to another question, is “within the next few weeks” – as soon as the week of September 16th.

11:44 AM: The briefing is over. We are following up to ask for more specifics on the reassignments, including how individual precincts will be affected.

2:13 PM: The archived video is now available above. Meantime, SPD says it can’t comment yet on details of the reassignments because it’s “in the process of making notifications to employees in detective and other units about redeployments to enhance our 911 response. Once employee notifications have been completed in the coming days, the department will provide further information about the units impacted by personnel redeployments.”

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen white Kia; police changes

Two notes tonight:

STOLEN CAR: From David in Arbor Heights:

My car was stolen last night.

2019 Kia Optima, White, License # BRL4508

Stolen from in front of my house: (10000 block of) 40th Ave SW

If you see it, call 911.

POLICE CHANGES: Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz and Mayor Jenny Durkan plan a media briefing at 11 am Wednesday on Diaz’s announcement late today of a change in assignment for more than 100 SPD personnel – moving them out of specialty units and into patrol. That just happens to be the same number the City Council voted to cut, also mostly from specialty units, in the budget-rebalancing package the mayor vetoed. What will it mean for our precinct? You can watch the livestream here.

FOLLOWUP: Suspected hit-run homicide car found in Highland Park

(WSB photo)

1:09 PM: On its way to the Seattle Police evidence room as of a short time ago – what’s believed to be one of two vehicles sought in connection with the Monday hit-run homicide near Longfellow Creek that killed 34-year-old Derrick Lacomb. A WSB reader spotted the damaged car along SW Thistle near 13th SW this morning and contacted us as well as police. Here are two photos the reader sent – the covered-over front light was a telltale feature:

Once police got there for a look at the car, they radioed in that it indeed appeared to be the one they were looking for, so they impounded it. We are checking to see if the other one (as seen in Wednesday’s report) has turned up yet.

4:50 PM: Thanks to the texter who pointed out an SPD update we missed, that the other vehicle was found late yesterday.

RECOGNIZE THESE CARS? Police release video in West Seattle hit-run homicide investigation

That video is part of an update today in Monday’s hit-run homicide near Longfellow Creek:

SPD Homicide detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in locating two vehicles believed to be connected to this homicide. Both vehicles were captured on a surveillance camera near the scene. Detectives have asked anyone who might have known the victim – identified as Derrick Lacomb – or have information about the incident to call the Violent Crimes Tipline at 206-233-5000.

Here’s another look at the two vehicles:

As first reported here Monday evening, Mr. Lacomb’s body was found near 24th/25th SW; police said on Tuesday that they believe he was hit and killed by a driver who then left the scene.

FOLLOWUP: Longfellow Creek death investigated as hit-run homicide

(WSB photo, Monday night: Evidence markers placed during investigation)

We first told you last night about an investigation near Longfellow Creek after a man was found dead. Today, we followed up with police, and they’ve just released this update:

SPD Homicide and Traffic Collision investigators were called to West Seattle Monday evening after a 34-year-old man was struck and killed by a driver.

Around 6 pm, a resident in the 6500 block of 25th Avenue Southwest called 911 and reported a possibly deceased person in some bushes on the street. Police arrived, located the 34-year-old man, confirmed he was deceased, and contacted witnesses in the area.

At this point in the investigation, detectives believe the driver intentionally struck the victim, killing him. The driver then fled the scene.

If you have any information about this incident, please call 206-233-5000.

This happened near where 24th/25th meet, west of Delridge Way – here’s a map.

ADDED 12:30 PM: The not-yet-publicly-identified man is West Seattle’s second homicide victim of the year (not counting the suitcase-bodies victims, who were killed in Burien); the first was 41-year-old Jana Layman, whose roommate is awaiting trial in her January murder.

Police investigating after body found near Longfellow Creek

Police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found near 24th/25th SW [map], by Longfellow Creek. We just went to the scene after a tip from a neighbor (thank you) about a big police response.

SPD at the scene included Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman, who told WSB that this all started with an investigation after a report of a hit-run crash in the area earlier today; near some debris left behind, the body was found. Capt. Grossman said they don’t know yet if the hit-run and death are connected; detectives are at the scene to see what they can find.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gunfire investigation

8:25 PM: This week, Seattle Police have been talking about an increase in gunfire incidents around the city and locally. Tonight it happened again in West Seattle. The car in the photo above was pulled over at California/Juneau after police got reports of multiple vehicles involved in a gunfire incident near 48th/49th/Charlestown. This car was found to have a bullet hole in the hood. Police were still looking for at least one other vehicle last we heard; no injuries reported. We are on the way to the original scene to see if we can find out more.

8:41 PM:. Police are still talking to people at the original scene but tell us they have not made any arrests so far.

8:58 PM: Police just told dispatch that they’ve also recovered a shell casing near 48th/Charlestown.

VIDEO: Mayor vetoing Seattle Police (and other) budget cuts, hoping for ‘path forward’ to work out a deal with council

(EVENING UPDATE: Archived video of briefing now viewable above)

2:06 PM: Just under way (and viewable above via Seattle Channel), Mayor Jenny Durkan, Police Chief Carmen Best, and Deputy Chief Adrian Diaz are holding a media briefing announced as “to discuss the Mayor’s decision regarding the 2020 rebalanced budget and the recent increase in gun violence incidents in Seattle.” The “rebalanced budget” is what the City Council finalized last week, including cuts to SPD and other city departments. We’ll add notes as this goes.

The mayor says the city expects leaders to work together and notes that she and council leaders have struck a deal on added emergency spending. She notes that the overall budget hole is $326 million but the city’s managed to launch new programs for pandemic-related relief anyway.

But she says she is vetoing the overall budget bill, amid disagreements with the council on the police and human-services budgets. (She also vetoed other spending bills including the $3 million that was to go to community organizations for researching community-safety plans.) She says that with SPD leaders, they’re examining the budget closely – what the council passed would “mire the city” in problems, maybe even lawsuits. “Alternative programs” need to be in place – not just under discussion – before current ones are cut, she says. She also expresses hope for collaboration with council leadership. (The council could override the veto. However, its 2-week end of summer break is about to begin.)

GUN VIOLENCE: Shots-fired incidents are up dramatically in the city, she says – 116 since June 1st, a 55 percent increase. (The Southwest Precinct commander has noted an increase in our area too, though smaller, as we reported earlier this week.) She talks about community programs’ role in prevention, and turns the mic over to Interim Chief-to-be Diaz.

2:20 PM: He begins with an update on 3 murder cases – including the suitcase-bodies double murder whose victims were found at Duwamish Head, mentioning what was announced yesterday – the arrest of a Burien man. (The other two cases in which arrests have just been made were not in West Seattle.) He says SPD’s homicide clearance rate since 2012 has averaged 71 percent – while the national rate is in the 60s.

Then Diaz goes into stats, saying shots-fired incidents are up nationwide as well as locally. “We have to stop the shootings, the injuries, the dying right now,” he says. “We need the entire city to come together and end gun violence.” He makes way for Chief Best, who says this is probably her last media briefing “for the city of Seattle.” She asks everyone in the city to “please support Chief Adrian Diaz” in his new role. “Support him, support each other, let’s make sure we have good community safety going forward.” The mayor gives the chief a bouquet of flowers, then it’s on to Q&A.

First: The mayor’s asked how she’ll try to work out a deal on the police budget with the council. She says the main sticking points are the elimination of the Navigation Team, the leadership salary cuts, and the proposed 100-officer reduction, but she has hope for collaboration. On followup, she says that “they’ve agreed to sit down and talk about those things.” Regarding next year’s budget – she’ll be sending a plan to the council in just a month – she says the discussions will have to continue into next year. She also promises “the community” – not just advocacy groups – will have a significant say.

In response to another question, she says she hasn’t been talking to the police union. Then: Does she see a smaller police department in the future? Maybe, maybe not – it could be a smaller department with more patrol officers, for example, after some functions move to other departments. On the final question, she reiterated that she’s hopeful there’s a “path forward” to work out something with the council. She says the council’s impending break shouldn’t complicate matters as they have a month or so to deal with a veto.

2:58 PM: The briefing concludes. We’ll substitute the archived video above when it’s available.

EVENING UPDATE: The video is added.

From police reform to crime stats, candid Q&A with new Southwest Precinct leaders @ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council

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.

Read More

VIDEO: Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best explains why she’s leaving

(WSB file photo)

11:13 AM: One day after the City Council finalized budget cuts for Seattle Police, as a “first step” toward a dramatic change in public-safety delivery, there’s a big change that wasn’t in their legislation: Chief Carmen Best is leaving, two years after her promotion. Right now she and Mayor Jenny Durkan are holding a media briefing to discuss her plan to depart, and SPD’s future – you can click into Seattle Channel‘s livestream here (update: replaced with archived video):

We’ll add notes as it goes.

(Note – the video feed seems to be lagging so we’re taking notes from a listen line.) “When you know it’s time to go, it’s time to go,” opens Best, saying she “has no regrets. .. I love this department, I love this city,” and she tells her staff they will “always be in her heart.” She says she is “grateful” to Deputy Chief Adrian Diaz for agreeing to serve as interim chief, and declares him “more than ready” for the role. She says she has an “ask for the community” – “find a way to work together to put aside” personal & political conflict to “create solutions” for the city’s future. Her tone is very upbeat as she thanks a variety of supporters and co-workers, including department heads who are at the event. “I’m sorry to leave in some ways” – and she turns the mic over to the mayor.

Durkan begins with her voice cracking with emotion. “We’re facing an unprecedented crisis” – from the pandemic to systemic racism. “It’s been a hard, hard year, and today’s a hard, hard day.” She hails Best’s leadership and says she’s certain she’ll be leading elsewhere: “I wish she was staying.” Durkan says she and Best have had “many conversations” in recent weeks about her desire to retire. “Losing her is a deep loss for our city.” She says Best has dramatically diversified both the department and its leadership team. She says Best would have been “the right person to reimagine policing in this city” and says “deep conversation with community” was already under way, as were changes including collaborative policing and the return of Community Service Officers. After much touting of Best’s attributes, Durkan turns to recent events – ” “in the midst of disagreement, I hope we can find common ground” and then says she is “mystif(ied)” that the council didn’t consult Best. She assails the council for voting to cut Best’s salary, and no other department heads. “My message to the city council is and has always been, I remain willing to work with you.” But she also says she’ll uphold contracts; and she says transformation is “hard, painful work … the road is long.” She adds, “Council, if you want to go far, we have to go together.”

11:34 AM: Now she is talking about Deputy Chief Diaz: “I am certain he will continue this hard work.” He then takes the microphone, first with words of appreciation for the departing chief. “Our department has had some hard times” in his years, but this is “the most challenging,” he says, then insisting the department is committed to reform. The department already has “the nation’s most robust accountability” system, he says. But “we know much more is demanded of us” and he promises “we’re listening to you.”

11:41 AM: Now Q&A. Would Best work with the council now if they asked? She says now it’s up to Chief Diaz. Was there a last straw? She said she was disappointed not to see “a plan going forward,” and then reads a gratitude email from a recently hired Black officer, then saying she would likely have to lay him off under the council’s plan, subsequently saying: “Can’t do it.” She then says the council’s decisions show a “lack of respect for the officers.” In response to another question, she says their vote to cut her pay and that of her command staff seemed “vindictive” and “personal,” so maybe departing “will help the city and department move forward.” In response to another question, she says again that she doesn’t want to have to lay people off. And also, in terms of “political grandstanding,” she says, “I’m done with that.”

The mayor says she does not plan to launch a search for a permanent police chief this year: “What job would they be applying for?” A short time later, she also notes that the “unpredictable” budget climate would likely make it impossible to attract a good candidate.

12 PM: The mayor also gets in a dig at the council by noting none of them called to ask about the officers injured in protests that turned violent. … The chief says she was particularly “offended” that the council would “even consider” cutting her command staff’s salaries (a move she also called “illegal”). The mayor then accused the council of playing “mini-police chief” in trying to micro-manage the SPD budget. They could and should have given the chief a number to meet in cuts, and to let her decide how.

How will Chief Diaz try to work with the council as the 2021 budget process gets under way? He says he looks forward to them contacting him. The mayor, meantime, has said multiple times that she wants to hear from “all of Seattle” in crafting the future of public safety. She’s asked a while later about her harsh words for the council and how that’ll lead to collaboration. “I am willing to work with them, and I think we need to work together,” she says. “I want to work with this council.”

12:23 PM: Best gets the final word as the event ends, saying she has faith the city and the people in it “will do what’s right.” We’ll substitute the archived video above when it’s available.

1:30 PM: West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold has issued a statement about the chief’s departure, calling it a “staggering loss.” Read her entire statement here.

4:36 PM: Six more councilmembers’ statements:
*Joint statement from Councilmembers Lorena González, Teresa Mosqueda, Tammy Morales
*Statement from Councilmember Debora Juarez
*Statement from Councilmember Andrew Lewis
*Statement from Councilmember Alex Pedersen
(added 10:02 pm) *Statement from Councilmember Dan Strauss
(added Thursday) Statement from Councilmember Kshama Sawant

UPDATE: City Council finalizes cuts for this year’s budget, affecting SPD and more

(Archived video of morning Budget Committee meeting)
10:38 AM: The Seattle City Council has just reconvened as the Select Budget Committee, continuing their consideration of cuts to departments including SPD. The agenda is here, including details of what’s up for discussion/voting. The briefing meeting earlier this morning hinted at some changes to their proposals; also of note, the mayor’s office announced this morning that a new forecast predicts a worse budget crunch than previously predicted. You can watch via Seattle Channel‘s livestream above. The meeting is starting with public comment.

1:30 PM: The Budget Committee meeting has adjourned; the council is scheduled to reconvene at 2 pm for the regular weekly meeting, which will include some final votes.

2:04 PM: They’ve pushed back that start time so their staff can complete all the paperwork from the amendment votes in the budget meeting – they’re now set to restart at 2:45 pm.

5:32 PM: They’ve finished the vote that included SPD cuts. You’ll see a lot of reactions, so there’s a separate followup ahead, but one big thing of note: The council did NOT vote to “defund” SPD by anything in the vicinity of 50 percent. The cuts they approved, for SPD and other departments, are for the rest of this year, with next year’s budget-planning process beginning in a matter of weeks. They approved some SPD cuts that would total about 100 of 1,400 positions (including 30 expected to be lost by attrition) – here’s a summary from a news release sent by Council President Lorena González’s office:

Cuts include:

Cut 32 officers from patrol – $533,000
Reduced specialized units including officers assigned to mounted unit, school resource officers, homeland security, harbor patrol, SWAT team – $250,000
Removed officers from Navigation Team, ensuring homeless neighbors are not retraumatized by armed patrol officers – $216,000
Reduced staff budget through recognizing expected attrition – $500,000
Reduced administrative costs, including salaries, community outreach, public affairs
Cut $56,000 from training and travel expenses
Cut recruitment and retention – $800,000
Transferred victim advocates from SPD to Human Services Department – $377,000 impact
Removed two sworn officer positions from the 911 Emergency Call Center

But the council also acknowledged that the authority to decide what and who to cut rests with Police Chief Carmen Best, so their stipulations are more a request than an order. They also voted to start exploring creation of a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention (the same name Minneapolis has looked at for something more sweeping) to handle functions that could be moved from SPD in the future.

MONDAY: City Council to vote on 2020 budget changes, including SPD cuts

Tomorrow, in two meetings, the City Council is set to finalize changes to the pandemic-battered 2020 budget, including proposed cuts to the Seattle Police Department. First they meet as the Select Budget Committee at 10 am; here’s that agenda. Then the final vote is set for the afternoon council meeting at 2 pm; that agenda is here. Both agendas have information on how to watch as well as how to comment, via email as well as “live” during the meeting (signups for those comment periods start two hours before the meetings – so, at 8 am and noon).

West Seattle Crime Prevention Council reconvening after 6-month hiatus

August 9, 2020 1:43 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Crime Prevention Council reconvening after 6-month hiatus
 |   West Seattle Crime Prevention Council | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

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).

FOLLOWUP: No police at Alki closing time tonight

10:54 PM: Closing time at Alki tonight looked a lot like last night in one way – quiet, no fires, not-so-summery weather. But in another way, it was different: No police. As reported here this morning, red tape strangled the plan for three officers on overtime to help Seattle Parks at closing time Thursdays-Fridays-Saturdays, with Parks covering the cost, after just one night (here’s our Thursday night coverage). Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman said today, “I learned yesterday that any movement of funds from one city agency (e.g., Parks) to another (e.g., SPD) requires city council approval. So until that issue is resolved, the dedicated Alki emphasis patrols will be paused. This is a disappointing development — both for my officers and for the neighborhood.” So what happens now? We immediately inquired with both Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office and Parks. Herbold legislative assistant Newell Aldrich told us in the morning they were “looking into it” and then at day’s end sent this update: “We haven’t got answers from Parks to our questions; they’ve indicated the answers are more complicated than they anticipated. They are working on getting us answers.” So it appears the ball is in Parks’ court right now (we haven’t heard back from them yet at all). Meantime, Capt. Grossman added that he has “directed that our available on-duty resources conduct patrols on Alki when not otherwise committed”; no officers were in sight as we drove the length of Alki, including Don Armeni, before and after the 9:30 pm closing time tonight. There was a Parks vehicle on the promenade, headed west right at 9:30, but it then headed out of the park; by then, light rain was falling.

2:24 AM: Commenters say the fires started later in the night tonight. Here’s a photo sent by a reader:

FOLLOWUP: First night for extra police at Alki Beach closing time. Update – was it the last?

10:55 PM: We went to Alki to check on the extra police announced for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, starting tonight. They had a quiet, chilly night for their first run backing up Parks crews at the 9:30 pm closing time. We got there around 9:10, when the officers and Parks crews made a sweep to warn the few beachgoers on hand that closing time was approaching.

Though illegal beach fires have been a huge problem for weeks, none were in evidence when we got there. When 9:30 closing time arrived, the two vehicles headed eastbound:

We also checked Don Armeni around 9:45, and officers were there too, with a congregation of cars that looked to be gearing up to leave. The extra officers are only slated to be on duty until 11; we’ll be listening to see what happens after that.

ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman says they’ve run into complications – interagency funding transfers apparently require City Council approval – and will “pause” the new patrol until that’s worked out. We’re following up on this with both council and Parks to see what’s being done about this and how soon.

11:38 AM: Councilmember Herbold’s office tells WSB they’re “looking into it.”