On June 22nd, Mayor McGinn, Interim Chief Diaz, Assistant Chief Sanford and Captain Brown of the West Precinct were on hand to present a new Late Night Public Safety Initiative. The plan calls for the use of on-duty resources throughout the city to promote uniformed police visibility in areas with high concentrations of people enjoying Friday and Saturday nightlife opportunities. This pilot will run beginning this weekend throught the start of the fall school year, in late September.
Recent acts of gun violence in the Belltown neighborhood have rekindled concerns over the perception of violence and nightclubs. The new initiative is a recalibration of priorities that puts more uniformed officers on the streets without sacrificing any existing missions within the police department. The deployment of officers will be taken from other non-uniformed on-duty resources. The end result is more uniformed officers on the streets with a focus based on the premise that officers should be where people are. It is flexible and scalable for every neighborhood in the city.
The deployment of precinct based Anti-Crime Teams (ACT) and on-duty SWAT personnel on Friday and Saturday nights to areas that are popular nightlife destination points will be a major part of the initiative. Right now, the primary focus will be in Pioneer Square and Belltown, but this model will work in any neighborhood and those resources can be deployed to other neighborhoods as needed. The redeployment of these additional resources will provide approximately 20-plus officers downtown on Friday and Saturday nights with the specific mission of maintaining a visible and uniformed presence to deter crime and promote safety. Neighborhoods outside of dowtown can expect 4-6 more uniformed officers working in a similar capacity. The plan is for officers to be where the people are. The hope is that the additional uniformed patrols will encourage citizens from all over Puget Sound to visit popular Seattle destination points and do so without fear of harm.