SPD Partners with LEAD for Operation Near King County Courthouse

In response to ongoing community concerns about drug dealing, violent crime and disturbances around area of 3rd Avenue and Yesler Street, and nearby King County Courthouse, the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct Bike Squad conducted an operation over the last two months to identify and arrest drug dealers preying on the vulnerable population that attempt to utilize services located in that area.

As a result of the investigation, police arrested five people for violent crimes, firearms-related offenses, and drug dealing, stifling the supply of narcotics to this area. But that wasn’t where the case ended. Looking for a long-term solution to the crime and disorder problems in this area, the Seattle Police Department teamed up with the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program (LEAD) and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to combine resources address the complex problems surrounding the demand for narcotics in this area. As of today, SPD has identified 11 individuals in the area for diversion or referrals to resources and services.

Investigators believed addressing crime in the 3rd and Yesler area would take more than simply making arrests. In partnering with the LEAD—as well as the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Washington State Department of Corrections, Seattle City Attorney’s Office and Seattle Municipal Court—the 11 people identified in the case may be eligible for temporary housing, mental health and drug treatment services and employment programs, aimed at breaking a cycle of recidivism.

Following the operation, the West Precinct will continue to focus on the area around 3rd Avenue and Yesler Street and will work to identify additional individuals who may be eligible for LEAD assistance.