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SPD attends 7th Annual Arab Festival

On October 9th and 10th, the Seattle Police Department’s Community Outreach Section staffed a booth at the 7th Arab Festival held at the Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion.  The Arab Festival, hosted by the Arab Center of Washington, is an opportunity to experience Arab culture through food, dance, music, lectures and exhibits.  The Seattle Police Department participated in order to highlight their Muslim, Sikh and Arab Advisory Council – SPD has been invited to and participated in the past three Arab festivals.

This has been an excellent opportunity to reach out to not only the Arab community but other community members that are visiting the Seattle Center and the Arab Festival.  Detective Mark Vwich explains, “We have learned from the past festivals that community members from other cultures attend the Arab Festival and this is a great opportunity to connect to them as well.”  The Community Outreach booth offered brochures from all of the Seattle Police Departments Demographic Advisory Councils as well as information on SPD Living Room Conversations and Community Police Academy.

The booth was staffed by two officers and a community outreach volunteer.  SPD hopes to build relationships will all communities, especially since many community members come from countries where the police are distrusted.  “We can see that we are making a difference here,” Detective Vwich commented, “the last few times we attended people were not coming to our booth and we had to go out and introduce ourselves.  This year we were overwhelmed at times at the booth and had very little time to get away and explore the festival.”

Detective Mark Vwich poses with community members

Officer Tomeka Williams poses with community members