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An update on summer public safety in the East Precinct

Seattle- the Mayor continues his series of summer police precinct visits by meeting with East Precinct commander, Captain Ron Wilson.  The East Precinct covers eight square miles, between central Seattle between Lake Union and Lake Washington, and the Ship Canal and I-90 and employs 126 sworn and civilian personnel.

To meet the needs of the wide variety of communities, the East Precinct has taken a community-based approach to policing this summer. Last month Capt. Wilson spoke of a new partnership within the East Precinct called “Walk and Talks”. Walk and Talks is the inspiration of Rosemary Augustine, MD.  The program, which promotes walking for improving health and group exercise as a way to build relationships, debuted last March at Port Orchard Medical Center, then to the Rainier Valley in the South Precinct, and to the East Precinct on April 23rd.

Individuals participating in the program meet with healthcare professionals while taking a walk in the neighborhoods surrounding the Group Health Hospital. In a continuation of community building efforts, men and women of the East Precinct and Community Outreach Section will participate each week.  The East Precinct Walk and Talks are held every Tuesday, from 12:15 PM to 1:00 PM, rain or shine.

For more information contact Group Health Cooperative.

As of March some of the crime trends in the East Precinct were up 11% from the level in February, with the increase coming in Property Crimes. Among Violent Crimes, Robberies with guns plunged in March (13), compared with the levels in January (24) and February (23). As a side note, we have made an arrest on the armed street robbery that occurred at 25th Avenue S. and S. Main Street on April 30th.  The suspect was arrested at 2nd and Pine on May 3rd.

Aggravated assaults, which include Domestic Violence, were down by two (2) from last month for a total of 18. Tragically, we had one (1) Homicide in March and the suspect(s) are still outstanding.

Among Property Crimes, there was a 21% decline in larceny/thefts and a 29% decrease in vehicle thefts are offsetting the double-digit increase in burglaries of all types (+56%), to give the East Precinct an overall Property Crime decrease of 10%, compared with last year. Car Prowls are still a problem with the most prolific spots being areas near Cal Anderson Park and Little Saigon.

With the warmer weather the East Precinct has seen an increase in public safety issues in Cal Anderson Park/ Bobby Morris Playfield. In response to these issues, the East Precinct has begun several new approaches to assist patrol resources. The Anti-Crime Team (ACT) will be spending more time proactively working to address public safety issues within the Park and surrounding neighborhoods.  Patrol officers will be making more frequent visits during park closure times to ensure all is well. The Community Police Team (CPT) has begun to assist patrol resources by outfitting some of their officers with bicycle uniforms. These bicycle-trained CPT Officers will periodically break away from their traditional role in order to expand police presence in various hotspot areas within the East Precinct.

We launched Safe Communities in August of 2012 as an initiative that brings residents, police officers and City departments together in living rooms, cafes, barber shops and community centers across Seattle. So far, there have been 91 meetings with over 1,000 participants.  Together, they work on prioritizing the specific things their communities need to improve safety.

As a result of those meetings, on Saturday, March 30th, the East Precinct held its Safe Communities Initiative “Summit,” where they discussed and reviewed the communities’ top priorities.

As part of the initiative, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is has been working on the 23rd Avenue Action Plan. The purpose of this project is to establish a city/community collaboration that creates a shared vision and action plan to improve the health and equity of three Central Area community cores:  23rd Avenue & E. Union Street, 23rd Avenue & E. Cherry Street and 23rd Avenue & S. Jackson Street.