Mayor Durkan, Chief Best, and City Departments Announce Pre-Summer Emphasis Program to Improve Public Safety & Address Maintenance Needs in Seven Neighborhoods across Seattle

Seattle (April 30, 2019) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, Chief of Police Carmen Best and City departments announced today that based on community feedback and data analysis, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and City departments will deploy additional resources and take immediate steps to improve public safety and address community maintenance needs by launching a pre-summer emphasis program in seven neighborhoods across Seattle.

In addition to the operational response by SPD, the City – including Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle City Light, the Seattle Department of Transportation, Department of Neighborhoods, the Department of Parks & Recreation, the Office of Economic Development, and the Human Services Department – will address maintenance needs in neighborhoods, like replacing streetlights, trimming trees, removing graffiti, and removing debris from illegal dumping. The City will continue its outreach and service programs in those areas to connect people to needed services. 

Beginning this week, SPD will have focused operations in seven areas based on community input and data analysis. The seven neighborhoods are: downtown, near the Third Avenue corridor around Pike and Pine; SoDo; South Park; Georgetown; Pioneer Square; Fremont; and Ballard. This will not reduce regular SPD and City of Seattle operations, including police patrols and criminal investigations throughout Seattle; regular operations and criminal investigations will continue.

Residents can expect to see increased visibility by SPD officers, and in some cases, criminal investigations of activity in these emphasis areas. SPD will evaluate the impact to understand continued and future deployments in those and other areas.

“We have a responsibility to promote the vitality and safety of our neighborhoods and communities. We will continue to advance livability and public safety through data-driven, proactive strategies and listening to community,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “We are taking additional immediate steps to not just make communities safer, but to partner with communities on ways we can make neighborhoods cleaner and more vibrant. I will continue to work closely with Chief Best and other members of my cabinet to monitor the impact of these new resources. I am grateful to the community members for their input, and to our SPD officers and other City employees who are helping address these community priorities.”

“We will continue to address criminal behavior in these target neighborhoods and monitor needs in other areas. Regular operations and criminal investigations will continue throughout the city,” said Chief of Police Carmen Best. “We hope that added police resources, partnered with enhanced services from other City departments, will make a positive impact for our businesses and residents.”

In the coming weeks, City of Seattle departments – including the Seattle Police Department, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle City Light, the Seattle Department of Transportation, Department of Neighborhoods, the Department of Parks & Recreation, the Office of Economic Development, and the Human Services Department – will form multi-disciplinary teams that will engage with communities to identify and address maintenance needs, including: tree and landscape maintenance on City-owned properties; replacing streetlights; removing graffiti; improving sign and pavement markings; and removing debris from illegal dumping. This process will include ‘neighborhood walks’ with community members to identify priority work that will then be addressed.