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A Letter From the Chief of Police to Officers

To the Members of the Seattle Police Department:  

               I want to thank each of you for your ongoing dedication to this Department and this city. Many of you have made significant changes to your daily life in recent days to improve the SPD’s response to 911 calls and conditions throughout the city.   

               Last night was an extraordinarily busy night. I had the opportunity to see the hard work of many of you as I went to the various crime scenes throughout Seattle.  Our city had multiple incidents of gun violence, including a fatal shooting and multiple injured individuals. We recovered close to 100 shell casings across these events. There was  also a fatal hit-and-run, three Traffic Collision Investigation callouts, and four demonstrations that blocked traffic.   

Thanks to the combined hard work of patrol officers and the newly-created Community Response Group, the demonstrations were handled, community outreach was conducted in the Chinatown-International District, multiple arrests were made including a burglary suspect inside a residence, patrol calls were addressed, weapons and a stolen vehicle were recovered, and officers were able to stop street racers from creating havoc on Alk  Avenue and near the Space Needle.  This 911 response all over the City is precisely why the CRG was created; to immediately enhance our patrol response wherever the SPD is needed.  

               The Community Response Group also demonstrated it can be a vital part of our community. Yesterday, the CRG held its roll call outside at Hing Hay Park.  Then, its officers spent time checking on businesses in the area and conducting community outreach across the CID. Properly staffing patrol means there should always be time for this kind of community engagement. These are the type of engagement opportunities that are at the heart of what community policing is, and we should be doing.  

               Lt. Brooks noted that last night, while “…call load and significant events drove re-allocation of units city wide. Demonstrations were handled by CRG without needing patrol resources or a Task Force callout.” He further noted that given the events of the evening, certain areas would have been overwhelmed by the call load with prior staffing levels.   

I also know this increased engagement by patrol is not the end of the story. This is an effort of the entire department – detectives, evidence technicians, data center employees, crime analysts, public disclosure specialists – each of you is stepping up during these challenging times and I could not be more humbled by your service.   

Thank you for all that you do, every day.   

Stay Safe. 

Adrian Z. Diaz  

Chief of Police  
Seattle Police Department