Mike McGinn, Mayor
8/15/2013 1:30:00 PM
Robert Cruickshank (206) 684-4000
Mayor announces new investment in citywide public safety
$400,000 to fund additional police patrols in all five precincts
SEATTLE - Mayor Mike McGinn today announced $400,000 in funding to expand ongoing citywide violence prevention emphasis patrols. These patrols, initiated in early spring to combat the major crimes that typically come with warm summer weather, will continue to address hot spots where crime data show additional resources are needed. This additional funding will extend the violence prevention emphasis patrols detail through the end of the year, funding 6,000 extra officer hours.
"We're getting more officers out on the streets, including on foot and on bike, to protect public safety and respond to recent serious incidents and community concerns," said McGinn.
Using recent crime data and the predictive policing software, community complaints and officer experience each of the City's five police precinct commanders will determine how to best deploy the violence prevention emphasis patrols to address known hot spots within their precincts. These locations will include busy transit corridors, such as 3rd Avenue in downtown and Broadway on Capitol Hill.
"Quality of life in our city depends on people feeling safe and secure as they're out shopping, visiting our local parks, walking home or any of their other daily activities" said Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel. "We're working to address issues in hot spots that have led to people feeling unsafe, and we're partnering with the community to come up with the right solutions. This new investment in officer hours will help us prevent violence before it happens, and help people feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods."
"As chair of our Parks and Neighborhoods Committee, I know that safety is the primary concern for those who want to enjoy our parks in downtown and every other neighborhood" said City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. "Having a visible police presence at hotspots where crime and disorder are documented problems, combined with appropriate human services, will improve the perception and reality of public safety for everyone."
The mayor's office and the Seattle Police Department are also working with community stakeholders in downtown and Capitol Hill to examine additional strategies to improve public safety and address known hot spots that have recently raised community concerns. Today the mayor announced one early result of that work - Seattle Parks and Recreation, in response to requests from the community and SPD, will begin lighting Cal Anderson Park throughout the night. SPD will be working on a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design analysis to identify other changes in the park that could support public safety, building on the mayor's recent investment in Park Rangers to patrol both Cal Anderson park and Occidental Square.
The City is currently going through the process of hiring additional police officers, which will increase the overall force by 30. They are anticipated to be part of the force by next summer.
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