2012 has been an extremely violent year for Seattle. At the six-month mark, the city had already registered more murders than it had in all of 2011. To help combat that rise and attempt to better address crime of all types, Seattle Police precincts have shifted to an “emphasis” strategy designed to put more officers in the places where crimes are most likely to occur — before the crimes occur. Below, we look at the crime “hot spots” in Capitol Hill’s East Precinct and the crime trends within the neighborhood.
“The mission is not writing tickets,” East Precinct commander Capt. Ron Wilson said. “The focus is to show a stronger presence.”
Last week, Wilson, with Mayor Mike McGinn on hand, talked about the emphasis areas of the East Precinct — including a few hot spots here on Capitol Hill. Here’s the list provided to us by Wilson:
THE IDENTIFIED EAST PRECINCT HOTSPOTS:
- : borders of Nagle Place, E Denny, 11th Avenue, and E Pine Str.
- : borders of Summit Ave, E Olive Str, Broadway, and E. Pike.
- : borders of 23rd Avenue, E Marion, M L King Wy, and E Alder Str
- : borders of 25 Ave S, E. Yesler, 22nd Avenue S, S Jackson Str.
- borders of 12 Ave S, between S Main and S King Str.
Wilson said the strategy is to identify problem areas and problem businesses utilizing crime data and then increase the presence of SPD by putting more cops on the nearby streets including random visits where officers are encouraged to get out of their cruisers and interact with the people in the area.
Some areas, Wilson said, have already seen a 60% reduction in incidents with the new emphasis patrols.
For the East Precinct, the primary focus remains on the area around MLK and Cherry where Justin Ferrari was shot and killed this spring and a string of violent crime has continued in recent years. Wilson said his precinct is seeing continued problems between youth gangs in the area and South Seattle gangs.
On Capitol Hill, Wilson is building from a base of some improvement. While Capitol Hill added a homicide to its unsolved crimes tally, overall, 2011 crime totals were slightly improved over 2010 in a year when violent crime rose in Seattle as a whole while property totals fell. Seattle totals for 2011 are at the bottom of this post, by the way.
As you can see in the table at the top of this post, that breakdown of a small fall in property crimes is pretty much how it played out in the four East Precinct beats that cover most of Capitol Hill — though, hey, we saw fewer assaults on Capitol Hill than the rest of the city in 2011.
Below, you can see how the 2011 trends played out across the East Precinct’s four main Capitol Hill beats:
The fever lines reveal a rough start to 2011 for northern beat C1 and a stubborn streak in the second half of the year down in E2 which also includes a lot of First Hill.
This table, below shows what was happening within those beats. We’ve marked any jumps in red — significant or not — to more clearly mark areas that saw increases in these crime categories:
Northern C1 took the crown for the biggest jump in 2011 thanks to a swarm of property crime in the neighborhoods that make up the beat. Big improvements marked the burglary end of things in E2 while Pike/Pine and the densely populated area below Broadway in E1 turned in a much-improved year, according to the numbers.
Taking the totals for recent years, here’s how the Capitol Hill beats stack up:
Compared to the previous three years, 2011 clocked in with a slight rise. If it was a sign of things to come and the violence we have seen thus far in 2012, East Precinct is hoping the emphasis patrol strategy will help stem the tide.