In response to concerns raised following our report earlier this week that the East Precinct service window at 12th and Pine would be closed, Capt. Ron Wilson has announced a plan to keep the facility accesible while still redeploying officers to better handle the annual increase in summertime police incidents.
The plan, detailed below, calls for the desk to be open Tuesdays through Fridays, 9a-5p, beginning next week.
An open and public SPD lobby has been part of the other precincts in the city — but nowhere like the East Precinct where the service has been supported 24×7 and the location is frequently part of area crime reports as victims and witnesses have grown accustomed to finding an officer on duty. While the lobby service is available for everything from reporting a crime to utilization as a location for custodial handoffs, it also represents a consistent community connection for the precinct. ”These are challenging times for all of us and the ability to keep our precinct open and accessible to our community is very important to me and of great value in our community partnership,” Wilson wrote introducing the plan.
In an effort to meet the anticipated increase in emergency calls this summer and maintain an appropriate response time, the Seattle Police Department has re-tasked precinct desk officers into patrol cars for 911 response and calls for service within their precincts.
In order to provide some measure of consistency for members of our communities and the general public, beginning Tuesday, July 10
th, I have directed that the East Precinct lobby be staffed, Tuesday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The lobby will also be opened on the following Mondays from 9:00 to 5:00: July 16, July 30, August 13, August 27 and September 10.
Additionally, the lobby will be open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, August 11
th, for the precinct picnic.
At all other times when the precinct lobby is closed, individuals needing police services can call 911 directly from their personal telephones, or if at the East Precinct they may use the telephone located next to the 12
th Avenue entrance lobby doors. This phone provides direct access to our Communications Dispatch Center (9-1-1). There is no telephone located at the E. Pine Street entrance doors.
The temporary closure of the precinct lobby is expected to end in mid-September where upon we will return to normal operations. I apologize for the inconvenience the disruption of the lobby hours will cause. Thank you for your understanding and on behalf of the men and women of the East Precinct we wish all of you a safe and enjoyable summer.
Captain Ron Wilson
Commander, East Precinct
A SPD representative tells CHS that the summer redeployment of desk and traffic cops will help address potential issues with 911 response time in the city as active patrol officer numbers in Seattle have fallen to a low of 520 officers from a recent high of 565. SPD predicts a 20% increase in workload this summer and says the 25 redeployed officers will help it continue to meet the 7 minute average response time goal for 911 callouts. The goal, the representative said, was to keep levels around 535 active patrol officers for the summer.
While the lobby service in East Precinct will be partly restored, SPD continues to encourage the use of 911 to report crimes even if you’re close to 12th and Pine.