UPDATE: Some big changes at SPD are in the offing. Seattle Police Chief John Diaz will leave his post:
Diaz, who, who has more than 30 years with the Seattle Police Department, became the interim chief on May 7, 2009, and was sworn into office as the permanent police chief by Mayor Mike McGinn on August 16, 2010. “The most important thing that I bring to the table is I want to do the best for this city and the best for this Police Department,” he said in 2010.
Original Report: Statistically, the trends for the East Precinct don’t look good. Things aren’t looking so great anecdotally, either. Early Sunday morning, two men reportedly walked into the 15th Ave E QFC with a handgun and robbed the grocery market before disappearing into the night. Concerns about the numbers and some recent violent incidents will be on the table Monday night as the East District Council hosts a community discussion with East Precinct commander Capt. Ron Wilson:
The East District Council is an umbrella organization that brings together the First Hill, Yesler Terrace, Capitol Hill, Montlake and Madison Park neighborhoods to discuss and act on topics of shared interest.
Neighbors had public safety concerns, we asked for a Police Officer to our next meeting, and we got three: the captain, Lieutenant and a Community Police Team Sergeant.
Please join us at 5:45 PM on Monday April 8th in the upstairs meeting room in the Capitol Hill library, and share your observations and concerns with the Police Department.
Chair, East District Council
Earlier this year, CHS on troubling crime trends around Capitol Hill:
Based on 11 months of data from SPD and a projection for December’s totals, crime on the streets around Capitol Hill’s dense core above and below Broadway appears to have leapt significantly in the past year fueled by a rise in assaults and a remarkable leap in reported burglaries.
Meanwhile, recent incidents also have raised concerns including this brutal March beating that nearly cost a man his eye or the murky details around this February assault reportedly involving a man seriously injured in a fight with panhandlers. Nearby, violence in the Central District turned deadly last week as a 19-year-old man was gunned down in what is believed to be a gang-related attack.
Capt. Wilson began his command of the East Precinct last summer as five crime “hot spots” were identified for increased patrols and presence by police. This year, his East Precinct is part of SPD’s new trial of predictive policing software that will eventually be deployed across Seattle to pinpoint area’s for patrol increases. Already a common dispatch heard on SPD radio chatter in the precinct is an officer returning to “predictive patrol.”
In addition to the challenges on the statistical front, Wilson also must manage changes from the Department of Justice-mandated “20/20″ program to curb excessive use of force by Seattle Police. The precinct is also preparing for a possible return of protesters on May Day 2013 and dealing with charges from the City Attorney’s office against the cop involved in this East Precinct melee last year.
If you can’t make Monday’s meeting, you can provide feedback for the East Precinct or ask questions of community liaison Fran Tello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some tools to help you better understand the crime happening in your neighborhood:
UPDATE — Here are ways to connect with City Hall:
Mayor’s Office: Citizen response page