Newly promoted Captain Pierre Davis has been at the helm of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct for five weeks, meaning he’ll have to stick around just a couple weeks longer to outlast his predecessor. After Mike Edward’s short stint as Capitol Hill’s captain, Davis said he is settling into the job and getting ready for a the usual uptick in criminal activity as longer days and warmer temperatures approach.
“These things happen,” Davis said about the recent captain shuffles from inside his East Precinct office, as the sounds of a daily officers’ ping-pong match echoed in the background.
Davis told CHS he had no idea why Edwards left for a different assignment and he was tapped for the East Precinct job, but he said was ready to take on the challenge when the call came. “They asked me if I would be interested… as any good troop does, you turn lemons into lemonade,” he said.
Davis comes into the precinct after three years of being second in command at the Southwest Precinct. Before that the 29-year SPD veteran held stints all over the department, including on one of Seattle’s first gang units. In the meanwhile, his stint among SPD’s top brass comes among tumult and change as the Department of Justice-mandated reforms take hold and a search for a new police chief begins.
An army brat with Louisiana roots, Davis was born and raised in Seattle and spent his entire police career at SPD. He was offered a patrol job while he taking classes at Seattle University and decided to hit the streets instead of finishing his degree. “Those jobs were few and far between then,” he said.
Among the many things on Davis’ plate will be combating a perceived uptick in LGBTQ violence on Capitol Hill. Davis said part of SPD’s strategy is to track repeat offenders, note when they come in and out of jail, and watch for crimes that match their known M.O.
Davis also said making examples out of gay-bashers through arrest and prosecution would go a long way to preventing others from thinking they can come to the neighborhood for that kind of behavior.
In January Edwards told CHS that increased foot patrols by dedicated officers were on their way. Davis said he’s a big proponent of neighborhood policing and intends to role out foot patrols soon.”We will be having foot patrols back at Capitol Hill,” he said.
Broadway is definitely on the list for more patrols, and Davis said he was still exploring other target areas. Some have proposed extending or staggering closing hours for bars as a way to help curb late night violence, something Davis said he would have to look into further.
Monday marks the first day of SPD’s new crisis intervention policy, which will require specially trained officers to take the lead on a scene where a person is suffering a “behavioral crisis.”
“This is what our officers are currently doing in an effort to get ahead of using force on individuals that are suffering from mental and or emotional distress,” Davis said in an email. “In other words, ‘great tools to have in the tool box.’”
Hopefully Davis will be able to stick around long enough to use those tools. In the meantime, Mayor Ed Murray’s police chief search committee is using responses gathered from public surveys and meetings earlier this year to find a new SPD leader by April.