Last week at the May meeting of the East Precinct Advisory Council, newly nominated Chief of Police Kathleen O’Toole wasn’t commander Capt. Pierre Davis’s main topic of conversation. Nor were the latest series of shakeups in SPD brass. Instead, the community focused meeting took aim at car theft while explaining the background of 911 call centers and airing feedback from community members about recent criticism of the precinct’s investigations of recent Central District violence.
“I know our homicide detectives are doing a diligent job,” said Capt. Davis said about criticism that police aren’t doing enough to find the perpetrators of recent gun violence in the Central District. Davis also refuted the contention that the detective did not conduct extensive door to door interviews following a recent shooting.
Gun activity in the area is hight. The East Precinct accounts for approximately 25% of all Seattle shots fired reports, said Lt. Eric Greening. He notes that on May 24 it will be two years since Justin Ferrari was shot and killed by a stray bullet in the Central District. Andrew Patterson was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 23 years in prison for the shooting.
Auto theft was also an issue highlighted by East Precinct representatives. The East Precinct has seen a rise in auto theft mostly targeting specific makes like Subarus, according to Capt. Davis. Near Seattle University, vehicular crimes have been centered around bicycle theft.
Attendees also had a chance to speak about their crime concerns.
- An attendee who coaches a little league baseball teams at Garfield High School reports seeing cars peeling out and bumping music during practice (5-7 PM apx). Lt. Greening said to keep an eye out for suspicious activity during the late afternoon-early evening.
- A long-time resident at 23rd and Union recalled seeing a testy group of fellows gathered between the liquor store and postal office. Council member Bruce Harrell took a walking tour of the area with law enforcement in late April.
There was also a presentation on 911 call centers and tips on how to be an effective 911 caller:
- The SPD call center is manned by 98 employees working in shifts. In 2013, they responded to over 800,000 calls.
- Call center workers use a three tier system for determining significance of crimes:
- Life threatening
- Expedited but not life threatening
- Crimes that occurred a significant while ago.
- Each call center representative is instructed to keep calls to 60-90 seconds as calls pile up.
- If you make a report online it goes into the same system as calls do.
- The SPD non-emergency line is 206-625-5011. All non-emergency calls are included in crime stats.
- Officers don’t have departmental cellphones so sometimes communication between them and the caller is driven through the call center.
The next East PAC meeting is June 26 in Seattle University’s Chardin Hall (south side of campus). You can email East PAC Chair, Stephanie Tschida, for more information at: firstname.lastname@example.org.