East Precinct’s 2014 picnic: free hot dogs, Hill crime spike concerns and larger questions around policing

Capt. Davis talks with East Precinct picnic attendees (Images: CHS)

Capt. Davis talks with East Precinct picnic attendees (Images: CHS)

IMG_9419Saturday’s annual East Precinct community picnic had a little more going on this year than just hot dogs. Held in Cal Anderson for the first time, the free hot dogs, information booths and chance to check out the bomb squad gear came as local Capitol Hill crime issues have come to a head again this summer and as larger issues around policing have emerged from the Ferguson protests.

East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis was on hand along with top brass including Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole.

Davis said questions about the militarization of police are worthy of debate but that the Seattle’s police force isn’t being armed by Homeland Security.IMG_9529

Chief O'Toole

Chief O’Toole

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“I know from us there’s certain things that we do get — but that advanced weaponry, I know for a fact we do not,” Davis said.

Davis said while some departments in the country are more “paramilitary” in nature, that isn’t the case in Seattle.

“We’re not going to be an entity that’s going to take a soft look on crime… but we are going to be a policing entity that’s gonna be reflective of the community,” he said.

Davis has said his precinct is increasing foot patrols in and around Cal Anderson though SPD representatives have said that staffing and having enough officers to meet expanded patrol demands are issues.

CHS reported that August had the most reported robberies ever on Capitol Hill for a single month while others are concerned about what is believed to be a spike in hate crimes in the neighborhood. The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce has called on the East Precinct to do more to stem the tide of street crimes in the neighborhood.

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3 thoughts on “East Precinct’s 2014 picnic: free hot dogs, Hill crime spike concerns and larger questions around policing

  1. I apppreciate Davis’ terminology in referring to the police department as a “policing entity”. A lot of a group’s behavior and attitudes can be affected by the terminology by which they identify themselves, and I cringe every time I see a police department referred to as a “police force”. It suggests a specific effort to establish self-awareness of the department’s perceived role in maintaining the safety of the community. Ferguson is a disastrous example of a department’s failure of perspective, and I imagine a lot of departments nationwide are doing a very similar tiptoe PR campaign as SPD is here.

  2. Pingback: Pike/Pine club owner says gang ‘terrorizing’ Capitol HIll | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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