Where do East Precinct cops live?

CHS joined East Precinct for a #chsridealong Friday night. Here are a few of the things we saw

CHS joined East Precinct for a #chsridealong Friday night. Here are a few of the things we saw

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.23.13 AMLast week, CHS asked, How do we reform the SPD?

One recurring theme in the debate over reforming the city’s — and the nation’s — policing has been the idea that officers should live in the communities they patrol:

Beach and Bradburd both also suggested the city promote — or require — more police officers to live within the city. “When the police are not part of our community, and they come in to police us, it creates this Us and Them kind of situation,” Bradburd said. Beach thinks the city should require some minimum number of cops to live within the city (most of them don’t). The City Council “just passed a priority hire program that focuses on a quota for the number of Seattle residents who have to work on construction projects that are funded by the city,” Beach said. “We should definitely do the same thing for our police force.”

Last year, we pulled together a map showing where SPD officers lived using years-old data from 2011. The result showed that most maintained residences outside the city.

Below, you’ll find a ZIP code map based on a fresher dataset focused only on the 70 or so officers assigned to patrol East Precinct. The takeaways: The officers who patrol Capitol Hill and the Central District also mostly live outside the city — and little has changed since 2011.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the department says that the most recent counts through different processes at SPD puts the East Precinct patrol officer count at somewhere around 90 to 100. Not all of those officers are on patrol simultaneously, of course, with standard staffing running somewhere around 12 to 15 officers in the field at any one time in the East Precinct. Sometimes more… sometimes less.

UPDATE x2: I wasn’t happy with the original “heat map” style visualization for this. Then I saw that Tableau Public just released an updated version of its service. Here’s a better view thanks to Tableau:

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28 thoughts on “Where do East Precinct cops live?

  1. But can the average cop afford to live in the city, in the way they’d like to live? i.e. buying a house with multiple bedrooms (I assume most want to have kids) and a yard and a place to park a couple of cars? A cop’s salary may be enough to live in a nice one-bedroom apartment in Capitol Hill, but that’s probably not the life most want.

    I don’t think we can “require” police to live in the city unless the City is willing (financially) to help them do it…

  2. This topic was brought up somewhere a few months ago and the simple explanation (from a cop) was that they didn’t want to live where they worked and vice versa. It wasn’t that they hated the neighborhood or couldn’t afford a home – it was more about waking up, patrolling/working in an area that you then had to mingle with the neighbors with later that day. I guess you could call it a balance – I certainly get it.

    • That’s always been a funny argument to me.
      Police don’t want to get to know the people they are tasked with protecting because of the ‘us against them’ mindset the force has developed in our culture.

      City versus rural values are a demographic reality. I don’t think anyone’s saying cops need to live in the precinct they patrol, but it makes more sense for someone from Northgate patrolling Capitol Hill than someone from Enumclaw.

      • You are absolutely incorrect. I work the streets of the East Precinct. I know more and have seen more on these streets than you could hope to see in a lifetime.I’ve lived in my district and got tired of running into people I’ve arrested, have involuntarily committed to the hospital, or have otherwise dealt with. You have no clue, nor any perspective on the work. I have young children and found living in my precinct incredibly expensive. Where I lay my head has nothing to do with the passion I bring to work.

      • On top of that, you are not so special as to be vastly different from humans living in mountlake terrace or lynnwood.

      • “I’ve lived in my district and got tired of running into people I’ve arrested, have involuntarily committed to the hospital, or have otherwise dealt with.”

        You work here. You should know common sense is short supply in recent years. As far as Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mt. Lk. Terr, I though they always were more big hair up there. That’s what made them special.

      • The proposal is to have more police living *within the city*, not necessarily within their precincts. Your problems with living in your precinct are understanable. But there are people who live and work there who have to face these criminals and mentally ill persons just as you would. They may have reported them to police. It’s not like you’re alone in this.

      • There’s nothing “funny” about a desire to separate your job from your personal life when there are criminals and haters who would love to have easy access to your home and loved ones.

  3. I think this notion that there’s an “us versus them” mentality is bullshit. If it exists, it’s in the minds of entitled-thinking Capitol Hill yupsters and chronic protestors. When these men and women get off work, they want to be off work. Like McDibble said, they don’t want the people they’ve arrested bothering them 24/7 or threatening their families. They deserve time off too.

    • I was just wondering if it was the anti everything crowd or not.
      I know lots of people that go home to be with family and leave as much work as they can at work.

  4. I would be more interested in knowing how many East Precinct officers are participants in the lawsuit claiming they have a 2nd Amendment right to use excessive force (as is officer Whitlatch).

  5. Where do the police who work where East Precinct police live live?

    If Mill Creek (for instance) police don’t live in Mill Creek, then it’s plausible that it’s hard to police your neighbors. If Mill Creek police who are paid as much as East Precinct police live in houses that cost about as much per square foot, then it’s plausible that it’s economic determinism. Etc.

  6. capitol hill entitlelment at its best. I want, I want, I want but I dont want you to live here.
    The taxes you love to pay at Mom and Pop stores on Broadway to protect you from the Broadway crack whores who block the only open parking not designated condo in front of DICKS,
    You do not want them to live here because “they” cannot afford it.
    Do not treat them like the help you paid for off Groupon who also works a thousand times harder than you or I.
    It amazes me that even now an argument about a police officer not paying 2000.00 for a studio and choosing to live outside the 98144 is even an issue, even for this blog

  7. Fun!now let’s do this for Seattle’s teachers of capitol hill, the librarians,public health officials working nearby onfirst hill,parks employess and fire fighters.

  8. Many years ago, city employees were required to live in the city of Seattle (they also had to sign a loyalty oath, which I think is hilarious). I believe there was a lawsuit that threw that requirement out.

    As a city employee myself, I’m surprised that that are as many cops living in Seattle as there are. I thought they all lived in Graham and Spanaway :-)

  9. like all other jobs, people will work where they’re able to be employed; and people will live where they’re able to afford their housing. Honest to god, if I’m going to trust my life with someone, I’m not going to ask where they live.

    • I’m also not going to presume to tell someone where they should want to live. The undercurrent in a lot of these postings is that “well, *naturally* all these cops would love to live in Seattle if they could afford it”. WHO SAYS? Maybe someone likes their big yard in Enumclaw or lives near their Mom/Dad in Burien or whatever other reason for living wherever. It’s their business where they live.

  10. Personally I care not where they live as long as they are doing their jobs properly.

    Don’t let the location debate distract from the fact that SPD is fucked up.

    I work in downtown Seattle but I wouldn’t want to live there. So what? I’d think living and working in the same place would probably burn me out.

    • I’m with you. It’s not a matter or where they live but rather if they harbor hateful attitudes towards the people in the community in which they serve. They are less likely to follow the law and protect the community if they hate that community. For example, Whitlatch can say whatever racist thing she wants on Facebook but I think it shows that she is not fit to serve in a community with Black people. Her treatment of Mr. Wingate is further proof.

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