Last 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: