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Phoenix Jones, Q-Patrol, stand aside — Group starts Capitol Hill Block Watch

Members of Seattle's Q-Patrol circa 1994 (Image: Reno Guardian Angels)

Members of Seattle’s Q-Patrol circa 1994 (Image: Reno Guardian Angels)

A revival of the Q-Patrol is not the answer. A Capitol Hill-based group with hopes of citywide influence next week is holding a rally and march to push back on what they see as a rise in crime in the neighborhood and a growing sense that streets like Broadway, Pike and Pine are unsafe at night.

The event will also be the start of a new “Safe Space” program to create a strong foundation for a Capitol Hill-wide “block watch” program by turning first to the area’s business community.

“We’ve decided we will start with local businesses first,” Social Outreach Seattle founder and executive director Shaun Knittel tells CHS. “Business block watches have proven successful and produced a drop in crime.”941925_10200616889997217_31503741_n (1)

The CAPITOL HILL ANTI-CRIME/VIOLENCE MARCH & RALLY will also feature the launch of our neighborhood business watch program, BLOCK WATCH. DATE: May 22
TIME: 6 – 8:45 p.m.
LOCATION: Seattle Central Community College (1701 Broadway)

• 6:46 – 8 P.M. MARCH (E on Pine, R on 12th Ave marching S, R on E Union St. marching W, R on Minor Ave. marching N, R on Pine marching E, L on Melrose marching N, R on E Olive Way marching NE, L on Summit marching N, R on E Roy St marching E, R on Broadway marching S.)
• 8 – 8:30 p.m. END RALLY AT SCCC

***March route subject to change.

At the rally, Knittel hopes Capitol Hill businesses and organizations will join the Block Watch program, registering at no cost to get a safety packet prepared by the Seattle Police Department, opportunities for ongoing training and assistance — and the colorful sticker to display.

“We’d like to see maximum involvement in this,” Knittel said. “We have to show criminals that our neighborhood belongs to us and not crime.”

The rally and launch of the program comes as part of an ongoing effort from the new group to address concerns about street crime on Capitol Hill — especially among the LGBT community. Knittel said his group had been working with police for the past few months on a new program but the situation accelerated when one of Social Outreach’s own reported being robbed in a brazen daylight attack as onlookers failed to intervene. This stabbing in Cal Anderson came as the rally was already in motion. Meanwhile, CHS crime reports continue to provide anecdotal examples of the types of violence and street crimes that people in the area are dealing with. The most recent East Precinct crime statistics agree — we’ve seen a bump in crime around Capitol Hill. Even as Seattle’s overall crime continues to plummet, the timing, it seems for finding solutions in the neighborhood couldn’t be better.

Knittel said that SPD has turned out to be a big help in getting the program started.

“We told SPD we would march in the street,” Knittel said of early conversations that weren’t moving fast enough. “We got into serious conversations about what could be done. We went in there with demands but SPD has worked with us amazingly.”

The plan includes helping business owners and their staff know what to do to deescalate situations and to encourage an “eyes on the street” culture in the business community. If it’s successful, Knittel would like to see the effort spawn watches among residents in a similar spirit.

Knittel also said SPD and other officials advised against any kind of revival of a group like the old Q-Patrol — one possible approach that has been brought up on the Hill from time to time as crime waves peak. “We’re not going to organize a Q-Patrol,” Knittel said. “Police and other leaders don’t want a Q-Patrol. It’s a rise in violent crime.” Having groups like the volunteer public safety enforcers on the street would possibly just add to the problem, officials fear.

Knittel said the safety push also goes beyond the queer community — and beyond Capitol Hill.

“This has nothing to do with being LGBTQ specific — this is not about making Capitol Hill crime free first. This is not a race,” he said.

“If this begins to work. We’re prepared to go into every neighborhood in Seattle.”

You can learn more and contact Social Outreach Seattle at


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19 thoughts on “Phoenix Jones, Q-Patrol, stand aside — Group starts Capitol Hill Block Watch

  1. Uhhh I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but the business’ are the problem. Trendy spots opening on every corner with trendy Dude Bro clientele that thinks they have some sort of entitlement is rampant right now. Last week around midnight I was walking past Sam’s and got into it with some bros screaming foul mouthed obscenities at some ladies walking to the Rose. Has anybody counted the amount of Hoover boys frequenting Havana as of late it’s starting to look like the Houston Astros training camp in there…..How many business’ on the hill are even still queer owned or are technically small business. A restaurant owner that owns 5 or 6 other restaurants is no longer a small business we should be thinking about this when we welcome in all these “quaint” little spots…..

    • Also…why is the rally ending at 8:45….is there really that much crime when people are walking from before dinner cocktails at liberty to dinner at Smith or from Bar Cotto to Quinn’s

        (Found all over King County, largest gang in Seattle)

        * Highway Hoovers (Pacific Highway from Tukwila to Federal Way)
        * Hoover Criminals, 74
        Cizzles “C’s”
        Ratt Pack (Largest Hoover set)
        Shady Bunch
        Shine Squad 17th Murda Blocc
        Train Gang
        * Hoover Criminals, 83
        Face Family
        * Hoover Criminals, 92

  2. This doesn’t sound like any solution…The buisnesses are busy doing BUSINESS not out watching someone getting mugged. I guarentee a scooper at Molly Moons can’t see past anyone in the line to intervene with incidents escalating outside. Also on another note on a typical Friday and Saturday night people are often screaming and yelling to eachother because they are drunk not because they just got into an altercation and the neighborhood has become numb to it. I support community watch but this doesn’t sound like much.

  3. I’m confused about what exactly the point of the block watch is. From what I read, businesses will go get a sticker from Seattle Outreach and put it in their windows. Then they simply commit to report crime if it’s seen or reported? Is this more than letting crime victims use their phone to call the police?

    This Block watch seems to be responding to a couple incidents where a crime was witnessed by ordinary bystanders or not witnessed at all. It isn’t clear to me how a block watch that is based on getting businesses to participate would improve any of the outcomes of the stories listed here:

    Please correct me if I’m misunderstanding something.

    The above link also mentions an upcoming neighborhood watch program. I’m interested to see what that becomes.

    • @ Geoff ~ I’m confused too. And disappointed, but not surprised. Oh well, maybe when SPD and the hand-picked business leaders get this all ironed out they’ll let us participate. It would be a good idea to have public meetings so that those of us who actually live here could have some input, or at least the illusion of having some input. I was expecting better, or more, or something. But that’s OK. I’ve been getting out and walking around the neighborhood more and so have some of my neighbors. More of us are introducing ourselves to each other and you know what? I’ve got great neighbors. See you in the park ~ Janet

  4. As the Executive Director for two Capitol Hill business/community organizations it would be great if Mr. Knittel would reach out to the Broadway BIA (Business Improvement Area) and the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce in looking for Capitol Hill business community support. we’ve had no communications with Mr. Knittell or Social Outreach Seattle about any of these ideas but would love to be a part of the conversation.

    • I have read about other communities reducing crime through their local developement associations getting organized. I think cap hill will get the best (balanced) results by going this route.

      There is a whole science to it that is known and documented. And I am not talking about gentrification.

  5. You know, this article is yet another misleading one. Why do they include things they don’t bother to talk about in the header?

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  10. I was a part of Q-Patrol for a while, and the SPD did not like us when we were first formed either. Figuring we would just get in their way, or become part of the problem by taking matters into our own hands. Over the first few years they began to accept us as an extension of them in a way. People were more likely to talk to us about thing that were going on over calling them. We carried NO WEAPONS, but we were trained in how to de-escalate a situation when ever we could, and also how to wrestle and grapple with someone who was being combative. We even trained in how to face a person with a knife. We were not stupid going in, we knew if there was any suspicion of there being a gun, we would be on the phone to the SPD right away, and follow the suspected person from a safe distance. We did NOT try to be police, or do their job. We were there to offer assistance to those that felt un comfortable walking alone to their car or home. We were there to stop a fight so that people did not get hurt. We were there to assist people in any way we could, and to be a deterrent to people that were there to do wrong. We also provided a late night check system for local business’ where ever we went.
    The thing is, we proved to the SPD that we were not trying to do their job. If it comes down to it, I would try to help re form the Q-Patrol again. But getting an armed gang on the street, Pink Pistols!?, with guns to protect the neighborhood is asking for trouble. Get one person that reacts to fast to what they perceive as a threat, and then that person could end up going to jail themselves, or end up dead. I couldn’t live with myself if I ended up killing, or even wounding an innocent person because I got startled and shot them. I can accept putting myself in danger to help protect someone else though. Knowing that yes, I could get hurt doing this, but at least I am doing the right thing. If we start carrying guns then the people we don’t want here will step up their game and bring in guns.
    Knittle’s idea is a good one to get started, but what about the areas in the neighborhood that the crimes are taking place in? Where the business’ are closed at 12AM. There is nobody to look out a window and see an assault. That is the areas a group like Q-Patrol would be useful.
    Just some thoughts from an old Q-Patroler…


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