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Capitol Hill crime concerns? Take the Seattle Public Safety Survey

The annual survey collecting neighborhood perceptions on public safety run by Seattle University’s Crime & Justice Research Center is underway.

The Seattle Public Safety Survey process purports to collect safety concerns across Seattle communities and the city as a whole. Started in 2015, Seattle Police and Seattle U typically only reach 300 to 500 respondents in even the city’s largest neighborhoods with the survey pushed through outlets like the Nextdoor social media system that has an information sharing agreement with the department. In 2019, only 122 people responded from the city’s Central Area, and 327 on Capitol HIll.

SPD says it uses the results to inform its Micro-Community Policing Plans that the department in the past has said help focus precinct resources on the issues most important to the community. On Capitol Hill, the top three safety concerns in 2019 — according to the survey — were “lack of police capacity,” “lack of resources for individuals with mental illness,” and “car prowls.” This year, SPD has begun posting annual results in a new dashboard.

Run by Seattle U researcher and policing advocate Jackie Helfgott, the process also can illustrate divides in the city over public safety and policing. CHS reported here on past results showing that neighborhoods around Capitol Hill and the Central District express fewer concerns about crime than neighbors in areas like Queen Anne or Ballard despite experiencing higher crime rates.

To learn more and participate in the 2020 survey, visit through November 30th. The survey is also available in available in Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrinya and Vietnamese.

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1 month ago

The first question in the survey is rating the police, and seems to assume you have direct experience with police officers. If you’ve never come into contact with the police, there isn’t a way to not rate them do you’d just have to make up the data.

1 month ago

This survey reminded me that as much as I loathe the police in my neighborhood, I trust my fellow citizens even less to keep people safe. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been groped, verbally and physically attacked, or harassed in public or have seen others attacked while everyone around me pretended not to see and did nothing to help. Seattleites are both too passive and too likely to empathize with the attacker to make me feel any confidence that neighborhood watch groups and crisis teams would be successful.