From cops reform to criminal activity stats, honest Q&A with new Southwest Precinct leaders @ West Seattle Criminal Activity Avoidance Council – West Seattle Blog

19August 2020

By Tracy Record West Seattle Blog editor Hours prior to a protest group gathered outside the Southwest Precinct, its brand-new leader was discussing cops reform at the first online meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council. Capt. Kevin Grossman and his second-in-command, Operations Lt. SinaEbinger, had a lot more to say– from West Seattle’s crime drop, to cops staffing. The WSCPC, instead of an organized group, has actually long been a regular monthly event of whoever shows up, collaborated by neighborhood member Richard Miller, often with special guests along with local cops leadership. Meetings went on hiatus after February since of the pandemic; last night, the WSCPC returned, with the aid of SW Precinct Crime Avoidance Organizer Jennifer Danner. Capt. Grossman opened with a recap of his background (which we’ve covered at other community meetings, in addition to in our interview with him). Then– the patterns:”We presently have crime rates much, much lower than 2019,”he stated, while making it clear that the pandemic and bridge closure were undoubtedly major elements. How low? 17 percent lower than this time last year. Both violent criminal activity and home criminal activity are down. Not every specific category, however– his leading concern, shots-fired cases, are up from in 2015, 29 so far, compared to 27 at this

point in 2019.”Still less than the remainder of the city,”he noted. But it’s worrisome that nearly a third of those events, 9, were simply in the past month. And there’s no cluster or common characteristic, he stated– his crime-analysis investigator has taken a close appearance but the events are” really all over the location.”His # 2 priority, car theft, is up 1 percent in West Seattle from last year. As his predecessors typically described at WSCPC meetings, a small number of thieves tend to be responsible for a large number of cases, so one arrest can substantially”

interfere with “the trend. He likewise talked about prevention– Danner acquired a grant to buy and disperse steering-wheel locks, and he’s hoping they’ll be able to do that again. His # 3 concern, robbery, is down in a huge method– 22 percent less than in 2015. As Capt. Grossman told another current meeting, there’s a bit of a cluster in The Junction that they’re watching– 9 thefts in 4 weeks.

Two of those, he disclosed, were at LA Physical fitness, perhaps with access through a taken card that’s because been shut off. He said they’ve also been keeping in mind break-ins in what are supposed to be safe and secure home garages– often the robber will follow someone in and take bicycles or items from storage locations. Danner, he stated, will be following up directly with structures that are having concerns. ALKI BEACH: He attended to the ongoing problem there, saying he’s heard a lot from neighborhood members about traffic noise, fires, alcohol, fireworks, racing, and more. Without getting into the specifics of the current temporary plan for Seattle Parks to cover officers on overtime, he however

regreted a lack of resources.”I’ve never seen a point in my 24 years where we are extended this thin on resources … and it’s going to get even worse before it improves.” He stated he wishes to utilize the precinct’s 6-officer Anti-Crime Group at Alki, however those officers typically instead are released– as are others from precincts around the city– to handle downtown/Capitol Hill protests.(Last weekend police were released in SODO throughout a protest outside the Seattle Cops Officers Guild HQ; he was asked the number of authorities that had included, however stated he wasn’t sure.)Soon afterwards, Lt. Ebinger participated on the subject, after a little self-introduction(21 years with SPD after 11 years in the military; her SPD profession has actually covered a wide range of roles, consisting of the Traffic System, the Crisis Intervention Group, and the Navigation Group ). She started responding to concerns that participants were posting in the teleconference’s chat feature.”

We are tapped, we are SO tapped,”however they have actually generated some Traffic System resources occasionally to aid with problems from speeding to roadway rage. Questions: The number of officers might the precinct lose under the spending plan cuts recently passed by the City board?” Too early to tell,”Grossman said. And he cautioned that it’s not just a matter of”defunding,”but the reality that the pandemic has actually taken a huge bite out of city financial resources. The city and state rely on taxes that “just aren’t can be found in today.”However he added that he has an”ask “for the City Council concerning cops reform: “I hope we can have a great conversation about what the authorities must be doing and … need to not be doing. “As he’s said at previous meetings, he has views on that: “I believe we as a society overrely on 911 to do things … a lot of things that do not need a police response. We go to traffic accidents all the timewhere nobody was injured … we’re in essence taking details for the insurance
companies, working for the insurance companies. Accidents take a lot of time.”Another category Capt. Grossman said could be managed differently:”A great deal of homelessness-related issues (are frequently related to )psychological health, drug abuse,(and) might be handled best by other entities. “Security and cost-efficiency implies, he worried, “ensuring we utilize sworn officers with a weapon and a badge for the right things.”He likewise observed that” criminalization of substance abuse doesn’t work … the war on drugs is a failure”– treatment is what abusers need. He also stated traffic enforcement is not always effective, either–” engineering solutons are frequently more affordable in the long run and more reliable.”He pointed out the Alki Point Stay Healthy/Keep Moving Street as one successful

strategy that’s cut down on”problems”neighbors have experienced. One-way streets, speed bulges,”those thngs are most likely to be effective in the long run.” Straightening out the matter of who’s accountable for closing the Don Armeni Boat Ramp gate also has actually assisted. That said– “a half cut [in the police spending plan] doesn’t seem to have much ground in rationality.”He fears the council is moving too quickly, and needs to talk with”a more comprehensive cross-section of residents. … It appears the City board is not hearing the

entire story. “Another City Council-related concern: “How many officers are appointed to secure City Councilmembers?” “None.”And then somebody asked why West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold wasn’t at the meeting. Capt. Grossman responded by saying she had reached out to him and that they had a” great conversation “the previous night.”She appeared extremely going to have a conversation, very willing to be open-minded about what I needed to say,” and he in turn informed her that he’s always readily available”if she had any concerns about the precinct or about the department.” Another concern: What can community members do to support the cops? And what if they’re worried about calling 911 when they know police are stretched thin? Grossman urged,”Please keep calling. The 911 center is really great about triaging calls … if somebody’s life security is threatened, we will be there.”Even if it’s not always a matter of life safety, he said,”I would rather you call … we rely so heavily on information, if individuals don’t call, that’s numbers we’re not determining. I do not want the criminal offense rate to be low since individuals are not

calling us. “Back to the question of neighborhood assistance, Lt. Ebinger responded to that neighborhood uniformity would go a long way.”Come together, do trash pickups, learn more about your neighbors … I can’t inform you how essential it is; it can help us as police on calls. “Grossman added that, “The more you know your neighbors, the less most likely you are to require cops to fix issues.”And of course, he stated, revealing gratitude to an officer is useful. He stated lots of in the department are attempting to”lateral “– relocate to other authorities agencies– today.”If you have the opportunity to say h and thank you, that will go a long way.”Time ran out with questions waiting, so Grossman addressed them in writing, and Danner sent us the resulting document: West Seattle Crime Prevention Council conferences are normally on third Tuesdays– watch for the statement of next month’s meeting.Source: westseattleblog.com

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