Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


SPD Queen Anne Meeting – Key Message? Report Crimes both Large and Small

January 23rd, 2013 by Laura Fonda

Last night, the SPD Queen Anne Community Meeting took place as part of SPD’s Safe Communities initiative. A little over a dozen residents took part in the discussion with the moderator and two SPD officers, Officer Sam Cook and Officer Chad McLaughlin. One discussion point that became a common thread across priorities was reporting crime and suspicious activity – when, how, and why. More on that below, along with key reference links, numbers, and tips.

The group discussed key issues in a round-table format, with residents echoing similar sentiments as we circled the room. Each resident had the opportunity to cite their top concern, then the group discussed which of those concerns should bubble to the top of the priority list. The top five priorities will be taken forward to a larger Precinct Based Summit in March via our new community delegate and alternate delegate – thanks to Queen Anne residents Beverly and Patty for stepping up!

The top 5 priorities for Queen Anne:

  1. Traffic – school and pedestrian safety
  2. Parks & Queen Anne Ave – increase patrols late at night
  3. Communication – residents need to report crimes; SPD needs to improve community relations
  4. Lighting – increased street lighting would help reduce crime
  5. Car Prowls – residents need to report car prowls

Officers Cook and McLaughlin provided tips and information on SPD, including a key point that we should all take note of – there are only 4-5 officers patrolling Queen Anne and Magnolia. SPD resources are limited across the city, and residents need to keep in mind that response time to lower priority calls may be delayed if they’re dealing with other higher-priority calls – but don’t let that deter you from reporting suspicious activity.

That brings us back to the issue about reporting crime – it touches nearly all of the priorities, as well as other concerns voiced last night. All too often people don’t call 911 or the non-emergency number for suspicious activities or people, vandalism, car prowls, and even major crimes such as muggings. Back in December, we reported on muggings near Kerry Park, only one of 4 incidents sent to Queen Anne View had been reported to SPD. In order for SPD to know what’s happening and where, residents need to report crime – the data from calls helps determine crime patterns and trends.

So, what to report? If you see something that is suspicious or are a victim of a crime, call 911 or the non-emergency number (206.625.5011). Here are some tips from the officers, to give you their perspective:

  • SPD officers gravitate to hot spots of activity – for example, repeated reports about suspicious activity at a park raises SPD’s awareness. A particular location can become a hot spot for proactive patrols.
  • Response time – with the limited number of SPD officers, you may not get instant gratification from a call for something like suspicious activity – but if you call for every incident, the tracking data will show there’s an ongoing issue, and SPD can target it proactively
  • Call a lot – to echo point #2, don’t stop calling just because the first call didn’t yield results. Tracking data is key, and calling repeatedly on criminal or suspicious activity does not make you a nuisance. Calls feed into the tracking database, which is key for identifying trends or hot-spots
  • When to call – the officers emphasized that residents need to call for both large and small issues. Don’t let smaller crimes go unreported: Did your car get broken into but nothing taken? Report it. Did a strange person walk through your backyard? Report it.

Net message from the SPD officers: to make a safer community, people need to call for larger or small activities.

Who should I call – 911 or 206.625.5011?

Call 911:

  • If the crime is still in progress or it is an emergency situation, call 911 immediately.
  • When you have a Police, Fire or Medical emergency.
  • There is a situation that could, or does, pose a danger to life, property or both.
  • There is a suspicious activity involving a person(s) or vehicle that appears to have criminal intent.
  • Any situation that requires immediate dispatch of an officer.

Call the non-emergency number 206.625.5011 when:

  • You want to report a nuisance, such as a noise or parking complaint.
  • To report a non-emergency crime – one that did not just occur, and the suspects are not in the immediate area.
  • You have questions about something suspicious occurring in your neighborhood, and you are not sure it is criminal activity.

Key Reference Sites:

Tags: Crime