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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 18, 2013 at 7:53 AM

Crime in downtown Seattle

Drug crimes rampant

The intersection of Third Avenue and Pike Street in downtown is among the hot spots where violent crimes have tended to cluster. A Seattle Times study found that 119 incidents in four downtown police beats last month was the highest single-month total in the past five years. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times]

The intersection of Third Avenue and Pike Street in downtown is among the hot spots where violent crimes have tended to cluster. A Seattle Times study found that 119 incidents in four downtown police beats last month was the highest single-month total in the past five years. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times]

Major crimes versus violent crimes — what’s the difference? [“Downtown getting safer? Not according to numbers,” page one, Aug. 15.]

In Seattle, it’s the sleaze factor that is so disgusting in the Westlake area. There are no police around and nothing but drug transactions going on, right in the heart of the city. The mayor can say all he wants, but he’s wrong.

I’m a Seattle native, but feel much safer in Manhattan than I do in Seattle. I live on the Eastside, but would like to go downtown more often.

The last time my husband and I went to Westlake, we saw three drug transactions at 10 a.m. I’m embarrassed by the city and how the tourists must view it.

And yet the Police Department can spare the officers to hand out Doritos at Hempfest?

Katie Chace, Bellevue

Don’t blame Mayor McGinn

The south end of Westlake Center Park in downtown Seattle, another crime hot spot according to police. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times]

The south end of Westlake Center Park in downtown Seattle, another crime hot spot according to police. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times]

There are so many letters written demanding the mayor do something about violence downtown. These are written by good people who should know better. [“Northwest Voices: Terror for bus drivers,” Opinion, Aug. 16.]

As someone who has been involved in Seattle business and crime issues for the last 35 years, I know that the mayor can do very little to deal with an immediate outburst of crime downtown, other than throw more police at it.

Our downtown violence cannot be turned on or off like a faucet.

How many downtown violence waves and violence task forces have there been? How many nonprofits have been funded to deal with this issue?

Since we seem to be attacking the mayor, how about City Council public safety chairs? What about the president of the Downtown Seattle Association, or our various former police chiefs? Just like the mayor, they are good people who have tried to work on various solutions. Some have worked and some have not.

You cannot hold one person responsible for such a complex problem. Let’s continue working on the effective things that make a difference.

Eugene Wasserman, Seattle

We need crime prevention, not statistics

Seattle Police officer Tom Christenson, left, and his partner, Jim Garner, walk their beat near the intersection of Third Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle in 2011. [John Lok, The Seattle Times]

Seattle Police officer Tom Christenson, left, and his partner, Jim Garner, walk their beat near the intersection of Third Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle in 2011. [John Lok, The Seattle Times]

Mayor Mike McGinn can’t fool commuters and business owners by disingenuously hiding behind the Seattle Police Department’s baked numbers that suggest a drop in violent crime in the downtown business core.

Every day, thousands of commuters, tourists, shoppers and business owners witness lawlessness, bullying and drug-dealing on downtown streets.

Ask anyone how many police officers they see during the morning and afternoon rush hours, and the answer would be: “Few, and rarely.”

If the mayor intends to defend the people and business interests he is sworn to serve, he needs to do only one thing: Get on the phone every morning and afternoon with West Precinct police Capt. Jim Dermody to demand that the Police Department’s assets are actually in place.

We need crime prevention, not crime statistics.

Guy Detrick, Kirkland

Comments | More in Politics, Seattle | Topics: crime, downtown, drugs

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