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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 9, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Crime and public safety in downtown Seattle

War zone

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, is a crime hot spot according to police. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times]

I read your editorial regarding downtown crime. [“Downtown Seattle feels unsafe. Fix it,” Opinion, Sept. 8.]

Statistics are a useless measure. Downtown crime, the filth, a total open-air drug market, prostitution … go walk at night between First Avenue and Third Avenue, between Union and Virginia. It’s a disaster.

Welcome to my world: I reside in the middle of it.

Mayor Mike McGinn’s idea of more cops in cars downtown? Useless. Put a dozen beat and bicycle cops down here and let them do their jobs without the constant fear of the Office of Professional Accountability and Department of Justice breathing down their necks.

It’s not just a slight statistical tick up in crime, it’s a war zone down here.

Detective Mac Gordon, Seattle Police Department, Seattle

Clean up the streets

Regarding the editorial on downtown Seattle, I couldn’t agree with you more in one major regard: Now is the time fix this. I do not agree that the solution is to throw more money at social programs.

Many people simply need to take responsibility for their lives. Perhaps we should have some of these folks participate in mandatory cleanup programs to teach them the value of putting in a solid day’s work; clean up vandalism, pick up litter and so on.

Seattle is way too tolerant of many things; vagrancy, letting trash build up, tagging, public urination and public-drug use. Although I am not necessarily a fan of the man, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York did amazing things in his city and made New York one of the largest feel-safe cities.

Why reinvent the wheel? Call on other city officials who have successfully turned their cities around. We enjoy the symphony, downtown restaurants and other places of interest downtown, but unless things start turning around, we may take our interest.

Has anyone noticed how clean and safe Bellevue seems these days? What’s their secret? I believe the mayoral candidate who embraces and acts on cleaning up Seattle’s streets will get the vote.

John Hargarten, Seattle

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

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