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Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 19, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Seattle crime: ‘De-policing’ a troubling trend

I read that police actions on low-level crime have declined by huge percentages over the past few years [“Report cites plunge in SPD enforcement of low-level crime,” Local News, May 14]. Either everyone in Seattle has gotten much nicer, or police are avoiding contact in potentially incendiary situations.

After the multitude of accusations, investigations, leadership turnover and government meddling related to arrests and enforcement actions, maybe the cop on the beat is figuring that doing nothing is safer for his or her career.

Can anyone blame the police for studiously avoiding any contact that could end up embroiling them and their department or the city in a civil lawsuit or disciplinary actions by the U.S. Justice Department? That the police force is preferring “presence” over enforcement should surprise no one.

Mayor Ed Murray worries about not only the lack of recent arrests and prosecutions, but also the percentages of minority versus white perpetrators being captured and tried. Could this worry soon be translated into a further decline in police actions? Time will tell.

Cynthia M. Cole, Bellevue

Comments | More in crime/justice | Topics: crime, Cynthia M. Cole, de-policing

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