Community Post

Mike Yasutake Laid Off, Only E. Precinct Hit

Some of the biggest news from last night’s EPCPC meeting was that Mike Yasutake is being laid off from the department. If you don’t know that name, you’d probably recognize the face. He’s the cheerful and helpful guy that serves as the Crime Prevention Coordinator in the East Precinct, working as a bridge between the police department and the neighborhood to nip crime in the bud.

For example, during the burglary spree last summer, Mike would teach people simple things they could to to avoid becoming victims.  He was also the go-to-guy for personal safety, teaching people people how to protect themselves from street crime.  It was all great, long-term, very positive stuff.

I learned during our walk with the Mayor last year that this was more than a job for him. He actually grew up here in the CD near Jackson St. and graduated from Garfield High School, so he understood the community and its needs.

But evidently now he’s gone, which I was able to confirm with SPD spokeswoman Renee Witt this morning.  She referred further questions to the Mayor’s office, which hasn’t responded yet to our questions.

The most interesting part of this is that according to folks at the meeting last night, he was the only coordinator to be let go out of all the other precincts in the city.  North, South, West, Southwest all get to keep theirs. But evidently Mike had the lowest seniority, so the East Precinct loses out. The plan moving forward is for the East Precinct to “share” coordinators with the West and North precincts. 

If you’re upset about this, it was suggested that you speak out to the mayor and the chief of police.

We’ll update this if we learn anything more from the mayor’s office.

0 thoughts on “Mike Yasutake Laid Off, Only E. Precinct Hit

  1. How are they planning to serve this community? the problems will not go away without this position?

  2. Aside from the idiocy of this decision, didn’t Mike have previous employment with SPD that should have added to his seniority? I think I heard this somewhere when he came into this position a while back (2007?)?

  3. It’s true that Michael grew up in the central and south parts of seattle.
    But the most interesting part about this man is that he was once in this postion
    years ago when times were very tough in Seattle.

    Previously Michael served the Seattle Parks Dept as a Community Center Director
    over several of the centers in the southend and northend of seattle.
    After honing his skills working with young and old he left his directors position
    to return to this field that he loved where he felt he could be at his best in regards
    to serving the community he grew up in.

    Where ever Michael goes in the greater seattle area people always stop to greet him.
    He has made his mark on this community, his importance is well documented
    among many residents,kids and our local officials and police officers.

    Im sure after people make enough noise and our community leaders find out what happened
    they will re-instate Michael to his position or even better put him on the Mayors staff
    where he truely belongs.

    I have lived in Seattle for over 37 years and have known Michael for many of them.
    There are not to many men in this community who can walk shoulder to shoulder with Michael
    when it comes to being commited to the youth and the community in the greater seattle area.

  4. Layoffs, so far, are not based on seniority, but on the need for the position, although if this guy has seniority somewhere he could always bump someone with less seniority in another job that he has seniority in.

    Times are tough. Expect many more layoffs in city government.

  5. Things are getting tough all over and there will be more jobs lost
    but common sense tells you that when a guy has a proven track
    record and is making such an impact on what is known as the most
    troublesome community in the city, supervisors could and should go
    to bat for that person. We are all familiar what budget cuts mean but
    we also know that there are special funds and provisions for special
    needs. Hopefully there are some Officers with the Seattle PD that will
    go to bad for this much needed person in our community because he is
    helping to make life safer in this comminity for all.

  6. Why does the Black Community always take the hit when it comes to budget cuts, layoffs and dismantling of programs that help the Community.
    We need to wage a protest over Mike’s layoff, over community schools being closed, any thing that takes away from our children’s success, safety and future. I pledge to start today by phoning, emailing, attending meetings, whatever it takes to protest the inequities in the Black Community. WE can make a change.

  7. I just sent in my cranky letter to the Mayor and the SPD – thanks for the heads up on the bad news and for your super helpful links.

    Of all the precincts in the city, they chose this one to take the hit. Have they been paying attention to the news? People still get shot and mugged around here, and the community still wants to do what it can to prevent things like that from happening. Taking away our SPD liaison isn’t going to help the situation.

  8. I just ran into Mike. He’s a great guy. I’m sorry to see this happen to him. He’s cared about our community for years. Now, more than ever, we need more people who care about what happens in our community. I wish him all the best and expect to see great things for him in the near future. We love you Mike. Good luck.