I arrived a bit late, but here are my notes from the EPCPC Meeting if anybody finds them useful. I didn’t get everything, but these were the highlights in a pretty scattered format. Hope it helps.
Community Court (missed the start of this)
“gives defendants the opportunity to give back to the community where their offenses occurred. Rather than go to jail, defendants who enter the program can help themselves in overcoming their own problems as they do community service, take educational classes or get referred to social services”
The nature of the work is different per neighborhood based on needs. Lots of manual labor, litter pick up, traffic circle maintenance etc.. Defendants are only those who have committed petty crimes, such as shoplifting, public drinking, sometimes prostitution etc..
Seems like a very positive program, they are working lots of different areas, including First Hill and Capitol Hill but they are wanting to branch out more.
How to Come Forward for Criminal Activity
Reiterate the importance of reporting crimes or suspicious behavior.
Order of priority for calling:
- when you have a police, fire or medical emergency
- to report a crime in progress
- when there is a situation that poses an actual or potential danger to life or property
- when there is suspicious activity
You can also call about tips of crimes you have seen (even participated in) completely anonymously. Call (206) 343 2020 or (206) 684 5550.
Finally you can also text “CRIMES” (247637), start your message with “TIP486” followed by your anonymous tip. You will receive a confirmation message quickly, and can even get a reward if your tip is found useful. This is all done through a 3rd party service that guarantees that you remain anonymous.
Every little tip matters even if you don’t have something completely solid. Often those can help tie things together. Something as simple as reporting number of suspects at a scene of a crime can make a big difference!
Try to think in an organized fashion when you are seeing something you later need to report. Focus on the most important suspect, then work your way from top to bottom: first their hat, hair, face, jacket, pants, shoes. Then outside to in: other attributes, jewelry, facial features etc..
One call can make a huge difference. If you have information, call it in anonymously at (206) 684 5550 or via SMS. Every little bit helps. People are scared of speaking up, but silence is far more dangerous than not contacting the police. Things will not become better by being quiet. Sometimes the effect is not immediate but it is important to continue reporting activity as you see it, even if it is something that has been occurring regularly. The SPD is working within the confines of the law and sometimes these things take a while to crack, but don’t give up, your next call or tip could be the one that breaks the case.
Much discussion on the dynamics of the reporting. Assurances given to the audience that there are laws to protect witnesses in the case of intimidating. Really the overall key is community involvement and consistency. Consistency in reporting all crimes, taking ownership of the problem, the problems will not be solved by inaction and apathy.
East Precinct Update
Crimes of violence: lull has passed, three shootings lately, probably due to the weather and more kids being out and gangs clashing. Two of the three are cold cases, the last has some leads. There is an expectation that all crimes will see an uptick with the nicer weather, so be extra vigilant.
Crime prevention coordinator for the East Precinct, 14th-lake, I90-Union. Available for block watch meetings, security assessments etc.. He can be reached at 386 9766 “Neighborhoods have the amount of crime they tolerate, it’s yours to change. Those that show that they care by picking up trash, towing abandoned cars etc, will have lower crime rates.”