Last year’s Drug Market Initiative made a serious improvement in the area around 23rd & Union last year. For six months neighbors around it marveled at how little drug dealing and associated loitering they saw in the area.
But by March there were reports of things picking up again, though at a much lower level. And at this month’s East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition, a block watch captain said that residents around 24th & Union are seeing a “constant sales presence” now, including a lot of vehicle traffic of buyers from out of the neighborhood. The activity is still lower than before DMI, but the uptrend is worrying.
Police officers in the area have noticed too. Lt. Sean O’Donnell said “We at SPD are certainly not blind to [that increase in drug activity]. We are taking appropriate actions, and rest argued that we are aware of that and we are working on it.”
Other updates from SPD:
- A big arrest was made on April 10th of some robbery suspects that had been causing problems on Capitol Hill. They’re still in jail on big bonds, and the number of robberies has gone dramatically down since they were taken off the street.
- A prolific car prowl suspect was arrested in March, and car prowls have gone down 46% since then. SPD reminds to never leave anything valuable in your car. It only takes the prowlers a few seconds to break a window and grab laptops, GPS, briefcases, or MP3 players.
- An arrest was made in a burglary case at Seattle U. The door to the dean’s office was pushed in, number of things taken including a laptop and a set of master keys. Alert cops saw a known suspect nearby at Broadway & Pike, searched him and found drugs on him and the set of master keys, which saved Seattle U a ton of money.
- Residential burglaries are up significantly from last month, but still within the average range of 2009. 50% of residential break-ins don’t involve force, but come through unlocked doors or windows. Crime prevention coordinator warns that “It’s not a lock if you don’t lock it up”
- Business burglaries are up significantly also, but within the approximate average. They spiked last month, back to average now
- Auto thefts increased near the end of last year, but SPD has seen reduction every month until last month, where there as a slight increase
Here’s what was reported by citizens at the meeting:
- Leschi – A member of a sex-offender re-entry house violated some conditions of his release, triggering a round of official notices that reminded neighbors of the house’s existence
- 14th & Jackson – Still having a big problem with tagging, but Metro has been much better at cleaning up tagging of the bus stop nearby
- 20th & Cherry – Issue with large groups of kid hanging out around a nearby residence, and evidence of them doing drugs under the stairs of a property next to that.
- 21st & Union – Some drug activity has returned to that corner, but still much lower than before DMI
- 18th & Marion – Someone dumped four huge tires that have been rolling around the block
- 800 Broadway – Seattle U has been seeing a lot of car prowls there
- 20th & Main – Issues with drug activity at Pratt Park, including in park restrooms that aren’t locked at night as they’re supposed to be