A reporter from Seattle University’s student newspaper the Spectator attended a January 28 community meeting about crime in Yesler Terrace and said speakers expressed concerns that many crimes in the neighborhood go unreported due to language barriers and fears that calling 911 might not be anonymous and safe.
The Friday night shooting of a 20-year-old on 13th Avenue and Jefferson Street set the stage for an afternoon meeting in Yesler Terrace.
At the third Yesler Terrace Community meeting since November, community members spoke out against crime like the Friday night shooting.
Some of the solutions proposed included recruiting Seattle University students to volunteer as interpreters for the community where an estimated 26 different languages are spoken. Others included ways to confront the crimes by hosting parties or dinner in “neighborhood problem areas,” as well as a workshop to help the residents learn the importance of dialing 911.
Angela O’Brien, co-chair of the safety committee, said that she is “tired of griping and complaining.”
She wants solutions.
No one should hesitate to call 911 due to a language issue. The 911 center can accomodate any language spoken with either in-house or consultant translators – all on a real time basis. And the community needs to trust the SPD and report all crimes – this is the only way to make things better.