EPCPC Meeting Notes

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.

Mark Solomon

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.”

Rev Wright’s Speech to the NAACP

Reverend Wright has been in the news recently for various speeches he has been making. I watched them all yesterday trying to dig a bit deeper into what everyone is up in arms about, and by and large his speeches are quite brilliant. I will say his responses to questions are maybe inflammatory but his message is spot on.

Specifically I was both impressed and I will honestly say somewhat enlightened by his speech to the NAACP. He really does a fine job of discussing how the African American community is different in intrinsic ways and how that difference is not something to change, but accept. The goal being not to bring all people together into a homogeneous blob but rather accept to bring us together embracing and respecting those differences.

I have seen comments on this blog from both sides of the fence that show that not all see this as their goal, that far too many are still afraid or judging of those differences.

I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t already to make time to watch the speech and to discuss it with your friends and family. Watch to the end, I find the end most hopeful.





Wednesday night Chess at Thompsons

Last week I attended the Wednesday night “Chess Night” at Thompsons. This is a great effort to try to bring a positive activity to our neighborhood and to get neighbors of all races and dispositions intermingling.

Savior, who is organizing the nights said to me, “Chess is a thinking person’s game, and this is an opportunity to bring the thinkers in the community together.”

Sounds like a noble goal to me. There were a half dozen players last week and some others who came just to enjoy the food.

If you want to grab some food first, try coming around 7:00 PM, games seemed to start around 8:00. Bring a chess board and pieces if you have one.