On June 23rd, about 50 of us gathered for a community meeting about crime prevention and public safety in Crown Hill. The speakers were Community Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston and Officer Scott McGlashan, Community Police Team Officer for Ballard and Crown Hill.
Terrie briefly went over some of the recent history of crimes in all of the Ballard (including Crown Hill). Compared to last year, residential burglaries and car thefts were very slightly down over last year. She said looking at recent breakins, 45 percent were non-forced, meaning entry was gained through an unlocked door or window, or by key. Some residential burglaries were eased by tools already on site such as ladders or garbage cans propped up to reach an open window. Terrie mentioned a recent string of arrests where a number of criminals suspected of many crimes in the North Seattle area were recently apprehended thanks to alert neighbors and excellent police work by SPD officers and detectives. Terrie described some of the free services she can provide: 1) residential or business security survey; 2) help with setting up block watches; 3) providing information to neighbors about resolution of calls to police, and lots more. She said that part of having a block watch is getting to know your neighbors and that can have many benefits beyond just crime prevention. Terrie mentioned two upcoming events sponsored by SPD: 1) the North Precinct Picnic on July 9th; and 2) Night Out Seattle on August 2nd. Finally, Terrie’s last day in her position as Crime Prevention Coordinator will be Dec 31st. Her position is being eliminated as part of the budget cuts sweeping through all levels of city government. So act now if you would like to have Terrie conduct a free security survey of your home or business or help out with setting up a block watch on your block (email@example.com or 206-684-7711).
Officer Scott McGlashan is the Community Police Team Officer and he covers a large beat, from 110th south to the water and from 3rd Ave west to the water. Scott has a wide variety of experience over 21 years with the SPD, including a stint on the SPD dive team. Scott made the point that when contacting the Police about suspicious behavior or crimes in progress, it is very important to note the direction of travel and address or intersection (e.g. North on Mary from 87th, or Northeast on Holman from 13th). He also stressed a number of times that suspcious behavior needs to be reported to the police using 911. Otherwise by the time an officer gets to investigate the behavior, the opportunity to see it will have passed. A community member asked a question about what constitutes suspicious behavior, and Scott encouraged us to call it in when in doubt. Clearly a crime in progress will have a higher priority for the beat officer, but if the officer is in the area, a quick drive by can often get a resolution. Another tip Scott offered up was to leave your name and address with the dispatcher, so the dispatched officer can follow up with you. A couple of folk in the audience piped up that they never heard back on calls they made in the past. Scott asked they contact him directly (firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-233-3733). Scott mentioned that we as neighbors need to support our police and their efforts.
A number of folk from West Crown Hill have set up a Facebook page for getting the information out to neighbors when suspicious behavior is witnessed or just checking out what happened on the street. You can see their Facebook page here. Pete Maslenikov from the Crown Hill Neighbors board collected names and e-mails of folk interested in setting up a neighborhood wide network for sharing information related to crime and prevention. If you were unable to attend the meeting, and would like to be added to the list, contact Pete (email@example.com).