Friday, February 3, 2012

Update From Seattle Police North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator

Here is some important information from Terrie Johnson, Seattle Police North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator:

Retaining 3 Crime Prevention Coordinators: Mayor McGinn and the Seattle City Council decided last November to maintain the 3 remaining Crime Prevention Coordinators for another year. This means I will continue serving the North Precinct’s neighborhoods with establishing and maintenance of Block Watches; conducting free security surveys for both commercial spaces and residents.  I am available for personal safety trainings; workplace violence prevention, etc.  I am happy to be a part of the Community Police Team, and look forward to continuing this meaningful work. 

Property Crime Update:  In much of the North precinct, the burglary rates have decreased or stabilized.  There are still increased numbers of residential burglaries in some northeast neighborhoods.  They are primarily occurring during the hours of 6 a.m. to about 6 p.m. 

Knocking on doors to see if anyone is at home is still a common method used by thieves.  In some cases, there is a female driver who serves as chauffeur and lookout, for her male accomplices.   The lookout has been seen texting the thieves about watchful neighbors, etc.  Kicking in doors, or door jambs is prevalent.

We recommend all exterior doors be solid core doors, (or metal) and are a minimum of 1 ¾” thick.  For maximum security, all exterior doors should be equipped with a deadbolt lock and reinforced strike plates, using 3” screws which will go into the framework.  Locks within 40 inches of glass are vulnerable.

Watchful neighbors remain your best alarm.  9 times out of 10, our burglars are arrested due to 9-1-1 calls from neighbors who heard or saw something suspicious and made that call.

Calling 9-1-1:  I think I speak for the entire Community Police Team when I tell you that every day in our e-mail inbox, or on our telephone’s voicemail inbox, we find messages from the community that say something like this, “I wanted to let you know that I just saw something suspicious but I didn’t think this merited a 9-1-1 call."

Almost always the information is detailed, with good descriptions and refers to something that may or may not have been criminal, but certainly seemed odd.  And almost always it is too late for SPD to do anything with that information.  

I am now hoping to encourage you to trust that gut feeling of yours.   If you get the sense that something weird is happening, even if it isn’t an emergency, please call 9-1-1 and simply state what you are reporting.  The call taker will decide whether your call should be transferred off the primary line onto a secondary line.   You don’t know what you prevent by getting a patrol cruiser coming into your neighborhood.

Terrie can be reached at 684-7711 for any questions or follow up services.

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