Tuesday, January 27, 2015

KIRO Report On Laurelhurst Security Patrol And How To Subscribe

KIRO TV recently did a report on the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Security Patrol (below) and the Security Patrol was also mentioned in an article in the Seattle Times in November.

The Security Patrol is coordinated by the Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC), and covers the entire neighborhood area south of Sand Point Way from Mary Gates Way to NE 55th Street. Subscribing to the patrol can be done by regular mail or by going on-line.

A uniformed, off-duty Seattle Police officers patrol the neighborhood approximately six nights/days a week for five hours each shift.  The annual cost per family is $200 per year.  The officer carries a police radio and police firearms and drives an unmarked personal vehicle. The officer monitors incoming 911 calls and responds to neighborhood calls, vacation checks, while on patrol as well as working with the official response from the on-duty police officers.
LCC said that "the success of the patrol depends on neighbor participation — the more families that subscribe, the more coverage the patrol can offer."

To subscribe send a check payable to LCC or go on-line. For more information contact Crime Prevention Co-Chair, Brian McMullen, at 206-367-9325 or email crimeprevention@laurelhurstcc.com.

Here is the KIRO TV report:

Seattle neighborhood says paying extra for police curbs crime


By Joanna Small
With the highest property crime rate in the nation, some Seattle communities are taking protection a step further than neighborhood watch.
The second Saturday of every month, long-time Laurelhurst resident Dixie Jo Porter cleans the park she worked hard to get built. 
“This is our sixth year of having it fully planted,” she tells us, putting her broom down for a moment to talk to KIRO 7. 
 Most of the time, there's a whole slew of neighbors who join her. 
"There's a lot of activism in this neighborhood.  It's different than it was in 1947,” she says. 
Laurelhurst is busier now, and with crowds come crime.  So seven years ago in the true spirit of this "active" neighborhood, a group of residents decided to buy extra police protection -- off duty Seattle cops in uniform, with their duty weapons, but in their personal cars. 
“Based on that, we got some real positive results.  We saw the car prowls decreased, and in the New Year, we decided to expand it to half the neighborhood,” Brian McMullen explains.  Then, he says, they expanded to the entire neighborhood by 2009. 
McMullen runs the program and says it's quadrupled in size -- now about a quarter of the people who live there pay $200 a year for officers to patrol Laurelhurst specifically, almost every night of the week. 
"These are the notes they make,” says McMullen, flipping through a folder.   “These are the cards when they are looking for suspicious people,” he says, showing us notecards full of house addresses and descriptions of prowlers. 
Even if you don't pay, you'll get a faster 911 response in Laurelhurst because police are already there.  But if you do pay, police will keep a closer eye on your house, especially when you go on vacation. 
McMullen says he doesn't have hard data to prove it's been effective, but half a dozen other Seattle communities have contacted him just recently to learn how they can do it, too. 
"Resources are limited and I think neighborhoods need to come together and need to look out for themselves,” he explained to us. 
 McMullen says hiring Seattle police officers is just a little more expensive that hiring private security.  Laurelhurst modeled its program after Windermere, the first Seattle neighborhood to pay for off duty cops.

No comments: