Sep 25, 2007

Neighborhood featured in SPD Newsletter

Below is an excerpt from the Sept. 16th Seattle Police Department "Report to the Community", which came with the Sunday newspaper, and is now available online.


In the East Precinct, it was another kind of outreach. In the Miller Park neighborhood, particularly the intersection of Madison and 21st, precinct officers joined forces with neighborhood Blockwatch groups and various agencies to address the lawlessness and drug-dealing that had made the neighborhood unsafe.

Police arrested the hardcore lawbreakers and entered them into the criminal justice system. But in addition to more assertive policing, officers tried something completely novel: they set up a kind of outdoor “street school” in which free classes were offered to neighborhood denizens. The classes, which took place in an alley every Tuesday afternoon, offered lessons on everything from how to get a job to learning how to take care of one’s vision. The classes provided a way for people in need to “connect” with people who could help.

In the long run this dual approach, enforcement and education, improves safety and security.

At the same time the street school was in session, police worked with the liquor control board to shut down a local tavern that had become a magnet for drug dealers and buyers and an assortment of other lawbreakers. With the tavern closed, the trouble-makers jailed and the needy given help, residents reclaimed their neighborhood.

Capt. Paul McDonagh, recently promoted to command the East Precinct, credits Lt. John Hayes and Ofc. Tyrone Davis for bringing about the transformation. Said McDonagh: “They have done a lot of good work out there.”

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