Monday, September 27, 2010

"SPD Numbers Game: McGinn’s Initiative Edition"

There have been a lot of questions, concerns and confusion about Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle Police Department’s efforts around policing across the city, particularly since beefed up patrols in trendy Belltown began via the new Nightlife Initiative was announced in mid-July.

The eight point plan focuses on everything from flexible liquor service hours, noise ordinance enforcement and upwards of 20 extra police from the SWAT, anti-crime, and DUI sectors of the department, patrolling the neighborhood every weekend.

Both Chief Diaz and Mayor McGinn have said the residents of Seattle expect a strong response from the department when and where violence happens as justification for the plan. The problem was that in doing so, they set a standard of response- but only applied it to one neighborhood, not to Seattle as a whole.

The initiative gained high praise from residents in Belltown with legitimate safety concerns- and sharp criticism from other neighborhoods around Seattle, including the Central District and Rainier Beach. The overwhelming cry: what about the rest of us?

As reporters, journalists and community members began comparing policing levels across neighborhoods and asking questions, the mayor’s office adopted a talk-to-the-hand response style, often refusing to respond or provide information. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Long story short: More double-talk from Hizzoner.

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