SEATTLE – Business owners and residents gather in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood to discuss public safety.
Politicians and policemen answer their questions at an event organized by Taproot Theater Company.
“I think tonight is about listening more than anything. It’s about hearing why this problem exists, why it took so long to resolve it, and how we can safely resolve it,” said Karen Lund, event organizer and employee Taproot Theater staff said.
Monday’s event was supposed to be a public meeting and attracted a capacity crowd but at the last minute, media cameras were not allowed in and the press was asked to leave the theater. That media outage lasted for 48 minutes, at which point reporters were allowed to listen but were not recorded until the meeting ended at 7:30 p.m.
Inside town hall, Seattle Police Department (SPD) lieutenant, Seattle Councilmember Dan Strauss, Representative Noel Frame and a representative from the Low Income Housing Institute asked questions and listened to concerns. .
Residents after residents voiced concerns about what is technically considered “petty crime” in the area. That includes trash cans on sidewalks, tents on public property and what they describe as rampant drug use in public.
“I think a lot of people are saying the same thing. “They are prioritizing homeless people taking over our park over children,” said Sheri Young, a mother of a 3-year-old boy.
Rob Pickering owns Snapdoodle Toys in Greenwood.
“Every day they smoke fentanyl, on three sides of the toy store and Bartels and the police won’t come out unless someone has a gun or assaults them,” he said.
There is no solution to these complaints. Councilman Strauss pointed to the work of the city’s Unified Care team – a group that reaches out and helps clean up homeless shelters.
“It’s hard to say in two minutes,” Strauss says, “to say ‘every week I put together every department that’s involved in this issue’.”
Strauss said he needs useful information from residents to be able to make an impact.
“That’s what started here, it obviously didn’t start early enough and it will continue until we address the safety issues that arise in this community,” he said.
SPD data shows an overall increase in violent crime in the Greenwood area monthly in 2022 compared to 2021. January is the only exception.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/public-safety/greenwood-business-owners-community-members-townhall-public-safety/281-e63d3bf6-a4f7-4d59-ae63-7cd091837dae Greenwood business owners, residents hold town hall to talk public safety concerns in the area