The Seattle Police Department has disbanded the entire Community Police Team. This was the one avenue my neighborhood had to contact a specific officer about ongoing issues — someone familiar with our neighborhood, and the people and businesses in it.
I live in Ballard. We are served by the North Precinct, in which 40% of Seattleites reside, a population larger than Spokane. Ballard is a 911 hot spot but has minimal police patrols and very slow response times compared to city averages. On Labor Day weekend, I met an armed, off-duty King County deputy patrolling for a local business. The deputy had no familiarity with our neighborhood or the city’s specific policies and approaches to homelessness and drug addiction.
Ballard has many lessons learned from the “best practice” low-barrier services concentrated here yet no holistic leadership to ensure outcomes have bearings on actual improvements in public safety.
With the City Council supporting swift defunding of SPD, we have no functional accountability for public safety at the neighborhood level — not through Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, Community Service Officers, the Community Police Commission or other emergent programs.
With the abrupt end of the CPT, who will be accountable for challenges in North Seattle?
Angie Gerrald, Seattle