Seattle police are putting an emphasis on lowering “street disorder” crimes that make downtown parks and streets feel unsafe, according to an SPD news release.
A new seven-member Neighborhood Response Team is patrolling the area to tackle persistent, low-level crimes such as shoplifting, public urination and drug use, police say. Downtown businesses and community groups have increasingly pushed for action.
In addition to giving warnings and issuing citations to repeat offenders, members of the special squad will connect people with social services.
“This is a very complex problem throughout the city,” West Precinct Capt. Chris Fowler said. “This squad is really charged to affect the most critical areas downtown. They aren’t going to solve it throughout the city. They aren’t going to solve it throughout the West precinct. But they might be able to help in some of the worst areas.”
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Comprised of six officers and a sergeant, the team will generally work from 6:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., police say. Read the SPD release.