In her most recent letter to Block Watch captains, Terrie Johnston, the Seattle Police Department North Precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator, reminded residents to trust their gut instinct when they see something suspicious in their neighborhood. Johnston said many people aren’t sure something warrants a call to 911, so instead they leave a voicemail or email for an officer at the North Precinct. But, by the time they see or hear that message, it’s too late.
I think I speak for the entire Community Police Team when I tell you that every day in our e-mail inbox, or on our telephone’s voicemail inbox, we find messages from the community that say something like this, “I wanted to let you know that I just saw something suspicious……….but I didn’t think this merited a 9-1-1 call”.
Almost always the information is detailed, with good descriptions and refers to something that may or may not have been criminal, but certainly seemed odd. And almost always it is too late for SPD to do anything with that information. I am now hoping to encourage you to trust that gut feeling of yours. If you get the sense that something weird is happening, even if it isn’t an emergency, please call 9-1-1 and simply state what you are reporting. The call taker will decide whether your call should be transferred off the primary line onto a secondary line. You don’t know what you prevent by getting a patrol cruiser coming into your neighborhood.
Johnston also sent out an update on property crime in the North End.
In much of the North precinct, the burglary rates have decreased or stabilized. There are still increased numbers of residential burglaries in some northeast neighborhoods. They are primarily occurring during the hours of 6 a.m. to about 6 p.m. Knocking on doors to see if anyone is at home is still a common method used by thieves. In some cases, there is a female driver who serves as chauffeur and lookout, for her male accomplices. The lookout has been seen texting the thieves about watchful neighbors, etc. Kicking in doors, or door jambs is prevalent. We recommend all exterior doors be solid core doors, (or metal) and are a minimum of 1 ¾” thick. For maximum security, all exterior doors should be equipped with a deadbolt lock and reinforced strike plates, using 3” screws which will go into the framework. Locks within 40 inches of glass are vulnerable.
Watchful neighbors remain your best alarm. 9 times out of 10, our burglars are arrested due to 9-1-1 calls from neighbors who heard or saw something suspicious and made that call.
Johnston is available to make free potential crime assessments of any residential or business property. Just give her a call at 206-684-7711 or email [email protected].