June 14, 2013
The conveniences that make our neighborhood desirable also make it vulnerable: easy freeway access, many buses and the ability to walk to most everything you need.
A package was recently stolen off a neighbor’s porch. We had a similar experience and now have a sign on our door: Do Not Leave Packages on Porch. Please Ring Bell. However, there is a new UPS delivery person in our area. He wears ear buds, drops the packages and practically runs to the next house. He does not ring the bell. I emailed UPS to explain and a representative called back the same day to assure me that packages will not be left outside our house.
We can all do more to reduce petty crimes, but we need to work together. A significant number of people in our area work from home and should be able to keep ‘eyes on the street,’ as Jane Jacobs would say.
Speaking of ‘eyes on the street’, I walked up the steps of Russ’s house today, corner of NE 63rd and 6th Ave N. He was doing what he does best – sitting on his porch, looking around. Just last week he watched a couple who were surveying the neighborhood, one pushing a bike. To Russ, they appeared to be canvassing our area. He said he called the cops, but no one came out.
Bravo Russ! Perfect. “Call 911 when you see something that gives you a bad feeling in your gut, or makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up,” was the suggestion given to me by our Community Policing Officer (CPO) Loren Street.
Mayor McGinn is asking people to call 911 to report any crime or nuisance. It’s part of the Police Department’s new program “Predictive Policing”. Officer Street said not to be shy about dialing 911. The dispatch people know what to do. They will decide whether to send out an officer, but the incident posts to the computer and that’s the important part. Reported crimes push more resources to the appropriate areas. The idea is to prevent the crime in the first place.
Officer Street came out, at my request, to survey the Orchard area and around the freeway embankment near our house. He walked around, spoke to a few men hanging out at the bus stop, and then came to my door. He is now the CPO for Green Lake, Fremont, Phinney and Wallingford.
He agreed that, since most of our houses are too small to fit a large groups of neighbors, the Orchard might be a good place to host a ‘living room talk’ this summer. Several officers come out, bring food and answer questions. It’s a way for the police to get to know a neighborhood.
If anyone wants to help to organize this event, please leave a comment or email us.
On a related note, the annual neighborhood night out is August 6 and the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) has funding available to help you host. You would need to get in touch with them before July 1. Visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallsparks.htm or call 206-733- 9916. Night Out is a national Crime Prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite communities. To learn more about Night Out, visit www.seattle.gov/police/Nightout/default.htm.