By Stephanie Klein [MyNorthwest.com]
Mayor Ed Murray on Friday announced a plan to help make Seattle’s Chinatown-International District safer. The plan reflects recommendations made by the mayor’s task force that was created after the murder of community activist Donnie Chin.
In his blog, Murray outlined four key elements of the plan:
Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist – This one-year pilot creates a new civilian position at the Seattle Police Department that will be trained in national best practices around community policing and will be the City’s point to implement strategies to address the most acute criminal activities afflicting the neighborhood.
Neighborhood-Based Public Safety Coordinator – The Department of Neighborhoods will provide matching funds for a position based in the neighborhood to provide public safety coordination between City departments and the residents and organizations in the C/ID.
Public Safety Steering Committee – City employees and community members will identify key public safety projects to implement in the next 12-18 months, which will be measured and monitored for concrete outcomes.
Improved Police Communication and Responsiveness – The Seattle Police Department will increase positive police engagement and relationship-building within the community with additional and redeployed staff, improve 911 responsiveness and language capabilities, and ensure that police patrols maintain high visibility in the neighborhood.
“The neglect that the Chinatown-International District feels did not occur overnight,” Murray said. “But I am committing our City to work with the community to address these issues so that we preserve this wonderful, vibrant, diverse and historic neighborhood.”
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole echoed the mayor’s commitment to the Chinatown-International District neighborhoods.
As part of the plan, Murray announced the City of Seattle will launch a new litter clean-up program to be piloted in Chinatown-International District and Ballard. Seattle Public Utilities will increase pick-up with crews on the streets bi-weekly. The utility will quickly respond to illegal dumping and install more garbage cans.