Parents for a Better Downtown Seattle meet with Virginia Gleason of the Seattle Police Department

In May, PBDS met with Virginia Gleason, Chief Strategic Advisor for the Seattle Police Department to discuss the 9 ½ Blocks Strategy. We spent an hour learning more about the work behind the dramatic change in the area between Pike Place Market and Westlake Park.

Highlights of what we learned:

  • The Police are changing the physical environment in crime heavy areas. Alleys are closed. Bus stops have been moved.

  • Drug dealers are being sentenced to jail. The worst offenders are being sent to federal prison.

  • Drug users are going into the LEAD program to get help with addiction and mental illness.

  • An operations base has been set up on Second Ave., between Pike and Pine streets.

  • Prostitutes are being treated as victims, not perpetrators.

  • Many of our members who live in Pioneer Square and Belltown (outside of the 9 ½ Blocks) were concerned about crime displacement. According to Virginia police are carefully tracking this issue.

What you can do to help:

  • Support the Police Department by sending letters to the city council and mayor’s office. PBDS will be sending a formal support letter later this month.

  • Call 911 when you witness a crime. The police department is using tracking software to establish patterns of criminal activity.

So far the improvements have been impressive. Families living in and visiting the city have a safe and fun summer to look forward to!

#safety #SPD

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