Keeping the public safe downtown is always a priority of the City of Seattle and Seattle Police Department. However, that job apparently becomes even a little more important during the holiday season.
During a press conference this morning at Pacific Place, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, joined by SPD Captain James Dermody and Kate Joncas of the Downtown Seattle Association, detailed efforts intended to make the hanging out downtown this holiday season more enjoyable for all parties involved (except, we suppose, crooks and such).
As a press release distributed by the McGinn's office touts, the centerpiece of this holiday-related effort will be SPD emphasis patrols in the downtown retail core between 3rd and 7th Avenues and Union to Olive Streets, and Pioneer Square.
"Downtown is a great neighborhood to visit any time of the year, but during the holidays this is really a special place" McGinn notes in the press release. "We're here to help our businesses, residents and shoppers be safe and have a great experience this holiday season."
According to McGinn's office, the emphasis patrols will kick off the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday to the shameless consumers out there), and conclude the day after Christmas.
Here are the details from the press release:
These patrols begin the day after Thanksgiving and conclude the day after Christmas, Monday-Friday from 3pm-10pm and Saturday/Sunday/Holidays 1pm-10pm. Participating Seattle Police West Precinct personnel include on-duty officers (including the Mounted Patrol), extra-duty overtime officers, uniformed off-duty officers employed by retailers such as Pacific Place, and officers working supplemental police service shifts under a long term contract with the Downtown Seattle Association's Metropolitan Improvement District. Staffing will ensure visible presence, and support of any increased impacts that large crowds in shopping areas create. The majority of the officers will be on foot.
While a cynic might wonder why extra efforts are being made for holiday shoppers when many of the areas included in the seasonal emphasis patrols regularly battle criminal ne'er-do-wells, McGinn's office is quick to point out that the holiday emphasis patrols are "in addition to directed patrols that have been taking place in all five police precincts in Seattle since September."
As the press release notes: "Those directed patrols, along with the violence prevention emphasis patrols begun earlier this year, will continue alongside the holiday season emphasis patrols."