At a news conference following yesterday’s shooting of a 64-year-old Metro bus driver, Mayor McGinn said violent crime in the downtown core is on the wane, but that in any case, more cops are on the way.
McGinn’s comments came 12 days after the Downtown Seattle Association dispatched to the mayor’s office a stinging rebuke of his efforts to address what many perceive as an increasingly dangerous and volatile climate in the city’s busy retail and tourist corridor.
The July 31 letter, signed by more than 40 businesses, ticked off eight violent incidents since June, beatings and assaults, in the downtown area.
“There’s just too much of it,” wrote DSA president Kate Joncas. “You look at that list, [and] any citizen would say this is not acceptable for my neighborhood.”
Joncas is on vacation and could not be reached today to further illuminate her concerns.
McGinn, though, stressed that two police officers were “right on the scene” when the driver Deloy Dupuis was shot and wounded aboard his Route 27 Metro Transit bus by 31-year-old Martin Duckworth at about 8:48 a.m.
The mayor praised the department’s seven-minute response time from when the first calls came until the armed Duckworth was fatally wounded by police gunfire.
As far as the DSA letter, McGinn said, “We’re going to have 30 more (officers) by next year. So we’re working to be responsive to their concerns.”
McGinn also spoke of his City Center Initiative (which Seattle Weekly wrote extensively about last month) which will bring together police, social-service agencies, business leaders and others and focus on root causes of the crime problem in downtown Seattle.