Ty Swenson
Third watch commander Lt. Alan Williams (left), Operations Lt. Pierre Davis (right) and CPT Officer Jonathan Kiehn (background) speak to the crime prevention council at the Southwest Precinct on Nov. 16. Lt. Davis and Lt. Williams recently moved to the SW Precinct from other areas within the Seattle Police Department.

Police say crime in decline at West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting

“Word on the street is West Seattle’s not a good place (to commit crime),” Southwest Precinct Capt. Steve Paulsen told the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council during their monthly meeting on Nov. 16.

Capt. Paulsen said West Seattle is, “still on a downward trend with everything … (including) residential burglaries, car prowls, vehicle thefts and non-residential burglaries.”

Capt. Paulsen credited the downward trend to “some real significant arrests” of residential burglars. Although he did not provide specific details on the arrests, Capt. Paulsen said getting these burglars off the streets has positively impacted car prowls and vehicle thefts as the perpetrators would commit those crimes if they didn’t have a house or business to burglarize.

“That’s good work in calling in suspicious activity in neighborhoods, being a good neighbor, and also some great detective and officer work,” he said.

Capt. Paulsen added West Seattle usually averages 50 to 55 reported burglaries in a month, and at the halfway point of November there have only been 11 reported.

With Black Friday and the seasonal rush of holiday shopping a little over a week away, Capt. Paulsen also issued a warning to shoppers: Don’t leave packages and presents in plain sight in your car as prowlers will be on the lookout.

He also said to, “be aware of your surroundings (when leaving a store with an armful of merchandise because) … people will come up, grab your stuff and run.”

Also present at the meeting were three-fourths of Capt. Paulsen’s SW precinct command team, including new Operations Lt. Pierre Davis, night-shift commander Lt. Alan Williams and day-shift commander Lt. Ron Smith.

Community Police Team Officer Jonathan Kiehn briefly addressed the council to say he has noticed the West Seattle community has done a much better job of describing suspects and their last known direction when calling 911, and partially credited it to the speech he gave about calling 911 at the last West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network meeting and the media’s coverage of that information (the Herald’s coverage is here).

Seattle Police Department Detective Suzanne Moore was the guest speaker at the meeting and spoke to the council about crimes committed against the elderly.

“My primary focus is cases of neglect and abuse in licensed care settings and I will also investigate deaths in private homes or anticipated deaths due to neglect,” said Detective Moore, who has focused on this specific beat for the past six years.

In addition to cases of neglect, Detective Moore said she also investigates issues of financial exploitation of the elderly.

“We have a real significant problem (with) underreporting when it comes to crimes against the elderly,” she said, attributing the problem to isolation (where the victim is the only one aware of the crime and is unable to report it) and a general lack of education on what constitutes crimes against the elderly.

“I think it’s more prevalent than you know,” she said.

Detective Moore said anyone suspicious of neglect or financial exploitation of an elderly person should report it.

For concerns regarding licensed care settings, such as neglect in a nursing home or assisted living environments, should call Residential Care Services at (800) 562-6078.

For concerns over neglect, financial exploitation or an elderly person’s inability to take care of themselves, she said to call Adult Protective Services at (206) 341-7660.

Next, Operations Lt. Pierre Davis and Lt. Alan Williams, both new to the SW Precinct amidst a recent personnel shuffle (read more about the shuffle here) introduced themselves to the committee and asked what the current crime concerns are for West Seattle.

The biggest concern brought up by committee members was scrap metal theft from residences.

Crime Prevention Council president Dorothy “Dot” Beard concluded the meeting by nominating a nomination committee to begin the search for new council officers for 2011-2012.

Beard’s, along with vice president Richard Miller and secretary/treasurer Betty Wiberg’s offices terms end Dec. 31, 2010, so the seats are open to anyone interested in the position.

Beard said she has been a part of the Crime Prevention Council for ten years and she decided it was time to step down as president.

For more information on the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, visit http://wscpc.blogspot.com/.

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