Me-Kwa-Mooks Park on Beach Drive S.W. in West Seattle.
SPD releases crime stats for Beach Drive murder area; Safety assessment in the works for Me-Kwa-Mooks north to Alki Point
While many details in the West Seattle murder of 51-year-old Greggette Renee Guy on March 11 have yet to be publically released, community concern over safety along Beach Drive has garnered quick response from city officials on plans to improve both safety and the perception of safety for a neighborhood on edge.
What is known at this time is that Guy drove her red Buick from Kent to Me-Kwa-Mooks Park on the evening of March 11 to take a walk. She parked on the 4400 block of Beach Drive S.W. and the next morning a tragic call came in: a body was floating in the Sound several blocks north, at the 3800 block near Cormorant Cove Park. Once her body was recovered police deemed the case a homicide investigation. The official cause of death from King County Medical Examiners has not been released.
In terms of what can be done for the community, Seattle Parks Communications Manager Dewey Potter shared a communication between SPD Southwest Precinct Captain Steve Paulsen, Seattle Parks, Seattle Department of Transportation and City Light.
Here is what Captain Paulsen had to say in response to a community request for safety improvements in the area:
Thank you for taking the time to write in regard to your concern of lighting and general public safety in the area of Beach Drive SW. I am unable to provide any information in regard to the tragic homicide - in order not to compromise the integrity of the investigation, but I can provide you with some information that may assist you and your neighborhood.
I feel confident to tell you that Schmitz Park and Me Kwa Mooks Parks are safe. Activity in the parks does increase during the warmer weather months as it does the activity along Beach Drive and Alki. The particular area where the homicide occurred (along the beach) is also considered quiet and safe. The best advise we can provide our citizens is to always walk with another person and to be aware of your surroundings.
911 calls for the area are considered very low. In the past 15 months, the following 911 calls from citizens have been received…(the geographical area is from Alki Point to just south of Mee Kwa Mooks Park)
51 calls for suspicious persons (most of these occur during the day and during the warmer weather months)
25 calls for False residential alarms
21 calls for disturbances
11 calls for mental complaints
10 calls for Domestic Violence
8 calls for Harassment/assault/threats
Mee Kwa Mooks Park (same 15 month window)
5 Parks Exclusions for inappropriate behavior
3 suspicious persons calls
3 fireworks complaints
2 complaints of noise disturbances
2 complaints of Mischief/Nuisance.
Note: No calls for Drugs or Graffiti (not that it is not occurring, just that folks are not reporting it)
On Thursday, March 15th, I attended the Alki Community Council Meeting. I updated the group on our annual summer emphasis plan that pertains to Alki and neighboring City Parks. The plan starts in or around the 3rdweekend of April and continues through September.
In regard to the recent homicide, I told the group that the Seattle Police Department is putting forth all the necessary resources in order to resolve this tragic event. I also provided a briefing on the quiet nature of the neighborhood and that they will see an increase in patrol cars in the area. I advised that the additional patrol cars will not change or help solve the homicide, but more for neighborhood peace at mind, given the fear a crime such as this creates for a normally quiet/tranquil neighborhood.
In regard to street lighting and/or Lighting near parks, I am more than happy to have our Crime Prevention Coordinator – Mr. Mark Solomon do a Crime Prevention Environmental assessment for the neighborhood. Mark is able to work closely with our Parks Department, City Light and SDOT folks if additional measures are needed.
Potter with Seattle Parks said her department, along with SDOT and City Light, will consider any suggestions that result from a crime prevention assessment.