Captain Steve Paulsen at a Night Out against crime block party last year. The nationwide effort has people holding outdoor parties, blocking off their street and getting to know one another to help prevent crime, help one another in a disaster, and create a greater sense of community.
Night Out Against Crime is coming up August 7; Not too late to register your block
by Mark Solomon
Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Coordinator
The 2012 National Night Out Against Crime will be Tuesday, August 7th. Night Out is a national crime prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite our communities. It is a great chance to reconnect with neighbors and share information with each other while learning more about crime prevention.
To register your 2012 Night Out Against Crime event, please go to: http://www.seattle.gov/police/nightout/default.htm
Why Being Involved is Important
The messages we hear from you every day tell the story; Neighbors are concerned, angry and frustrated about the amount of crime in our city, particularly violent crime; burglaries, home invasion robberies, car-jackings, assaults and homicides. Every neighborhood in Seattle has been impacted; shootings in Lake City and Belltown, stabbings at Golden Gardens, homicides in Rainier Beach, Roosevelt and West Seattle,… We hear your frustration and share your anger. The problems of crime and violence in our communities cannot be solved by police alone. Police respond, intervene, interdict and incarcerate, but police alone do not prevent crime. You, the community, are the catalyst in preventing crime.
The history of block watch, that tradition of neighbors coming together to reduce crime is what celebrating Night Out is all about. One of our former Crime Prevention Coordinators, Grace Jansens, once said, “Neighborhoods have the amount of crime they tolerate.” Now, more than ever, Grace’s words resonate throughout our community. Neighborhoods have said “ENOUGH.” Enough of the crime. Enough of the senseless violence. We will tolerate no more.
What You Can Do
Our challenge as a community is to answer the question, “What can folks in the community do about the crime and violence?”
I say, “Do what you can.”
At your Night Out event, make a commitment to reduce crime and violence in your community. Take the opportunity as neighbors gathered together to talk about what you can and will do. Whether you act together or individually, we ask you to act. What can you do? Here are some suggestions:
As simple as
· organizing a block watch if you don’t already have one
· organizing a walking group – be a visible presence in your neighborhood
· being watchful and report suspicious activity to 911, no matter how trivial you might think it to be
· changing the way in which you as an individual choose to resolve conflict; do you take a moment to stop, think, breath and then respond, or do you just act or lash out?
· If you own a firearm, store it safely and securely so it isn’t stolen or used to commit a crime
As complex as
· advocating for increased treatment availability for those with mental illness
· getting involved in making legislative changes
· advocating for services for ex-offender re-entry
As direct as
· volunteering as a youth mentor or tutor
· providing an internship for a young person; better yet, hire them
· speak to groups of youth about career options-share your experience
There are a number of great community based organizations with whom the Seattle Police Department partners. In addition to the various neighborhood councils, individual block watches, chambers of commerce and merchant associations, we encourage you to get involved to the extent that you can with the groups in your community. While not an exhaustive list, we want to recognize some community partners and violence prevention efforts in East, South, and Southwest Precincts. We apologize up front for any that we miss; no offense is intended.
· Boys & Girls Clubs of King County (http://www.positiveplace.org/index.asp)
· East Precinct Advisory Council (www.eastpac.org)
· Georgetown Community Council http://www.georgetownneighborhood.com/)
· Lockmore Neighborhood (http://www.lockmore.org/blog/)
· New Holly Neighbors Traffic and Safety Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
· New Rainier Vista Traffic and Safety Committee (email@example.com)
· North Beacon Hill Council (http://north-beacon-hill.blogspot.com/)
· Rainier Beach Empowerment Coalition (http://www.rbcoalition.org/)
· Rainier Chamber of Commerce (http://www.rainierchamber.com/)
· Seattle Neighborhood Group (http://www.sngi.org/welcome/index.php)
· Seattle Police Department Safety & Prevention Programs (http://www.seattle.gov/police/prevention/default.htm)
· Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/education/youthInitiative/)
· South Park Neighborhood Association (http://www.allaboutsouthpark.com)
· South Seattle Crime Prevention Council (firstname.lastname@example.org)
· West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network (http://wsblockwatchnet.wordpress.com/)
· West Seattle Crime Prevention Council (http://wscpc.blogspot.com/)
Help Us Tell Your Story
One of our goals for Night Out 2012 is that every Night Out block in the city makes a commitment for action on preventing crime and violence. We also ask you to provide us with feedback on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/SeattlePolice). Let us know what folks - either individually or collectively - are going to do in the next year until Night Out 2013.
We would like to be able to tell that story – your story – of what you did to let it be known that your neighborhood will not tolerate crime.
Thank you for all you do for your neighborhoods. Until next time, Take Care and Stay Safe!
Crime Prevention Coordinator
Seattle Police Department