With a $1.25 federal grant the Seattle Police Department will be able to add two new Community Police Team officers to each precinct, including the Southwest Precinct of West Seattle. Currently, as seen above, three CPT officers patrol all of West Seattle.
West Seattle to get additional Community Police Team officers in 2014
Announced recently by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel, the Seattle Police Department was awarded a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department as part of the federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
McGinn said the money will be used to hire 10 additional Community Police Team officers for the city, assigning two to each precinct. They also committed to hiring four veterans for those positions.
“Unlike regular patrol officers, CPT officers focus on long-term and chronic problems specific to individual neighborhoods,” according to the Mayor’s office. “They patrol known ‘hot spots’ multiple times throughout their shifts and work to build relationships with residents and business owners in their precincts. Working directly with the community allows them to spot problems as they arise and combat the root causes of crime.”
Our local Southwest Precinct currently has three CPT officers including Officer Flores, Officer Keihn and Officer McDaniel. Flores patrols the peninsula’s western William sector, Kiehn covers the eastern Frank sector, and McDaniel focuses on Seattle Housing Authority locations.
SW Precinct Captain Joseph Kessler said his department has yet to discuss how deployment will change with two additional CPTs in the mix, but said, “We will spread the workload among all areas of the precinct.”
“It is great news and will really help bolster our ability to work on some of our long term problem areas,” Capt. Kessler added. “Being able to have additional officers dedicated to working directly on issues important to the community makes us more responsive and ultimately, more effective in providing quality service."
A few months back McGinn announced his plan to fund an additional 15 new officers in Seattle as part of his proposed 2014 budget. With the COPS grant that could mean an additional 25 officers patrolling the city next year.