In order to improve safety in downtown Seattle, the Seattle Police Department will increase police presence in downtown area according to a statement made by the Interim Chief of Police for the Seattle Police Department.

In order to improve safety in downtown Seattle, the Seattle Police Department will increase police presence in downtown area according to a statement made by the Interim Chief of Police for the Seattle Police Department.

 

John Diaz said Seattle will begin a pilot effort in downtown Seattle beginning on April 1st to redeploy some of the proactive bicycle patrols to foot beats. These foot beats will cover Belltown, Pioneer Square and the International District. By doing it, the police department hopes the police officers can be more accessible to citizens, businesses and the public at large.

 

“Seattle Police Department is doing this within the existing budget, recognizing the City’s current financial constraints”, he added. 

He also encouraged feedbacks from community leaders and stakeholders on this pilot program. “If the feedback is positive, then the program could be replicated anywhere in the city where bicycle officers are currently assigned.” he said.

 

The changes, announced by Mayor Mike McGinn, are part of a pilot project coinciding with City Councilmember Tim Burgess’ controversial proposal to strengthen anti-panhandling laws. These laws are mainly to improve safety in downtown. Police and public safety officials were testifying about the issue during a hearing Wednesday before the city’s public safety committee.

 

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