June 30

Maple Leaf could lose crime prevention coordinator

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The people who work directly with our neighborhood in preventing crime could soon be out of a job. The six civilian crime prevention coordinators for the Seattle Police Department, including North Precinct coordinators Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen, have been told they’ll lose their jobs next spring when grant money runs out.

Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen.

The crime prevention coordinators work directly with residents doing everything from setting up block watches to going door to door to warn about recent crimes. They’ve been part of the police budget up until last October, when the positions then became paid for with federal grant money. That ends on March 31 of next year.

“We are the link between the community and the police department,” said crime prevention coordinator Terrie Johnston from the West Precinct. “Patrol officers are often promoted or transfer out. We’re the ones in people’s living rooms and churches.”

Johnston and her fellow coordinators have logged hundreds of community meetings over the past year. She worries that officers and precinct bosses won’t be able to give residents one-on-one attention if the crime prevention coordinators are let go.

“When we’re gone, who will take the time?”

Councilman Tim Burgess, chairman the Public Safety and Education committee, tells us his office is closely tracking the issue as it heads toward the mayor and council. If you’d like to voice your opinion, here are¬†links to the mayor and City Council.

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  1. For anyone who does want to volunteer their own time on their own dime to provide services in neighborhood safety will first want to contact the police department for information on how communities and neighborhoods to protect their homes and for businesses to work together protect themselves.

    This is often even more important during times of recession, when crime typically goes up. Anyone in any neighborhood in the city (low crime and high crime areas) will be able to these things for themselves after contacting the police department through their Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator and getting accurate information and guidance on how to best and legally do these things.

    Oh, wait, nevermind.

  2. Boo freakin’ hoo. Maybe no one in Maple Leaf noticed the RECESSION or the budget deficits in the State, County and City governments.

    Countless individuals are without all kinds of ESSENTIAL services due to a variety of cuts. Perhaps folks who are so broken up over this minor cut in a low crime area could volunteer their own time on their own dime to provide services they deem necessary for the community.

  3. I really hope that everyone actually writes in a letter about the incredible stupidity of not having these positions filled and doesn’t just complain. We have to let them know if these people are let go, it will widen the gap between citizens and our government. It will make people feel less in control, less in touch, and more frustrated.

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