News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Police: Crime is down – in Maple Leaf and most of town

January 26th, 2011 · 6 Comments

Mike Sanford, assistant police chief (left), and City Councilman Tim Burgess address almost 100 residents at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Is crime up in Maple Leaf? No, police say.

Seattle Police are targeting three types of crimes in particular – burglary, car prowls and auto theft – which are among the most common crimes locally.

“My highest priority are these property crimes,” said Mike Sanford, the assistant police chief who oversees patrol operations. “They are what cause people to be afraid.”

“These crimes are down in every precinct except in south Seattle,” Sanford told the residents and cameras from two TV stations.

At Wednesday night’s meeting of the Maple Leaf Community Council – which is still under way – residents asked: “Where does Maple Leaf fit in as part of the clusters of crimes?”

“Pretty low,” was the answer from City Councilman Tim Burgess, chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee.

Joshua Newman, the new president of the Maple Leaf Community Council, said of crime: “It seems like there’s more, but that’s probably because there’s more visibility of it, thanks to Maple Leaf Life.” (Thanks, Joshua. I think.)

One woman, whose house was burglarized in 2009, said the crime really hit home. “The glass door was broken, many valuables were stolen, including jewelry and my mother’s wedding ring.

“I realize it’s not a homicide, but it meant a lot.”

A police crime prevention coordinator, Diane Horswill, said Maple Leaf averages six to eight burglaries a month. “Last month there were eight, and two were garages. That’s on the low side of average” citywide, she said.

She also said she’s still available to do home inspections, even though city budget cuts mean she’s out of a job in March. “At least for now I’m still willing to come out to your house and do a home security survey.”

Horswill can be reached at or 206-684-7711.

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