One of our locations is just South of Seattle in Kent, WA.
I have lived in WA, South of Seattle for the last 17 years, having moved from Chicago, IL in 1998. I consider Seattle to be one of the safest big cities (especially compared to Chicago) but even Seattle has to deal with the same safety issues that any large conglomerate of individuals does so I was pretty excited to discover in brand new website entitled www.downtownseattle.com/safety/.
The website is run by the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) and here is what they have to say about this new site:
The DSA is your advocate, and the Downtown Safety Connection is a vehicle to bring your concerns to the city’s decision makers. We will take your Downtown public safety comments and share them with the appropriate departments, connecting you with the people who can best help us make Downtown Seattle the inviting and safe urban area we all want it to be.
The website allows city dwellers to report crimes and suspicious activity in real time. Click on the issue (Drug dealing, Encampment, Graffiti, Illegal Vending, Individual Suffering Mental Health Crisis, Intimidating behavior/Aggressive solicitation, Open-air drug use, Public nuisance, Street disorder) and specify whom you would like to notify (Downtown Seattle Association, City Attorney, County Prosecutor, Metropolitan Improvement District, Office of the Mayor, Seattle City Council, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Police Dept., Seattle Public Utilities or Transit Police). Then, fill out your name, email (both of which are required although you can check a box that we keep your name anonymous) and, if you wish, your phone and business/residential bldg. You can then give details (2,000 character limit) as well as the Street address or intersection of the activity. You can also attach one or more photos, although there is a disclaimer that says “Please do not take photos if doing so will escalate the situation, or could put the safety of you or others at risk. Max size 4MB.”
It also lets you know to make sure to call 911 if a crime is in progress.
So… I think it’s cool but what about you? Do you think this is something that every major (or even medium sized) city ought to emulate? Will this help reduce crime or will it just move to areas that don’t have such sites? Would you use it? Why? Why not?