Crime in Seattle’s downtown shopping district has declined over the past year, a fact police attribute to spending nearly $1 million in overtime to beef up patrols, reports the Seattle Times. “The narcotics, the open-air drug sales have been impacted. The number of assaults not occurring is very significant,” said Capt. Steve Brown. “It’s a matter of having a consistent presence and an expectation [of officers] down there.” Police increased uniformed patrols, gang officers, and mounted officers after a man opened fire near Pike Place Market and wounded two men in July 2007.
Police statistics show a major drop in reports of assaults, disturbances, narcotics and civility, or quality of life, issues. Because of the department’s focus on the area, officers are seeing an increase in crime in nearby neighborhoods which they believe could be a result of their push on crime in the shopping district.