For the second consecutive summer, uniformed Seattle police will be patrolling into the wee hours on Fridays and Saturdays in areas of the city where people congregate, says the Seattle Times. Mayor Mike McGinn and Police Chief John Diaz announced that the “Citywide Late Night Public Safety Emphasis” will kick off Friday and continue each weekend until sometime in September.
Last summer, the late-night emphasis was created in response to a series of early-morning shootings, most of which occurred after patrons of the neighborhood’s bars and taverns spilled onto the streets after closing time. Last summer’s emphasis was “a success in the reduction we’ve seen in the number of shootings” and helped create “a sense of a safer city,” Diaz said. Still, even as crime rates go down, “people’s fear of crime is going up” and one way to counter that fear is to have a highly visible police presence, the chief said. “People feel safer when they see uniformed officers,” McGinn said. Responsible club and restaurant owners have created a vibrant nightlife for residents and visitors alike, while irresponsible owners have been threatened with citations or even shutdown, he said.