Armed with crime data, commanders in each of Seattle’s five police precincts are identifying “hot spots” and directing patrol officers to get out of their cars in those areas, interact with residents and business owners to gain information, and deter crime and reduce fear by increasing their visibility, the Seattle Times reports. This week, precinct captains will hold news briefings alongside Mayor Mike McGinn to detail how they are implementing the department’s latest summertime initiative in their swaths of the city.
McGinn said that during summer months, from roughly Fourth of July to Labor Day, citywide 911 calls typically spike 20 percent. The department’s “directed patrols” began 2 ½ weeks ago, and in the first week during second watch — the 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. shift that traditionally sees the highest volume of 911 calls — the number of 911 calls originating from the West Precinct’s four hot spots dropped 60 percent. “We typically work from a random patrol standpoint,” said Capt. Jim Dermody. “Getting out of the patrol car is a cultural change for us.”