Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Downtown Crime Shocks New Yorker" says Seattle Times

This morning in the NW Wednesday section of the Seattle Times on the first page is the headlines, "Downtown Crime Shocks New Yorker," written by Danny Westneat.

Seattle has so much culture here. We have Broadway plays, the Seattle Art Museum, the Opera, the Aquarium, Zoo, Science Center, Seattle Symphony, and more. We have perfect weather. We have great public transportation.

People who enjoy the cultural aspects of a big city do not want to be accosted by a homeless person, see a homeless person urinate on the sidewalk, or see homeless people sitting around in the street. Public drunkenness shouldn't be allowed. This doesn't help tourism or make people feel comfortable shopping downtown or coming to all the great cultural events Seattle has to offer.

Why do the police feel their hands are tied? What is going on? Aren't the police in charge of public safety?

In the article, it says that a New Yorker named Marvin who lives downtown feels "...the sidewalks and alleys of every block of Belltown and the downtown shopping district features some level of human misery or low-grade street crime, at all times. He's astonished, he says, by the pervasiveness of the homelessness, mental illness, public urination, panhandling, drug use, and drug dealing, all out there mixing with Seattle's condo and office-tower boomtown."

Yes, Seattle has lots of flavor and variety. You are likely to see a very wide mix of people in Seattle but anyone who was brought up in decent surroundings wants to feel safe. Why would anyone pay 500K to 1 million for a condo in downtown to walk out on the sidewalk to see the homeless on the sidewalk, public drunkenness, being accosted by mentally ill, and seeing people urinate publically against the building?

I don't understand why the leaders don't get it. I don't understand why they don't see that something needs to change.

Marvin in this article goes on to say, "Giuliani had a zero tolerance for the open drinking, the peeing in public. His theory was you go after that small stuff to help with the big stuff. It worked in a big way."

"Seattle's got to get tougher," Marvin said. "You go up to the police here and say 'There's a guy smoking crack over there,' or worse, and they say 'Our hands are tied; there's nothing we can do'."

I want to know why? Why can't the police do anything? Who is stopping them? Doesn't everyone agree that these behaviors aren't okay?

Seattle is a liberal city. No one wants a police state, but I don't understand this tolerance and acceptance for criminal behavior in downtown.

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