To Enhance Public Safety, Mayor Jenny Durkan & Chief of Police Carmen Best Announce Extra Patrols During the Holiday Season

Seattle (November 21)–To help enhance public safety for Seattle residents and visitors during the holiday season, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Chief of Police Carmen Best announced today that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) will begin extra holiday patrols in nine areas across Seattle on November 30 and continue them through December. SPD will also deploy specific operational plans and patrols on both November 29 (Black Friday) and December 31 (New Year’s Eve).

“We have a duty to make our neighborhoods and communities safer – and we will do all we can to make sure residents and visitors feel safe as they enjoy all that Seattle has to offer during the holiday season. We will continue to advance livability and public safety through data-driven, proactive strategies and listening to community,” said Mayor Durkan. “I will continue to work closely with Chief Best and other members of my Cabinet to monitor the impact of these extra patrols. I am grateful to our SPD officers who are helping ensure that people feel safe during the holidays in Seattle.”

“Our Winter Holiday patrols contribute to the vitality of our neighborhoods, and the safety of our residents and visitors,” said Chief Carmen Best. “We are increasing these extra patrols by more than 20 percent compared to last year. Every precinct will benefit.”

Neighborhoods that see high volume of holiday shoppers and holiday events with emphasis patrols will include:

  • Ballard
  • Downtown retail core between 3rd and 6th Avenues between Olive and Union
  • Capitol Hill
  • Fremont
  • Columbia City
  • University Village
  • University District
  • Westwood Village/Roxhill Park
  • West Seattle Junction/California Ave SW

Residents and visitors in areas with extra holiday patrols can expect to see an increased presence by SPD officers both on foot and on bikes.

Earlier this year, Mayor Durkan and Chief Best announced pre-summer and summer emphasis programs to improve public safety and address maintenance needs in neighborhoods across Seattle.

Emphasis patrols are a recognized practice in police departments across the country and an evidence-based strategy to fight crime. They are also a decades-long strategy in Seattle.

In 2019, the emphasis patrols, combined with the work of City departments to address maintenance needs, showed positive results. Officers in emphasis zones made contact with hundreds of individuals, offering services, referrals to Law Enforcement Assisted-Diversion (LEAD), warnings, and citations. Residents have reported increased visibility by SPD officers.

Holiday emphasis patrols will not reduce regular SPD and City of Seattle operations, including police patrols and criminal investigations throughout Seattle; regular operations and criminal investigations will continue. SPD will continue to evaluate the impact to understand continued and future deployments in those and other areas.

As part of her 2020 Proposed Budget currently being considered by City Council, Mayor Durkan proposed including $847,000 to continue those community-based emphasis patrols at 2019 levels in 2020.

As of November 20, 2019, Citywide crime is down six percent compared to the same time in 2018.