Community Council Hears About Crime Prevention From SPD

This month’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council featured speakers from the Seattle Police Department about crime prevention.

Read the complete minutes of the December meeting.

Crime Prevention Coordinator Mary Amberg, and Officer Bryan Kennedy on the Community Police Team for our area, spoke about how to prevent crime in and around your home. Many of the tips are available here, but include the obvious things like locking windows and doors, not leaving valuables in your car, keep lights on around your house, etc. Call 911 whenever you see suspicious activity, all calls become part of a database that helps put resources where they are most needed. The city’s Find It, Fix It app can report illegal dumping, potholes, trees in the lines, or homeless encampments. Mary will do a a free security analysis of your house and point out weak spots that need attention. You can call her at the North Precinct, (206) 684-0850.

Write down all the serial numbers of valuables in your house such as electronics, TVs, and bicycles (turn them upside, the number is under the pedals).  Other advice includes registering your cellphone with https://www.smart911.com/ so dispatchers know your name and home address in case of an emergency.

In other news, the Victory Heights Survey is still going on until December 31st: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CJJZJR7

The next meeting is Tuesday, January 17th. Sabrina Balieu, city councilwoman Debora Juarez’s right hand, will be the guest speaker and will talk about what’s going on in District 5.

Learn How To Remove Used Needles At Workshop

needleThe North Precinct Advisory Council Social Services Committee invites community members to a free training workshop, How to Safely Remove Used Syringes from a Public Area on Saturday, February 20 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the University Masonic Lodge, 4338 University Way NE.

Joe Tinsley, Needle Exchange Coordinator for Seattle-King County Public Health, will talk about the risks, proper handling, and disposal of used needles. A limited number of sharps containers and garbage pickers will be available for participants.

This free training will provide community members who regularly see discarded needles in public places with the information they need to safely dispose of them. While certainly not a solution for preventing and reducing drug abuse, the training can provide neighbors with information needed to keep public areas clean and safe.

For more information and to RSVP, contact NPAC Social Services Committee volunteer Michael Cuadra at mccuadra@msn.com

Other resources:

  • Needles in parks: Call the Seattle Parks Department Maintenance Request Line: 206-684-7250.
  • Needles on other city-owned land/facilities: During regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., call the SPU Illegal Dumping Hotline: 206-684-7587.

 

What To Do About Drug Use In The Park?

Last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council focused on an increase in drug dealing and using in and around Victory Heights Park.

Read the complete minutes of the September meeting.

Neighbors have discovered used needles near the co-op preschool building in the park, and suspicious characters loitering in the park at night, and parked along 19th Avenue NE. Calls to the police seem to be responded to too late or not at all. And the city isn’t keen on signs, surveillance cameras or more lights in the park. What can concerned residents do? Well for starters, you should always call 911 when you see something suspicious. The city tracks crime statistics and if we start calling attention to this problem, this will get action in the long run even if the police don’t show up every time you call. There will also be an attempt to get the residents across the park along 19th Avenue to get organized and perhaps put up yard signs of their own saying the neighborhood is watching. If every yard had a sign, that would send a clear message. Crime happens when criminals think nobody cares. And finally, once district elections are over for city council, we will have a representative who we can go to (hopefully backed up with statistics–keep calling 911) and get them to grease the wheels of city government to make sure the park does not fall into ruin and neglect. Together we can make a difference!

The next meeting of the community council will be Tuesday, October 20th. Make a date to attend if you’d like to be part of the solution.

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Community Council Meeting February 17th

VHsignThe monthly meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council is Tuesday, February 17th, starting at 7 PM at the Co-op Preschool building in Victory Heights Park.  Among the topics for discussion will be the house on NE 105th Street that has recently been the subject of police activity and this story that ran on KIRO TV earlier this week. Everyone in the neighborhood is encouraged to attend. Bring your own chair if you don’t want to sit in the small children’s chairs at the school.

 

Caroling, Crime and Elections at Community Meeting

Last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council was a mixed bag of different topics, including a presentation by Alex Vallandry of Seattle Neighborhood Group.

Read the complete minutes of the December meeting.

Alex spoke about the recent spate of car prowls and thefts and what can be done to reduce them (don’t keep anything valuable–or frankly stealable–in your car, park in well-lit areas, don’t drive 1990s era Hondas). But the silver lining if your car is stolen is it’s usually opportunists looking for a quick trip somewhere, 86% of cars are recovered, most within 12 blocks from where they were stolen. Mail theft came up, definitely a hot topic at this time of year (in fact, I found stolen mail alongside the road today and returned it to the owners, the packages had all been torn open and the contents stolen. The mail had been removed from unlocked mailboxes). Possible deterrents include finding a neighbor who stays home and having packages delivered to them instead of sitting on your doorstep, getting them delivered at work, or going in with neighbors to buy a group locking mailbox.

Caroling will return to Victory Heights again this year, starting at 6:30 PM next Tuesday, December 23rd.  Meet up at the Harris house, 10512 17th Avenue NE (enter on the NE 106th side), where music sheets, cookies, and hot cider will be offered before everyone heads out into the streets. Read about last year’s caroling event.

Finally, elections are coming for the board members and officers of the Victory Heights Community Council. These two year positions include the search for a new President and Vice-President. You might think this sounds like a lot of work, but mostly the President delegates the work to someone else and just has to run the meetings once a month, which pretty much run themselves. Interested in running or being on the council’s executive board? Write to Ardith Lupton.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 at 7 PM in the usual location at the preschool building in Victory Heights Park. Happy holidays, everyone!

Burglary Rate Falls But Residents Worry About Crime

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, residents heard a presentation by Elizabeth Scott, the Crime Prevention Coordinator from the North Precinct of the Seattle Police Department (SPD), who said that compared with a similar period last year, burglaries are down in the Lincoln 2 sector that Victory Heights is part of.

Read the entire minutes of last night’s meeting.

However this did not assuage the concerns of some residents who, citing personal experience (and recent articles in The Seattle Times), felt SPD was not treating property crime seriously. Even though her job is helping residents with crime preventation, and not being a spokesman for the department, she said dispatchers have to prioritize cases and burglaries can be a lower priority at times depending on what other calls are coming in. “There are limitations to what we can do.”

Given the recent publicity in The Times, the new police chief, Kathleen O’Toole, said they would be reviewing police procedures. It is still important to report any robberies because it does provide data to the police department of what is happening where and how resources are allocated. On the prevention front, Elizabeth reminded us to lock your doors, make sure your house looks occupied even when it’s not, and store and lock up any ladders or tools that are outside that could be used to enter your house.

Meanwhile, if you need to report a non-emergency such as a homeless encampment or abandoned car, you can call 684-CITY, or use the new Find It Fix It app for your Android or iPhone. For added safety, you can register your mobile phone at Smart911.com with your personal information which would then be displayed if you ever call 911 to let them know who you are and your home address, which might be invaluable during an emergency.

And while burglaries are down, car thefts are up, particularly if you drive a 1990s Honda, Toyota or Subaru. Very often these cars are used by joy riders who leave them on the side of the road afterwards. Lock your cars, use a Club, and never leave valuables inside.

The next meeting of the community council is Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at the Co-Op Preschool building in Victory Heights Park starting at 7 PM.

 

The Victory Heights Community Council versus The World Crime League

It may not be a conspiracy, but the level of crime in Victory Heights lately has been unsettling to attendees of last night’s Victory Heights Community Council.

Read the full minutes of last night’s meeting.

Back at its regular meeting place in the Co-Op Pre-School building in Victory Heights Park, last night the council heard about recent criminal activity including a car stolen just hours earlier from 23rd Avenue NE that had also been stolen just a month earlier from the same location! A number of mail thefts have occurred as well, not only from unlocked mail boxes but the attempted jimmying of locked boxes on 20th Avenue NE. A number of car prowls and burglaries have been reported in recent weeks too.

No doubt the warm summer weather encouraged the criminal element to be out and seize on opportunities, but it’s also very important for residents to always call the police when you see something amiss or suspicious. The police need to know what is going on in our community so they can respond appropriately.

In November, the North Precinct of the Seattle Police Department will be sending their community liaison officer to attend our community council meeting, and they will be able to discuss block watches as well as other methods that can be used to deter crime. That will be on November 18th.

In other business, a motion passed to name the new traffic circle on 23rd Avenue NE after the late Susan Causin. And a dog poop bag dispenser is about to be installed in the park in case any dog owners forget to bring their own bags. It will be restocked by volunteers.

The next meeting will be at the pre-school at 7PM on Tuesday, October 21st.

Community Council Tackles Nuisance Houses

Last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council had a focus on the recent SWAT team bust of a house on 19th Avenue NE which resulted in the arrest of the occupant for dealing narcotics (heroin specifically). Drug dealers have apparently been targeting empty or abandoned houses in the area in which to do business.

Read the full minutes of last night’s meeting.

Nearby residents have attempted to contact the legal owners, some of whom are local, but others are foreclosures now owned by a bank, in an attempt to deal with this situation, either by maintaining the property and keeping out squatters or selling the houses to buyers who will improve them and revitalize the area. Calls to the city do help, as the squeaky wheel does get oil, so if you see suspicious activity around an empty house, call it in. Meanwhile, work continues behind the scenes with the hope of resolving this situation before long without having to resort to mobilizing neighbors and kicking up a fuss in the media.

Also, be on the lookout for a woman who follows UPS and FedEx delivery vans and then steals packages off of porches. She’s been spotted up on NE 113th Street, as well as stealing out of mailboxes.

In other business, not much has happened with the traffic circle project on 23rd Avenue or the proposals that were submitted to CleanScapes to win funding. The Neighborhood Night Out is still in the planning stage and will be held, like last year, next to Victory Heights Park starting at 6 PM on Tuesday, August 5th as a potluck.

Neighbors are encouraged to attend the Lake City Farmers market each Thursday.

The next meeting will be at Heidi Smeller’s house, 1717 NE 105th Street on Tuesday, July 15th.

SWAT Team Busts Nuisance Residence

Jim reports:

Today, June 10, 2014, police executed a search warrant at a residence (11320 19th Ave NE) where there have been persistent complaints of drug dealing and prostitution.  The police action resulted from the combined efforts of neighbors and police over a period of time.

At about 6:15 a.m. police SWAT team arrived in three armored vehicles and secured the property before a team of police searched the residence.

The resulting search yielded heroin and guns. The homeowner was arrested and taken to King County Jail and is awaiting the filing of formal charges.

Neighbors also complained that drug users were going on foot from the residence to an abandoned house at 1542 NE Northgate Way.  This latter property has been vacant for many years and remains an attractive nuisance for drug users and trespassers.

Overall, it was a victory for the neighborhood!

Crime Wave Strikes 17th Avenue NE

On Tuesday, a resident on 17th Avenue NE saw two black men in the 20s approach her neighbor’s house around 10 AM, knock on the door, determine nobody was home and then left. About 15 minutes later, the neighbor’s burglar alarm went off when intruders broke a window on the side of the house (away from the watchful resident) and quickly stole an iPod and laptop and got away before police arrived. Moral of the story: if you see suspicious activity, call the police. Other residents reported seeing the two men knock on other doors along 17th Avenue.

Have you seen me? Last spotted on the traffic circle at 17th Ave NE & NE 107th Street.

Have you seen me? Last spotted on the traffic circle at 17th Ave NE & NE 107th Street.

Also, one of the sandwich-board yard signs used by the Victory Heights Community Council has gone missing. It was last seen on the traffic circle on 17th Avenue NE and NE 106th Street until it disappeared sometime before Tuesday evening. Any information about where it might be would be appreciated, contact the blog: victoryheights@aol.com.