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Community Policing in Seattle: A Model Partnership Between Citizens and Police

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1992
11 pages

This report profiles South Seattle's police-citizen efforts to address crime.


In January 1988, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce established the South Seattle Crime Prevention Council (SSCPC), which is composed of community organizations. Either the precinct captain or one of his lieutenants attends SSCPC meetings as a full participating member. In its early meetings the SSCPC targeted crime problems, which were typically those identified by police. Police action consisted of aggressive patrol that focused on the targets. At SSCPC meetings, police reported in detail on criminal or disorderly behavior at the targets. Citizen representatives reported on how citizens were changing their behaviors in response to police efforts. Community efforts involved putting pressure on landlords who were not cooperating in the civil abatement process of evicting tenants who deal in drugs. Several key programs and strategies were developed, including a structure for receiving citizen complaints of drug activity, advance permission by property owners for police to enter private property to investigate and possibly arrest loiterers, the installation of "call out only" pay phones to prevent drug dealers from using them to receive messages, an antigraffiti program, and the dedication of a two-officer police car for use in responding to extreme- emergency radio calls. This report outlines some lessons learned from the Seattle program and proposes program and research recommendations. 2 notes and 3 figures

Date Published: August 1, 1992