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“Nightlife Patrols” Begin This Weekend

Seattle Metro Patrol Cars

Seattle Metro Patrol Cars

As part of the city’s new “Seattle Nightlife Initiative”, 15-25 additional SPD and SWAT officers will take to the streets on Friday and Saturday nights, and they will focus their crime-prevention efforts around Seattle’s nightlife hotspots.

Near-Downtown areas including Pioneer Square, Belltown, and Pike/Pine will benefit from the additional patrols, as will sections of West Seattle and the U-District.

While this sounds like a great idea on the surface, I personally find myself somewhat conflicted over this new program.

I would like to see our inner-areas (especially Downtown/Belltown/P2) become more vibrant, but this initiative feels vaguely like a babysitting service for Redmond twenty-somethings.  It’s an effort to protect suburban kids from the harsh realities of the big, bad city, while telling those of us who live down here 24/7 to pound sand.

Instead of beefing up patrols on the weekends to protect daddy’s upper-middle-class pride and joy on his exciting quest for beer, could this money be used in some way to make Downtown Seattle safer for all of us? Perhaps to buy medication for our mentally ill or to put 2 more cops on Downtown streets year-round?

When our guests flee back across the 520 or Aurora bridges at 2am, the problems don’t end down here.  Poverty and crime are still a fixture of the streetscape.  The rest of us have no choice but to wake up the next day and face those problems.

Instead of a Band-Aid like the nightlife patrols, I would prefer to see the money put into more permanent solutions.  Thus ends my two cents (and it’s worth every penny).

The new patrols begin this weekend, and will continue through September.

After that, you’re once again on your own.


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