The people who work directly with our neighborhood in preventing crime could soon be out of a job. The six civilian crime prevention coordinators for the Seattle Police Department, including West Precinct and Magnolia coordinator Terrie Johnston, have been told they’ll lose their jobs next spring when grant money runs out.
The crime prevention coordinators work directly with residents doing everything from setting up block watches to going door to door to warn about recent crimes. They’ve been part of the police budget up until last October, when the positions then became paid for with federal grant money. That ends on March 31 of next year.
“We are the link between the community and the police department,” Terrie Johnston (pictured right) told us. “Patrol officers are often promoted or transfer out. We’re the ones in people’s living rooms and churches.”
Johnston and her fellow coordinators have logged hundreds of community meetings over the past year. She worries that officers and precinct bosses won’t be able to give residents one on one attention if the crime prevention coordinators are let go.
“When we’re gone, who will take the time?”
Councilmember Tim Burgess, who chairs the Public Safety and Education committee, tells us his office is closely tracking the issue as it heads toward the mayor and council. If you’d like to voice your opinions, here’s a link to the mayor and City Council.