Saturday, April 28, 2018

Homeless in Seattle~Seattle Police Officer Writes Gentle, Humorous, and Honestly About Working His Beat In West Seattle

Art by Bansky 

I was recently messaged on social media by a Seattle Police Office who's been doing some writing to express his views on the homeless situation in Seattle. He has given us permission to re-share his posts. There were over 200 comments in this post on Nextdoor West Seattle, but you'd have to join that site using a West Seattle address to read the comments. I encourage anyone living in Seattle who's been affected in any way by the homeless, good or bad, to join the site and read his posts. Here is his latest.

A man walks down the street, He says why am I so soft in the middle now, soft in the middle, The rest of my life is so hard...Paul Simon 1986 For the new folks, yes I am an officer, yes I meant to share this. I write first person stories and share my wanderings in my beat in West Seattle. I only patrol in the SW precinct, but my blog is city wide to encourage the discussion on the homeless situation that I deal with daily. All comments that are negative should be directed at me, not others sharing their thoughts, and you have to post or I cannot see your comments. I will try to get back to everybody that leaves a message. So, I am now retyping this message because I erased the whole thing on greatly improved my mood. I recently took a week off because I really needed to. We have been arguing 11 codes, 15 codes, and 18 codes. I have been too nice or too mean. I have no idea what I am doing, or I am the nicest cop ever. And I am a jerk. Yup, that is me. So what are the code things? What am I talking about? Who won the Mariners game? 11 codes are for parking infractions, 15 codes are for messes on the planting strips, 18 codes are for the parks. that is the simple answer. These along with the MDAR, are what we use to deal with the massive issue that we are now confronted with. I am the officer assigned to deal with the issue in the SW precinct and vacillate between being a sweet clueless moron and an angry rule enforcing ogre, depending on who you ask. My dog likes me and so does my mom. And the Mariners won 5-4, Diaz got the save. I have seen the rising anger and frustration that is starting to seep out of a lot of people regarding the messes and the tents and the motorhomes. We see the mess too. We pick up the messes, break down the tents, and tow the motorhomes ...sometimes. I also hear the compassion and the empathy that pour out of a lot of other people and we are picking up the messes and leaving the tents, and moving the motorhomes...sometimes. We are being consistent and trying to figure this out. We are being firm and empathetic. We are towing motorhomes from neighborhoods, addressing tents in parks and arresting criminals. We are helping people with mental problems and drug addictions. We do not have the answers in all cases, but we are getting there. I have a high barrier camp in my area, and I check in routinely to see how things are going. Not much crime from them, but across the street on the hillside, I have a mess. Drugs, alcohol, and I believe a lot of stolen property...if I could prove it. I took a week off like I said. The motorhomes trickled back in. The tents and the trash expanded. The mess grew. Out in the ocean there is a plastic island the size of Texas I mess on Myers Wy is almost as epic. Keep the faith Seattle. Your police department is trying and we will not fail. We are listening and adapting to meet the current crisis. The government is a slow moving entity, but we will get on top of this mess before it is the size of Texas. We are open 24/7, 365 days a year. We make house calls. Call us if you need us. Have a great weekend Seattle.

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