For over a year, concerned citizens of Capitol Hill have tried to raise awareness about what has been perceived as a problem with an escalation in street crime in the neighborhood. Muggings, assaults and problems with hate speech/crimes against members of the LGBTQ community in particular have seemed to be on the increase with many residents of the Hill either victims of a crime or acquainted with someone who has been a target. Attempts to attract attention to the issue via community leaders and some media attention have largely been ignored or dismissed by the city and mainstream media outlets. Meanwhile, a poorly planned/executed local attempt to resurrect a Neighborhood Patrol hasn’t ventured any further than a lot of empty talk and impotent grandstanding.
But, one Capitol Hill business leader and LGBTQ ally has had enough of the violence and endless blathering and inaction to actually get the city to take notice and form a plan to fight back. Beloved owner of Purr, Barbie Humphrey has been aware of the issue of street violence but was prompted to take serious action after hearing about the attacks on friends and customers including the most recent violence, a neighborhood bar employee who was the victim of a vicious attempted mugging less than two blocks from her popular 11th Avenue lounge. Barbie got the attention of city leaders who finally seem to have heard our plea that action needs to be officially taken by the city. First up: Changes in patrolling the area from Seattle Police Department are being implemented this weekend. And, Mayor Ed Murray will go on a pub crawl through the neighborhood tonight to hear feedback from area residents.
From Barbie Humphrey’s Facebook post:
As most of you know there has been a tremendous amount of muggings and violence on Capitol Hill surrounding our nightlife. After many emails from many of us local business owners the Mayor and Seattle Police Department have stepped up to try and take back our streets. After a neighborhood meeting yesterday, they listened with open ears. Starting this weekend they are dramatically increasing late night foot traffic on the hill including Cal Anderson Park. The Mayor himself will be doing a Pub Crawl to show support to our nightlife and support the safety of our customers. Trust me, they are taking this issue quite seriously. 12th Precinct is also making immediate changes, keeping there doors open 24. Hrs. Please if you ever have trouble, call 911. If you see the Mayor out this weekend, do not hesitate to speak to him. Let’s show respect to those trying to help and give them a chance. It’s our neighborhood.. Lets get our safety back. And please please don’t walk home alone at night. Safety in numbers.. And always report a crime.
Bravo to Barbie Humphrey for actually doing something and catching the ears of our elected officials. And, please take her advice and have common sense when out and about late at night.
Now to start work getting the lighting improved and some trees and shrubs cut back/trimmed on the streets bordering Cal Anderson Park. It’s too damn dark around there for people to walk safely.