Always call 911 to report suspicious activity or crimes in progress
By Jennifer Danner
Seattle Police Southwest Precinct
Crime Prevention Coordinator
Please remember that for law enforcement- there is a difference between robbery and theft. When you report a crime to 9-1-1 or to a Seattle Police officer, the language you use makes a difference!
Robbery is defined as: The physical taking of property from another individual by the use of force or the implied use of force.
There are multiples types of robbery, including: strong-arm robbery, home invasion robbery and armed robbery.
Theft is defined as: Whenever property is taken, that is theft.
General Safety Tips
-Keep your head up and scan your surroundings, avoid ‘auto pilot’. Make eye contact with others so they are aware that you see them. This sends a message that you know they are there, and that you can also identify them if necessary. Walk confidently, project an assertive, confident image.
-Use common sense- plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways. Stick to well-lit areas as much as possible.
-Develop a plan before you see trouble- crossing the street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
-If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking- do not approach it, instead turn around and walk quickly in the opposite direction.
-If you are being followed, or you see a person or group that makes you feel uncomfortable, give yourself permission to act, cross the street, walk in another direction, go into a business or ask other people walking if you may walk with them.
-Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
-Carry minimal items- overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.
Safety on the Street
-Be cautious when carrying valuables (including holiday presents, shopping bags, jewelry, money or electronic devices)- keep hidden and/or secured- always keep positive control over your items.
-When using an ATM- choose one located in a well-lit, busy area- like inside a grocery store and always put away your cash and card before leaving. Never display large sums of cash and don’t carry more cash than is necessary. If possible, never use an ATM at night.
-Carry your purse very close to your body (preferably with a strap across your body if possible). Avoid walking alone at night.
-Never hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
-If you are wearing headphones, make sure you are still able to hear outside noise.
Responding to a Confrontation
-If a robber grabs your bag/purse- resist the urge to play tug-of-war. If you hang on chances are- you will be knocked down and further assaulted.
-If someone demands your property and displays or implies in any way that they have a weapon, don’t resist. Your physical property isn’t worth getting injured or killed over.
-Don’t pursue the thief, put distance between you and the thief.
Spot and Avoid Potential Trouble
-Be aware of your surroundings and know who is nearby.
-Pay attention to the uncomfortable feelings that often warn us of potential danger. Trust your instincts!
Below you will find my contact information, including email and phone numbers. Keep an eye out for my newsletter next month, which will again focus on a specific crime/safety issue and include important prevention techniques. Please feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, to request my presence at a future meeting, to request a safety/security assessment of your home or business and/or if you are interested in free firearm cable locks.
Email address: Jennifer.Danner@seattle.gov
Desk phone number: (206) 256-6820
Work cell phone number: (206) 471-2849
Upcoming events in SW Precinct-
- Coffee With A Cop
- Wednesday May 15th, 9am- 11am, at the Starbucks inside the Admiral Safeway (2622 California Ave SW)
- Saturday May 18th, 10am- 3pm, at the SPD Training Facility (2203 Airport Way S- Building C)
- West Seattle Crime Prevention Council Meeting
- Tuesday May 21st, 7pm- 8:30pm, at the SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster St)
- West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network Meeting
- Tuesday May 28th, 6:30pm- 8:30pm, at the SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster St)
- Seattle Police Department Non-Emergency Number: (206) 625-5011
- Seattle Police Department’s Website: http://www.seattle.gov/police/
- Seattle Police Department’s Online Crime Reporting: https://www.seattle.gov/police/need-help/online-reporting
- Seattle Police Department’s ‘Thank An Employee’: https://www.seattle.gov/police/about-us/contact-us/thank-an-employee
- Contact information for other SPD Crime Prevention Coordinators: