Lower crime rates cited at Crime Prevention Council
Residential and property crimes rates dropped during February, reported Lieutenant Steve Paulsen at the latest West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting on March 17.
While car prowls spiked during January with 127 incidents, Paulsen said that officers arrested some suspected thieves, and in February there were only 83 reported car thefts. Incidents of auto theft also decreased from 33 in January to 26 in February.
Paulsen said that on average West Seattle has about 50 residential burglaries a month, but in February there were 37.
He also reported just two incidents of armed robbery in February compared to five the previous month. Paulsen attributes the change to recent arrests after several convenience store robberies in the area.
Nonetheless, strong arm robberies are on the rise, with seven incidents last month. Paulsen said most of these crimes occurred at schools and involved electronic devices like iPods.
Paulsen said that Block Watches have contributed to lower crime rates and that the more residents keep an eye on their neighborhoods the fewer crimes occur.
When asked about the murder of Steve Bushaw on March 1, the lieutenant reported that the investigation is still open. While he was unable to give any details, Paulsen said that investigators were "pretty sure it was not a random crime."
At the council meeting, Paulsen and Officer Kevin McDaniel described the role of Community Police Team Officers, who address long-term issues in their sector of the community. Not typically answering radio calls like other patrol officers, these police are available to work with the Department of Planning and Development and help educate members of the community.