When the Covid -19 started, I looked in my neighborhood for people I could help. Our real estate business has been good during the pandemic. I wanted to find a way to help others who haven’t done as well.
I found a a 30 year old man in a wheel chair living in the “Ballard Commons” not far from my home. He was driven to live in the “Commons” because he had run out of money for shelter he told me. The park scared him a bit because all of the different people from all walks of life that live there now. He said it was like living in prison. He told me you had to form alliances with other people living in the park for protection. He explained that Seattle Police Department (SPD) was a welcome sight “when they used to come,” he said. It kept everyone somewhat in line.
Now fast-forward to today. It’s a park my son used to play in, but there were no kids there today.
Through the course of defunding the police and the pandemic, the people living in the park has exploded.
The biggest difference is the park used to have one of the 31 police officers assigned to the SPD navigation teams stop by and patrol it. Those details no longer exist. They were the first to be defunded by the Seattle City Council. Those living in the park know it, and seemed to be emboldened by it. The garbage, rats, and open air drug markets are mind boggling. On a day where I saw over 100 adults living in that park, there wasn’t one child out there playing on the swings, or boarding the half pipe.
Kids are in school you say? It’s their winter break.
So this morning, after our winter storms, I went to check on my new friend. I was greeted by two, very hostile men. I immediately took my phone out for my safety. It was hard to believe it was 11 o’clock in the morning on a sunny Tuesday in Seattle. The men demanded to know why I was there, and told me to leave with very colorful language “before we call 5-0” they said. They were not wearing masks and they thought it was funny to get within feet of me.
They also took pictures of my license plate, and demanded to know why I was there while also demanding that I leave. I like to think I am a pretty tough and fair minded human. This hostile altercation got the best of me as 2 turned into 8 people. Now they were all coming at me with hostile language and camera phones. This, all while following me to my car with my son.
When Chief Carmen Best walked away from the Seattle Police Department, over 200 officers joined her.
OVER 200 JUST LEFT! Let that sink in. This is not reported in the news.
They weren’t fired…
Sheriff Ed Troyer will tell you on this weeks podcast, EPISODE #223, that they have already hired SEVEN former SPD Officers, and they are looking to hire more in Pierce County.
In essence the Seattle City Council never had to “Defund the Police.” In fact, in their budget this year they are asking for funding for 100 MORE COPS. But they just wanted to fire 100? You do the math. What a waste of everyone’s time.
I get it. We want cops to be cops, and not social workers. But social work today is a part of the job whether we like it or not.
To understand this, EVERY CITY COUNCIL MEMBER SHOULD HAVE TO GO SLEEP IN ONE OF THESE PARKS EVERY YEAR until this crisis is solved.
In the meantime, in one of the fastest growing cities in America, our parks are no longer safe for our kids to play in, even with a parent accompanying them.
As a real estate agent, this is the number one topic for our clients leaving Seattle for the Eastside, Auburn, and places like Monroe.
I can see why Chief Best walked away from Seattle.
And the city council had an exodus.
And now Mayor Durkan is walking and signaling she is not going to run again.
There is a half pipe in that park my son longs to ride his new skateboard in… It’s a board a dear client of ours gave to him.
I don’t have the heart to tell him that we will not be visiting that park again anytime soon.
Because no matter who calls 5-0… they are not coming.
They left. And they aren’t coming back.
Until WE do something about it.
Love and respect,
The post This is what happens when you “Defund the Police” but don’t plan for their replacement first appeared on Ron & Don Radio.