SEATTLE — Responding to a recent spike in violent crime, the city of Seattle is assigning more of its police officers to patrol troubled hotspots throughout the city, Mayor Mike McGinn said Monday.
So far this year, nine people have been killed in Seattle. In the same period last year, there were three homicides, according to police records.
The jump in homicides and other violent crimes is a “public safety emergency,” McGinn said at a news conference Monday, where he was joined by police and city officials, as well as community leaders.
“We’re asking the community to help us,” McGinn said, noting that neighborhood awareness recently helped police quickly solve two burglaries in the city’s south end.
Seattle police officers will be hitting locations where violence has occurred and where crime data has shown particular problems, officials said.
“We’ll be constitutional in our policing. We’ll be ethical in our policing. But we’ll be aggressive,” said Deputy Chief Nick Metz. “And to those who are determined to hurt others in the form of violence, you need to hear this. We will come after you.”
Police records show that most of the homicide victims in 2012 have been men in their mid-20s to early 40s. Three arrests have been made in the killings.
The first homicide of the year and a double homicide last week occurred within a block of each other in the Rainier Beach neighborhood on the city’s southeast end. Also last week, a 31-year-old man was shot to death in Woodland Park near Green Lake.
“How many times do we have to gather on the issue of violence in our community?” asked the Rev. Harriet Walden, who spoke at Monday’s news conference. She added: “It’s not OK to have murderers next to us at the bus stop.”