The Downtown Seattle Association launched a website Monday that gives people a new way to report safety problems in downtown Seattle and promises a follow-up response on what’s being done.
“I think it’s going to be a tremendously useful tool for people to feel like they’re being heard,” David Varley, executive chef at RN74, said.
RN74 is a popular restaurant on 4th Avenue and Pike Street, which, he said, is also unfortunately in an area that can be popular for drug use and low-level crime.
He said he plans to share the new website with staff.
“They can speak up and take part in helping make this area safer and more appealing for people who are visiting and people who work here,” he said. “You’re not going to pick up the phone and dial 911. It’s going to save that resource for the people that really need it.”
James Sido with the Downtown Seattle Association said the downtown area technically stretches from Seattle Center to Lander Street. He demonstrated how it works.
A person with an issue first chooses from a list which includes categories like drug use, aggressive solicitations, and homeless encampments. That person can provide details, an address, and photos, and then choose whom he or she wants the association to contact, including Seattle police and the mayor.
“We’re going to get that information and we’re going to make sure it gets to the right people who can actually fix the problem,” Sido said.
The DSA asks for contact information so it can follow up.
Varley said things have gotten better since Seattle police and the FBI completed a dramatic undercover drug sweep last month, but other people who work downtown told KIRO 7 that more improvements are needed.
“A few of those you just listed I can already think of that would be really nice to start reporting on,” Sierra Haight said. “So I mean, yeah, I would give it a go.”
The Downtown Seattle Association has already gotten a couple dozen emails. It will have three to 10 people handling them, depending on volume.