“Wild, wild West”: We can’t keep going this direction
September 15, 2021
The latest Danny Westneat column is bleak. Business owners, residents, and visitors alike are reeling from the “wild, wild West” that Pioneer Square has become.
There is no question what has gone wrong here. In a knee-jerk move, the Seattle City Council cut the police department’s budget leading to the loss of the first African-American woman police chief and more than 300 officers.
Seattle citizens are paying the price.
“We are on the brink of having to lock our doors because our staff can no longer take being on the front lines of mental health and harassment patrol,” said one business owner.
In Chinatown-International District, business owners and community leaders are looking into paying for their own security in the absence of police presence.
“It’s a free for all right now in Seattle,” Liu told KOMO. “They know there are no consequences. Right now, if somebody comes in and we say, ‘You got to leave; we’re going to call the police.’ They taunt us.”
We can’t keep going this direction. Something has to change.