West Seattle Blog… |  Here’s what the Alki Community Council heard from the police and the city attorney

West Seattle Blog… | Here’s what the Alki Community Council heard from the police and the city attorney

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By Tracy Records
West Seattle Blog Editor

Public safety was the main topic of yesterday evening Alki Community Council meeting, held at Alki UCC and online, moderated by the President of the ACC Tony Fragada.

SOUTH-WEST DISTRICT: The first guest was the night commander of the compound, the lieutenant. Nathan Shopay, logging on from home on his evening off. He said Alki had been relatively quiet lately and asked about community concerns. A participant asked if the new traffic calming measures in East Alki seemed to be working; Lt Shopay said yes, adding that things would be even better if the diagonal parking area on Duwamish Head was reconfigured. One participant said the splitters and speed bumps led to stunts and races further west. As to crime trends, Lt. Shopay repeated what he had said to the Morgan Community Association Wednesday night (BMS coverage here) – most categories are down except for car theft.

MUNICIPAL LAWYER: Anne Davison attended in person. She told ACC attendees that attending community meetings is important to her because she wants to “be accessible.” She first spent time explaining how the City Attorney’s Office operates, with civil and criminal divisions, and the latter mainly dealing with less serious crimes called misdemeanors. She also recapped two initiatives that her staff have been working on – “high users” and “short-term ranking”. She spent some time discussing the issue of filing charges and noted that if crimes go unreported, chances are no one will be arrested and no one will be charged. His office needs to get cases referred by the police. So, she stressed, call the police if you see anything! She said there’s another category of assumptions she tries to change – the police sometimes send a case directly to the city attorney’s office because they assume the King County Attorney’s Office will not charge a certain type of offence. Davison says she worked with the SPD to stress that if anything looks like a crime, they’ll send it to KCPAO; if they refuse to file, Davison staff can review.

She also spent time discussing the Civil Division of CAO. Very often, municipal law firms focus on defensive matters, she explained — someone is suing for tripping on a sidewalk or challenging a law, for example. She took the rare tactic of going on the attack with the Kia/Hyundai trial for theft. She said Seattle was the first in the nation to take this step, and now 10 other municipalities have joined. “I’m not a crowd pleaser,” she said. She thinks suing automakers for vulnerabilities in their products is justified because it’s “resource draining” for cities to have to spend so many resources enforcing the matter. “It wasn’t a difficult decision – even if the trial fails, it’s the right thing to do,” she said.

One final point she raised – she said she spent time rebuilding relationships with other city departments.

Before his departure, a participant said these words of farewell: “We love Joe Everett.” (He is the Southwest District liaison for the city attorney’s office.) His boss seemed to agree with the positive assessment.

COUNCIL CANDIDATE: He was not officially on the agenda, but City Council District 1 candidate Phil Tavel was present. He was asked if the outgoing Council member Lisa Herbold will support it. He said they actually had a good chat during which he asked her to think about it; he said she didn’t rule it out.

NEXT MEETING : ACC President Fragada said guests are expected next month from SDOT (to talk about scooters) and Seattle Utilities. The ACC meets on the third Thursday most months, at 7 p.m. at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds) and online (see our calendar for login information), which means May 18 for the next one.

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