It’s an almost unfamiliar, but welcome, scene, and a stark contrast from what a Seattle Times editorial once described as a place “overflowing trash cans, litter, dirty sidewalks, and open-air drug dealing.”
It’s a whole new world at 12th Avenue South and South Jackson Street in Little Saigon, in the Chinatown-International District (CID), thanks in large part to Operation New Day—a collaboration between the Seattle Police Department (SPD), the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and Seattle City Attorney’s Office.
Since Jan. 21, 16 felony arrests have been made, primarily related to crime at Little Saigon. Dealers of fentanyl and other drugs, including those carrying illegal firearms, were taken into custody. Dozens of felonies and more than 100 charges have been filed.
“From the first days of my administration, we have made it clear that it is a new day in Seattle,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell.
Adding to the new sense of security is the additional patrols and deployment last month of an SPD mobile precinct. Police Chief Adrian Diaz has assured the Northwest Asian Weekly that “SPD commits to continue its work with city partners to help keep this area safe.”
It is a team effort, as City Attorney Ann Davison stated.
“Too many small business owners, commuters, and visitors to downtown feel unsafe in the heart of our City… As I have done with referrals from 12th and Jackson, I will continue to prioritize SPD referrals from high-crime areas …. to disrupt this cycle of addiction, theft, drug sales, and human suffering.”
Thank you, mayor, for your attention to this neighborhood—which has been overlooked for too long. We appreciate that you have kept this campaign promise.
We also ask that you take a serious consideration at removing a homeless encampment near the I-5 freeway in the CID. Incident reports of fires, shootings, assaults, even rape, are all too common, in and around this encampment.
Earlier this month, two encampments—near City Hall and near Westlake Park—were removed.
Now, please turn your attention to the CID. You’ve been making great strides so far in improving our neighborhood. We know that this is already in the works…. And we’re asking you to speed it up!
Let’s keep the momentum going and moving toward making the CID an even better place to live, work, dine, shop, and visit.