In a meeting late last year with Washington Retail’s Board of Directors, Assistant Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz encouraged retailers to contact police about crimes or problems, even if retailers do not need an immediate response from the police.
In 2018, Diaz said the Seattle department fielded 12,000 calls for theft cases alone. Added to the myriad other crimes police investigate, it was clear many calls from retailers will go without a prompt response. Officers must prioritize responses to calls based upon the severity of the crimes, Diaz said.
Regardless, Diaz urged retailers to report all crimes. He said the better the data collected by the department, the better the department can allocate officers and resources to meet needs across the city.
Seattle retailers face numerous challenges to doing business, including the city’s growing problem with homelessness, drug use (including in store restrooms), heavy traffic and rising rents. One challenge for police, Diaz said, is that officers are prohibited from moving a homeless person sleeping in a store entrance unless the officer can take the person to shelter and arrange for safe storage of their belongings. Such options are not always available, he said.
You can make reports to Seattle police here.