[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]
Dear Council Members,
The Council Leadership didnâ€™t tell the Community about the Capture Burglars in Action Ordinance #635. Your failure to communicate effectively is damning Burien to being a crime magnet.
In 2004, Burien passed Ordinance 399 to reduce costly false alarms. By requiring alarm companies to verify a burglary in progress before calling Police, ~45 minutes was added for a response. Burglars were rarely caught using this Ordinance and Officers still had to do paperwork on an unsolved crime.
Today, Smart phone apps and cams for burglary detection are cheap and reliable. These apps allow us to see if an intruder is in our home.
On March 21, 2016, the Burien Police Chief proposed Ordinance #635 to combat Burglars (Download PDF: Verified Response). Highlights in this 5 minute video are:
- People can use a smart phone app to monitor their home visually for burglars.
- Police will treat a homeownerâ€™s call as a crime in progress if they are using a Smart phone app.
- A crime in progress response time is 3 minutes versus 45 minutes from an Alarm Company.
Many of you talk about needing to find a cheap way to fight crime. Yet, when presented that opportunity, you stall. On this video you donâ€™t appear interested in this Ordinanceâ€™s potential, likely contributing to the Mediaâ€™s non-coverage. Your lack of communication effectively gave Burglars a hall pass in Burien last year.
Burien as an I.S.O. 9001 Quality City
As effective Leaders you might be curious about:
- How are we going to implement Ordinance 635?
- How much will it save on Policing costs?
Curiosity will uncover problems and opportunities. Implementation obstacles and solutions will become clear, as will the money savings associated with driving Burglars out of Burien. Curiosity is an easy way to generate money saving ideas that can be used elsewhere in Burien. A Quality Assurance (QA) system will highlight areas needing attention that pay handsome dividends.
Four inexpensive venues that could turn the tables on Burglars are:
- Burien Magazine
1. Nextdoor.com is by used by hundreds of Burien Residents and the Burien Police to exchange crime fighting information. Explaining the elegant simplicity of Ordinance #635 should be done here. Many readers will use their Smart phone app for burglary monitoring: itâ€™s less costly than an Alarm system and shaves 42 minutes off Police response time. A Smart phone app is portable and will help renters stay protected too.
2. Recology allows Burien to insert pre-printed information in their quarterly garbage bills at no charge. This low cost method can spread the message to a large segment of the City. This should be an important part of your QA communication protocol.
3. Burien Magazine is a good platform to start a conversation on how you are making our City safer. Keeping Residents informed of your ongoing campaign to capture Burglars in action and drive Gangs out of Burien is important. We do want to know what you are doing to make Burien safer.
A quarterly update on Public Safety in Burien Magazine would encourage people to consider moving to Burien, thus helping grow the Business district and creating more revenue.
4. Many of Burienâ€™s Facebook followers would forward the information to friends and family, creating more synergy to bust Burglars in action.
Communication: Moving Burien Forward
The Council should embrace collaboration and dialogue. Collaborative communication is an integral part of a QA system and Your Vision Statement. Involving the Community and keeping us informed is your job.
I want you to insert your quarterly Business agenda in the Recology bill statement and Burien Magazine. This will show us how you are addressing Our needs.
The Council should appoint a Member, on a quarterly basis, to be the Community Liaison. This person will be the Councilâ€™s lightning rod for Community umbrage if you deviate from our needs. Every meeting after Public Comment, this person would explain how your Agenda enhances Burien.
As each of you become clear about Community needs, three things will happen:
- Council meetings will be more focused on policies, not personal vendettas.
- Collaboration will become the norm in problem solving.
- Community involvement will increase.
Ordinance #635 is a good start. Itâ€™s an effective tool and costs the City little. Letting the Community know about Ordinance #635 should be your next action step. Driving Burglars out of Burien is important in creating a safe and prosperous Burien.
â€“ Dick West
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