EDITOR’S NOTE: South King Media Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer serves on the Board of Directors for the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce.

By Scott Schaefer

On Wednesday, July 20, 2022, the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce held its quarterly Burien District Roundtable, an online forum series focused on crime and public safety tips for business owners and residents.

Featured speakers at this event included:

    • Burien Police Chief Ted Boe
    • King County Fire District No. 2 Chief Mike Marrs
    • LEAD Project Manager Aaron Burkhalter

Police Chief Boe discussed the number one concern of most business owners and residents – crime – and also shared overall safety, security and de-escalation tips.

“I believe that law enforcement is a balance of three different areas,” Boe said. “And in order to be effective we have to be good at all three of them. The first one is building trust and it’s how we relate to our customers, to our community and build credibility in our work, and it’s who we work with that we we really look at. Every event is either something that adds to or distracts from the trust in your law enforcement partners.”

“I believe we have to fight crime,’ Boe added. “I think we have to actually influence crime rates in our Community and I think we do that collectively. I think that it is a sucker’s bet for police to believe that they will deal with all crime and all issues and everything in the Community by themselves. If the community and all the other people that have a role in fighting crime aren’t engaged and you’ll hear from two of them tonight – your fire department and our LEAD program. They’re all part of this collective team that brings safety to our community. So I do believe that we are just a piece in that bigger picture. And the third thing is I think we have to support our officers. I think we have to give them training. I think we have to give them resources. I think we have to support them and I think that in making healthy officers serve your community you will get a better outcome from the officer serving your community on both of the other two – fighting crime and building trust.”

The City of Burien is broken into six distinct districts, labeled from N1 to N6:

Chief Boe shared a year-to-year crime statistics chart (see below), which shows that Burien’s N5 district – comprised mostly of the downtown core – continues to have the most reported crime. The second-worst crime rate is N3, which includes the Boulevard Park area:

Boe revealed that overall in a year-to-year comparison (vs 2021), seven categories are up:

    • Violation of NC/Protection Order up +75%
    • Simple Assault up +43%
    • Aggravated Assault Offense up +36%
    • Auto Theft up +36%
    • Weapon Law Violations up +33%
    • Crime Against Persons is up +30%
    • Robbery up +26%
    • Sex Offenses up+ 16%

Some of the crimes that have decreased include:

    • Homicide Offenses down =67%
    • Drug Offenses down -65%
    • Larceny down -24%
    • Intimidation Offenses down -37%
    • Kidnapping down -20%

Watch an edited version of the event below, which includes a Q&A session with viewers (running time ~1-hour, 10-minutes):

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