Although the updates have been a little non-existant lately, we have not stopped patrolling.
Through rain and shine we have been making our usual rounds through Belltown, Pioneer Square, the U-district and Capital Hill, watching and protecting.
On most nights, we have come across people play fighting but nothing major.
A look back:
Looking back to February 2011, when I started patrolling with Phoenix Jones, drug dealers stood on every corner in Belltown peddling their products to anyone who walked by. It was not hard to learn exactly how the open-air drug market worked in Seattle. Fights, break-in's, strong armed robberies, etc. happened almost every night and cops could rarely be seen out and about.
Although I can not conclusively say that Phoenix and crew brought an end to most of this, I can say that they have successfully done what they wanted to do. Raise awareness and protect the citizens in the area. With the recent media hype around costume activists, the general population has begun to ask so many questions and turn their attention to issues that have never really been looked at before.
The public outcry that stemmed from this led to more NARCO sweeps of the area, as well as active foot and driving patrols by SPD through Belltown and Pioneer square. Recently, we have seen bike/foot patrol cops on almost every corner through the main areas in Belltown. Squad cars are parked in the parking lots, and in most cases response time has be substantially better.
In addition to this, many different communities have begun to form block watch programs. Phoenix and I have joined the BCOP (Belltown Citizens on Patrol) multiple times and assisted them with their outreach.
With almost 40 arrests under his belt, Phoenix is far from done. His iconic symbol will still be seen in the usual areas but may begin to appear in different parts of the city. However, new patrols do not happen over night. Extensive research and planning goes into any location change. Costumed patrols may work in some parts of the city, but in others, new techniques may have to be employed.
Although the world now knows the man behind the mask, it is always important to remember that he could be anyone of us. It may take some courage but if drug dealers and criminals knew that everyone was reporting what they saw, they may think twice before doing something illegal. Just think about the difference that we could make as a community instead of relying on a select few to make the difference for everyone.
I hope everyone has a very happy and safe holiday. I will continue to provide updates as we continue to patrol the streets of Seattle.
Thank you for your support!