Follow-up from our meeting on privacy and transparency

WSBWCN-logoThanks to those of you who took part in our very interesting meeting about privacy and transparency! We appreciated the opportunity to hear from Mary Perry, the new Director of Transparency and Privacy at SPD.

One of the reasons we invited her was to better understand why SPD felt they had to comply with the Block Watch-related Block Watch-related Public Disclosure Request last fall.

Delving back into that issue, that answer seems to hinge on this:  they view Block Watch Captains, and people who organize Night Out parties and notify the city of those events, as “volunteers,” and in the sense that the law applies to “employees or volunteers of a public agency,” it would apply to us.

I, (personally, not on behalf of our org), would argue that we are NOT Seattle Police Department or City volunteers, even though SPD and the City of Seattle may benefit from our activities. Many Block Captains have never even met with anyone from the City or SPD; others may have interacted briefly, but have no ongoing relationship.

SPD does not supervise BW Captains in this role, have requirements for “volunteering” in this role, or monitor how we perform (or fail to perform) in this role. Many who serve in the capacity of Block Watch Captains interact with their immediate neighbors only. As an individual Block Watch Captain or someone stepping up to plan a Night Out event, our often non-relationship with SPD is a subtle, but important, distinction.

Most importantly, I think there has to be “buy-in” from all parties, before there is a volunteer/agency relationship. Even those of us who have an ongoing relationship with SPD, do not necessarily feel that we are their “volunteers.”  The “volunteers” need to be aware that they are “volunteering,” as opposed to just organizing their neighbors into a Block Watch group, and perhaps inviting one of the Crime Prevention Coordinators to come and speak to the new group when it is initially forming.

When I became an individual Block Watch Captain, there was no indication that I was “volunteering” beyond my own neighborhood. I only took on a leadership role in my neighborhood (to plan Night Out events, show up with a Potluck dish, and communicate to our neighbors about safety issues when they arose). I inherited the role from a previous Block Watch Captain.

Other neighbors have taken on similar leadership roles, that also do not necessarily make them City volunteers. For example, some neighborhood parents lead children on a “walking school bus” to the nearby elementary school each day. It doesn’t necessarily make them volunteers of Seattle Public Schools, as it may be only their own children and their immediate neighbors/friends that are involved.

I also see similarities for those of us who lead localized emergency preparedness efforts in our neighborhoods. We may be on the City’s list of those who have taken preparedness classes. We may have attended meetings or events that they’ve organized. They may have us on their notification list. Those things do not necessarily mean that we have knowingly and voluntarily “volunteered” with the Office of Emergency Management.

These are just some of my personal thoughts on the Block Watch and Night Out PDR – the discussion at the meeting didn’t touch on all of them, and also included other interesting viewpoints from meeting participants.

Also, there were MANY other interesting points of discussion at our meeting this month – among them, discussion about privacy and transparency as it relates to video/audio from body cams and dashboard cams, as well as the new AlertSeattle system which ties in to Enhanced 9-1-1.

There are so many things to consider that relate to transparency and privacy – especially as technology evolves. This meeting was a great step in learning more about this issue!

You can find coverage of our meeting from the West Seattle Blog here.

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Join us Tuesday, February 23rd: our topic is privacy and transparency

WSBWCN-logoOur special guest will be Mary Perry, the new Director of Transparency and Privacy, from SPD!

If you attended or read about our January West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meeting, you know that we briefly discussed our thoughts on the release of our names last fall. Some of us have expressed surprise, concern, worry or were puzzled that this even happened.

Most importantly, many of us feel that we want more information to better understand how the trade-off between privacy and Seattle Police Department transparency might affect us as Block Watch Captains, and our Block Watch groups, going forward.

This is an opportunity for us to hear from Mary Perry — how she views these issues, how similar instances in the future may be handled, and to learn more about her new role.

SW Precinct Commander, Captain Pierre Davis, will also join us!

Meeting schedule (Come early, stay late!)
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016,  6:30-8 PM

At the SW Police Precinct, 2300 SW Webster Street (at Delridge Ave SW, next to Home Depot)

6:00-6:30              Arrive early for light snacks, pick up informational materials, socialize and network with each other while we set up!

6:30-7:00              Introductions, announcements, updates from Captain Pierre Davis.

7:00-8:00              Mary Perry, Director of Privacy and Transparency.

8:00-8:30              Feel free to stay after the meeting to continue your discussions.

Everyone is welcome – you need not be a Block Watch captain to attend!  RSVP is appreciated, but not necessary.  You can email us at  wsblockwatchnet@gmail.com or phone us at 206-424-0040.

Hope to see you there!

Deborah Greer and Karen Berge
West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network (WSBWCN)

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New SPD Community Safety newsletter has arrived!

Shown and linked below is a new Community Safety newsletter that we received today from Mark Solomon, our community’s Crime Prevention Coordinator.

Note that in addition to the newsletter, Mark sent out a separate notification about four sex offenders who are currently living within the Southwest Precinct. You’ll find that here: Sex offender notification – 021216.

Community safety newsletter from Mark Solomon, page 1 of 2

Community safety newsletter from Mark Solomon, page 2 of 2

We’ve also attached this newsletter it in printable .pdf format, so you can share it!
Seattle Police Email Newsletter, February 2016

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Follow-up from our January meeting and a look ahead

WSBWCN-logoThanks to those of you who attended and participated in our January meeting! We especially appreciated the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of SW Precinct Commander, Captain Pierre Davis.

The West Seattle Blog has posted highlights from the meeting here.

FYI, our next meeting will be on February 23rd (the 4th Tuesday). Hope to see you then!

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Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, January 26th for our first meeting in 2016!

WSBWCN-logo

We’ve got a lot to catch up on since our last meeting!

Our guests include SW Precinct Commander, Captain Pierre Davis, who will join us to provide an update on crime trends and what has happened in our area since our October meeting.

We have also invited our TWO new Community Police Team (CPT) officers: John O’Neil and Clayton Powell.  Come meet them and get to know who will be working in your area. They join officers Jon Flores and Kevin McDaniel, bringing the CPT team to four.

There will be time to ask all of them questions, as well as some time for discussion about other issues that have come up over the winter break.

Wondering about our yearly meeting schedule? We meet on most 4th Tuesdays, throughout the year. We meet monthly January through June; then again in September and October. You can find meeting agendas and recaps on our Facebook group page, as well as here on our website.

Meeting schedule (Come early, stay late!)
Tuesday, January 26th, 2016,  6:30-8 PM

At the SW Police Precinct, 2300 SW Webster Street (at Delridge Ave SW, next to Home Depot)

6:00-6:30              Arrive early for light snacks, pick up informational materials, socialize and network with each other while we set up!

6:30-7:00              Introductions, announcements.

7:00-7:30              Captain Pierre Davis and new CPT Officers.

7:30-8:00              Discussion.

8:00-8:30              Feel free to stay after the meeting to continue your discussions.

Everyone is welcome – you need not be a Block Watch captain to attend!  RSVP is appreciated, but not necessary.  You can email us at  wsblockwatchnet@gmail.com or phone us at 206-424-0040.

Hope to see you there!

Deborah Greer and Karen Berge
West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network (WSBWCN)

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Happy New Year!

WSBWCN-logoWe just want to take a moment to wish all of you a HAPPY 2016! Thanks for participating in our group and for being involved in Block Watch!

Hope to see you later this month when our monthly meetings resume on January 26th – the 4th Tuesday – 6:30 to 8 PM. We’ll post the agenda once that date gets closer.

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More on car prowls and package thefts from Mark Solomon

Passing along the latest email we received today from Mark Solomon, our community’s Crime Prevention Coordinator.

Seatttle Police Newsletter - December 2015

 

Here’s the email from Mark Solomon in .pdf format: Seatttle Police Newsletter – December 2015. You can find his earlier newsletter about this topic here.

Posted in Announcements, Blockwatch Resources, Community Safety newsletters, Crime Prevention Coordinators, Seattle Police Department, West Seattle Block Watch Captains' Network, WSBWCN meetings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment