I always knew Seattle is pretty much one of those PC cities. I don’t see myself as liberal or conservative, because there are appealing things to both points of view. I like to pick and choose what I believe in and move on. (not dot org)
So last night, I went to a public meeting held at the Ballard Library concerning the worsening conditions at some of the parks in Ballard. My wife, Victoria, is the volunteer coordinator for Bergen Place, one of those parks and has seen and heard of the worsening conditions: drug deals out in the open, some sales to minors, sex in the bushes, etc.
So, we went to this meeting with folks from Seattle City Parks, the Seattle Police, etc. The overall agenda was to discuss the situation and decide if the three park area should become “an Exclusion zone”.
That was their way of immediately handling the situation. What that MEANS is that if someone is seen doing something illegal in the park, they’ll be banned from the area for 7 days. If they’re caught back in 7 days, it’s bumped to 90 days…..within 90, then it becomes a year.
Couldn’t we just publicly slap them on the wrists and save all the ticket writing?
The discussion went from the bizarre to the even more bizarre.
I mentioned that I can drive through a yellow light and get my picture taken, then receive a ticket. Why can’t we set up cameras at the park? No response.
So, local neighbors actually have taken video of drug deals and given them to police. They were told that the police could only do something about it if THEY saw it.
Then a woman asked if she could have a plant-swap at the park. She was told “Yes….IF she got the necessary permit and paid the fee.” Wait a minute. A woman wants to have a plant swap and she has to fill out forms, but if I want to sell crack, no problem!
The point is, all the feely-good things they were talking about doing, where everybody wins a trophy, discourage the illegal activity….but there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned drug bust to get rid of the bad apples and give the park the reputation that you can’t deal drugs here!
I’ll keep you posted on how the “Exclusion zone” works.
More on that subject at myballard.com