The Seattle Police Department is the local law enforcement agency for the City of Seattle, Washington. It employs just over eighteen hundred staff members to provide law enforcement services to Seattle’s 143 square mile land area and 59 square miles of waterway. From their website at seattle.gov/Police/ we can learn that
“The mission of the Seattle Police Department is to prevent crime, enforce the law, and support quality public safety by delivering respectful, professional and dependable police services.”
For the purposes of the SPD’s services, Seattle is divided into five precincts, each with its own station. They are North Precinct, West Precinct, East Precinct, South Precinct and Southwest Precinct. The SPD headquarters is located in the downtown area in the southern region of the West Precinct. Each precinct is divided into Sectors delineated by neighborhood boundaries, with those Sectors further divided into three Beats each. North Precinct is comprised of the Nora, Boy, John, Union and Lincoln Sectors. West Precinct is comprised of the Queen, David, Mary and King Sectors. East Precinct is comprised of the Charlie, Edward and George Sectors. South Precinct is comprised of the Robert, Ocean and Sam Sectors. Southwest Precinct is comprised of the William and Frank Sectors. A map showing the locations of each station and the areas covered by each precinct can be found at seattle.gov/police/maps/precinct_map.htm.
Other local law enforcement agencies with some overlap in jurisdiction include the University of Washington Police Department, the Port of Seattle Police Department, the King County Sheriff’s Office, the King County Metro Transit Police Department, the Sound Transit Police Department and the Washington State Patrol.
The SPD is organized into several different divisions including Patrol, Traffic Enforcement, Parking Enforcement, Investigations, Canine Unit, SWAT, and the 9-1-1 Center. The Investigations Division of the SPD is comprised of various specialized units organized by crime type. These include Homicide & Cold Cases, Forensics, Narcotics, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse, Vice and High Risk Victims, Internet Crimes Against Children, Burglary, Theft and Juvenile. Most of these units operate out of the centralized Criminal Investigations Bureau however the Burglary, Theft, and Juvenile units are housed in the Precincts due to the more geographical nature of the crimes and the added benefit of being able to work closely with patrol officers.
The City of Seattle has an estimated population of 626,865 residents and experience an annual average of 36,998 crimes. Violent crime accounts for about 10 percent of those crimes with murders at 23 (0.04 per 100 residents), rapes at 120 (0.19 per 100 residents), robberies at 1,425 (2.27 per 100 residents) and assaults at 2,201 (3.51 per 100 residents) for a grand total of 3,769 violent crimes per annum (6.01 per 100 residents). Property crimes make up the other 90 percent of those crimes with burglaries at 6,609 (10.54 per 100 residents), thefts at 22,992 (36.38 per 100 residents) and motor vehicle thefts at 3,628 (5.79 per 100 residents) for a grand total of 33,229 property crimes per annum (53.01 per 100 residents). Overall, a resident of Seattle, Washington has a 1 in 166 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime each year.
The Seattle Police Department offers three different ways of viewing crime information in map forms. The 911 Incident Responses Map displays Police and Fire responses for the last 48 hours. Incidents are added to the map once the response reaches a “closed” status. The Police Reports Map displays data from initial police reports within approximately 12 hours. This data is searchable and provides links to the Police Report Viewing System. The Monthly Crime Statistics Map displays comparative data on major crimes organized by month, year and Beat.
The SPD also offers the ability to view police reports online at seattle.gov/police/records/default.htm. General Offense (GO) Reports are made available in PDF form for most all crimes reported to the SPD. Most will be made available 8 hours after the event is closed, however some major crimes will take as long as 3 business days. This application requires registration.
Sex offender information can be found at the Washington State sex Offender Look Up. Should you need to locate information on someone who may be incarcerated with the King County Jail you can search for information online at the King County Jail Inmate Register. Information on requesting publicly available records, including arrest records, is available on the Public Request Unit’s page at seattle.gov/police/contact/PublicRequestUnit.htm.