'There is still a lot of work to do:' Business owners react to Seattle's crime crackdown plan

The issue of violence in Seattle is not new, but the last month has been especially violent and mom-and-pop shops are the ones that have been hit the hardest by the rise in crime.

Some small businesses are shutting their doors until something is done.

While city leaders have announced their new plan to combat the problem, business owners say this is a great first step -- but it's just that - a step.

They say a substation in the heart of downtown would not only make them feel safer, but tourists as well.

"I don't feel that I'm safe," said Tracy Peach, who came into town for a comedy show.

She said as she walked up to the restaurant where she and her sister would have dinner, she came across several encampments and transients doing drugs out in the open.

"A lot of vandalism and destruction and drug use," said Damayne Dash, who works on 3rd Avenue.

To help combat the growing issue of violence at Third Avenue and Pike/Pine Streets, Seattle Police placed a mobile precinct in the area, making their presence very visible as they patrol the streets on bike and foot. 


Seattle police increasing patrols on 3rd Avenue in Downtown after recent shootings

The Seattle Police Department is increasing their patrols on Third Avenue in Downtown in response to the recent violent crimes. 

But will their presence put an end to this hotspot?

"I hope so, I definitely hope so. And so far, it seems like it's doing a good job," Dash said.

"I don't feel that just by having the police presence here is going to stop anything that would be occurring anyway," Peach said. 

Pamela Morales, owner of Simple Life on 2nd Avenue, says this is a great first step.

The boutique has been in business for 25 years now, but like many business owners, she’s down profit due to shoplifting, encampments popping up and transients making a home outside her store.

Morales says all she and other business owners can do is wait and see what the results are but having a patrol officer outside her business is making her feel safer.

Olga Sagan, owner of Pirosky Pirosky, closed her doors earlier this week due to the rise in crime.

"I'm very upset that it took two deaths within three days to have us go in the right direction," Sagan said.

While she says today was the first time, she felt safe walking the area she says it's going to take consistent, long-term, sustainable and humane solutions to combat every issue downtown Seattle is facing before she opens up shop again.

"There is still a lot of work to do. The best thing I heard is it's just not policing and having more police presence, it's about encompassing approach, long-term approach to the issues we're having," Sagan said.

Business owners are calling on city leaders to establish long term solutions.

They say they're hopeful things will shape up before they’re forced to close for good; between these new incentives, spring just around the corner and an increase in tourism, sales will be up -- boosting our local economy. 

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