Ross: Community policing program should include public tackle training

Mar 16, 2023, 8:19 AM | Updated: 9:46 am
vaccine mandate policing...
Seattle police temporarily detain a man after he ran from officers following a drug deal on March 10, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. Like many cities across the United States, Seattle is experiencing a surge in crime, much of it violent, with a more than 20 percent increase last year alone and a record number of shootings. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Here’s a story that was posted on It reads as follows:

“A woman was robbed at knifepoint in SoDo on Monday.

“At 3:45 p.m., a 27-year-old female victim flagged down a police officer at the intersection of Fourth Avenue S and S Lander Street to report she was robbed.

“The suspect was nearby carrying the victim’s stolen purse. The victim pointed out the suspect to the officer.

“The 41-year-old female suspect was taken into custody.”

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There it is!

So many times, we think the answer to fighting crime is more laws. But I’m pretty sure we already have all the laws we need for the crimes that really scare people.

What you want is for those laws to be enforced. And preferably– enforced instantly, as they were in this case, by a trained police officer who happened to be there.

A new gun law wouldn’t have prevented this because, in this case, the victim was threatened with a knife. And a law against knives wouldn’t have helped because knives are everywhere.

What helped – was the presence of a trained ‘Good Guy.’ In this case, a police officer. But we are short on police officers, which is why stories like this are so rare. So how can we increase the odds?

Well, remember back when Seattle was known as the best place to have a heart attack because of Medic One and all the Seattlites trained in CPR?

I say we set a new goal: making Seattle the best place to get robbed – by teaching ordinary people how to safely tackle a bad guy. I envision a city where, in the event of a daylight attack like this, there would be five or 10 of our burliest male and female citizens trained to swarm the assailant and, in 30 seconds, have him zip-tied like a drunk on a plane.

In fact, if we just added this to the CPR training, we would soon have thousands of people with these take-down skills. People who would have the confidence to go downtown again.

So who would be unafraid and ready to act?

And there would be so many stories like this that the crooks would give up and go back to Portland or wherever it is they come from.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Community policing program should include public tackle training