Non-paying public not allowed into South King County ‘Public Safety Summit’

Jun 8, 2023, 6:42 AM

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

A summit took place on Wednesday to address the crime plaguing South King County. The goal is to do a better job of keeping people safe.

This Public Safety Summit was put together by the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce. But the one group left out of the meeting was the public. Reporters weren’t allowed into the two-hour session at all.

Even though they sent us a news release telling KIRO 7 all about it. So, we paid to get inside. We found out, the crime KIRO 7 keeps telling you about, is happening just about everywhere including a local food business.

Crime has become an all too common sight in South King County, with thieves breaking into businesses and taking whatever they can. Crime has even found its way to a space in Tukwila where culinary dreams come true.

“Stolen catalytic converters, food trucks, drugs, cash boxes, things like that,” said John Schofield. “All at night.”

John Schofield is the facilities manager for culiNEX Kitchens which provides kitchen space for chefs. Trying to thwart crime, even unwanted intruders, is part of his job now too.

“All usually on three-day weekends also,” said Schofield. “You can always expect something to happen. Every time. Three-day weekend. Yep, I hate them.”

Schofield took that message to a Public Safety Summit in SeaTac organized by the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce. KIRO 7′s cameras weren’t allowed inside.

But facing an uptick in crimes like this, more than a dozen security experts, advocates, and police officers discussed ways they can help each other to fight it.

“A seminar or summit like this helps us to get to a point of managing our resources,” said Tukwila Police Chief Eric Drever.

He said there still aren’t enough cops on the street to prevent crimes most of which he says have escalated during the fentanyl epidemic.

“And fentanyl leads individuals towards other crimes,” said Chief Drever. “It also creates quality of life issues. It also correlates to those that are in mental crisis. It’s all together.”

Schofield said it was a Tukwila police officer who suggested he put up Stadium Lights. They spent $8,000. He said it has pretty much eliminated the crime, at night.

But now the criminals are showing up in the daytime.

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Non-paying public not allowed into South King County ‘Public Safety Summit’