New SPD Community Police Officer Tim Wear dropped by Ballard District Council to talk about what he's been up to.
Meet your new community police officer: Tim Wear
North Precincts new community police officer Tim Wear dropped by the Ballard District Council on Wednesday, March 13 to introduce himself to the folks of Ballard.
He's been on the job for a few weeks and, according to Ballard District Council President Catherine Weatbrook, "He's aleady hit the ground running."
Wear brings with him 28 years of experience in a variety of positions, so you might say he knows a little bit about how to be a police officer.
“A lot of people joke I’ve been in every unit in the Police Department, but I don’t think that’s neccessarily true. I haven’t worked with the horse patrol and I haven't been on the canine unit. But that's about it," he said.
He's even worked in Ballard before. But that was back in the 1980s.
"Believe me, I got lost when I came back," he joked. He said Ballard was entirely different looking with all of the new development that has been sprouting up.
Wear is taking over the place of Scott McGlashan, who took a position with the harbor patrol.
“You know, Scott gave me the patrol keys and said goodbye," Wear said, responding to a resident asking if McGlashan had given Wear the low-down on the neighborhood. "I think he was desperate to get back on the boat or something."
Wear has already been hard at work, taking on a strategy he called the "Dirty Dozen," meaning he has been going after the usual suspects or high-impact offenders. Sometimes they're mentally ill or chronic alcoholics, people who cause a ruckus. Generally they're arrested and turned back out again before long, or entered into a care facility.
"Today was a crescendo to offenders by arresting our most nefarious" offender, Wear said. "A lot of people have been coming back out but their behavior has been modified so hopefully they won’t act the same way again."
Wear is also asking for help from the community. He tells people to call 911 whenever they see suspicious activity. Some of the high impact offenders are inside homes and he is prohibited from entering a home unless someone calls.
“I’ve identified five blocks within our residential areas that have homes that have high impact offenders in them," he said. He said it generally takes a lot of resources to handle the situation, sometimes involving five police cars. Sometimes it happens in the middle of the night.
Illegal encampment is another problem that Wear addressed. He said that there are several problem spots, including the Ballard Locks area, the Salmon Bay Natural Area and the staircase leading down to Golden Gardens from Sunset Hill.
"You’ll see me walking up and down there everyday, and that is really tough to do with 30 lbs. worth of equipment," he said.
Wear warned residents to not approach anybody if they seem to be doing something suspicious. He said police officers have already gotten into a couple of tough situations and that residents need not endanger themselves.
Dawn Hemminger of the East Ballard Community Association said graffiti has become an increasing problem and asked what residents should do if they see it. Is it worth calling the police or notifying Wear?
Wear said yes. Residents can email him pictures of graffiti at firstname.lastname@example.org
"I will arrest offenders for that. We can’t allow that to continue on," Wear said. "But we also need to find a creative strategy to get these kids going on the right direction."
He said how he wanted to get one high profile graffiti artist to work on a public mural, or to do something more constructive with his time.
As for how to get a hold of Wear, the best bet is either by calling 911 when something suspicious is happening, calling the North Precinct Office at (206) 684-0850, or emailing him at email@example.com.
But, as far as finding him at an office or regularly at community meetings, residents shouldn't get their hopes too high.
"I’m terrible about going to meetings at night, I feel like my time is better served on the street," he said. "I'm finding that most of my life is spent in that patrol car."
Zachariah Bryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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