Filming a Ride Along With Seattle Police Lieutenant for Crime Story
Last week I spent the day filming for an upcoming Seattle Channel story about more scientific approaches to community policing. The idea involves using very specific data analysis to more effectively appropriate limited resources toward reducing crime. City Council member Tim Burgess’ office was hosting a group of academics from the George Mason University who’ve been analyzing Seattle crime data over a period of time and were in town to present to the city council based on their findings. The morning shoot involved a short round table discussion at the Casey Family Foundation offices at the corner of 23rd and Union, a former Central District ‘hot spot’ that has recently successfully brought down the local crime problem. The round table was followed by a neighborhood tour to 4 local businesses, where the owners spoke briefly to the group about their own individual relationship with the community, and the police, and told their story of how things had progressed and changed over the past few years, from recent implementation of the ‘Drug Market Initiative’ to gentrification’s impact on the neighborhood, and a hand full of other themes. The businesses included a coffee shop, a restaurant, a neighborhood cinema, and another multipurpose business.
The best part of the day was the ride along with Lieutenant Joel Guay. Together with my producer, we cruised the East Precinct, which includes in his words “everything from billionaires who live in Madison Park to indigent crack smokers who live in the area known as the jungle.” The East precinct stretches from St Mark’s Cathedral in N. Capitol Hill to Dearborn Ave. in the south, Lake Washington to the East, i5 to the west, and everything in between. It was a pretty amazing tour, as I sat contorted in the front passenger seat between the dashboard mounted laptop and the window, attempting to get a good profile angle of him as he drove, with the streetscape passing behind him through the window, the outdoor exposure constantly shifting as we cruised and I tried to maintain a solid shot.
That was followed by interviews in the City Council chambers with councilmember Burgess who’s a former police officer, and a former detective and special victim’s unit officer from the Baltimore police who is now a PhD candidate at George Mason involved in doing the research. A great way to spend a day learning about our city from a completely different perspective. Air date is June 2nd on Chanel 21 in Seattle.