Once in a while, you have to wonder why someone would be so excited to buy one of the many $500,000+ condos that are soon to spread over downtown like a tsunami. It certainly isn’t for a secure, friendly neighborhood environment…
Sgt. Rich O’Neill, Seattle Police Officers’ Guild president, said officers aggressively policing the drug problem in Belltown and downtown might pull back after seeing other officers’ reputations tarnished.”Drug dealers must be laughing all the way to their next sell,” he said.
Below Greenwald’s apartment on Third Avenue, one police officer epitomized the blown morale some residents worried about. He said he became less aggressive, and so did other cops, long before the current controversy.
“You get what you ask for,” he said bitterly as he watched suspected drug dealers and others hanging out on the corners around Third and Pine. “It used to be that when you saw these thugs on the corners, we’d move them along.”
But the officer, who wouldn’t give his name out of concern for his job, said he personally wouldn’t risk being accused of misconduct, unless he has to.
“If I do something, I can get in trouble. But if I don’t do anything, I won’t get in trouble,” he said.
Even in broad daylight, drug dealers appeared to be dealing, passing cash to one another. “You see, they know we’re not going to do anything,” the officer said.
It just sounds so delightful, doesn’t it? Somehow I doubt that “desirable neighborhood” is one of the bullet points on the sales materials. Perhaps the people that will buy these pimped-out apartments are expected to be agoraphobics who rarely venture outside their posh pads.
Also possible is this explanation from the article (emphasis mine):
Steve Aprill [a physician who lives on Third Avenue between Pike and Pine streets] said the “straw that broke the camel’s back” came about 12:30 a.m. one night last month when his 37-year-old son, who was visiting from Los Angeles, was attacked by what one witness estimated to be 20 people while he walked home alone.
“They kept kicking him in the head,” said Elaine Aprill. “Hopefully, someone in one of the luxury condos is going to have the pull to get something done about this.”
I pity the people currently living downtown that have to deal with this every day. I have to say though, that’s some interesting logic. Good luck finding that wealthy, influential condo buyer naïve enough to jump headfirst into a neighborhood with those kind of problems.
On the other hand… if they’re naïve enough to spend $500,000 or more on a condo in downtown Seattle in the first place…
(Kery Murakami & Hector Castro, Seattle P-I, 07.11.2007)