SPD Deputy Chief Carmen Best speaks at the November 28 public safety meeting. • Photo by Heidi Park

On Monday, November 28, Washington State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos hosted a community meeting with Seattle Police Department (SPD) and other city officials at the Nagomi Tea House. Over a year and a half has passed since International District Emergency Center director Donnie Chin was killed during a shootout between rival gangs, but the Seattle Police Department (SPD) reassured the community that they continue to work feverishly to solve Chin’s case.

Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief Robert Merner shared that within the past two weeks, detectives questioned a person in custody in the Midwest with possible information on Chin’s slaying. But not enough information was available to issue a warrant for arrest.

Monday’s meeting also covered updates on the current public safety efforts the Chinatown-International District (CID). SPD is working on hiring a community engagement and outreach coordinator to help address concerns, including the distrust CID residents and community members have of SPD. Lieutenant Scott Moss, who staffs bicycle squads that patrol the neighborhood, told the audience that SPD continues to send officers on overtime patrols when the regular bike squads are off duty.

Council President Bruce Harrell, who also co-hosted the meeting, announced that the City budget improves public safety, including an additional $200,000 for more bi-weekly garbage pickup and street cleaning, and funding for a CID Public Safety Coordinator for 2017-2018. SPD also mentioned that they continue to discuss the possibility of having Chinatown-International District and Little Saigon consolidated into one police precinct.

However many community members remain skeptical and wore buttons that read, “Justice for Donnie.” In the same vein, Representative Santos told SPD and city officials that “there is no community in Seattle that wishes to see Donnie’s killer brought to justice more than this community.”

The next community meeting has yet to be scheduled, but will likely take place next spring.

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