TOO MUCH YAMMERING
JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE: Thanks for your article concerning the shortage crisis on staffing in the Seattle Police Department ["The (Very) Thin Blue Line," March 27]. This supplied some long overdue and much needed attention on a crucial problem in Seattle—public safety. With the mayor and city council constantly yammering about Seattle being a "world-class city" with bike paths, soon-to-be Sound Transit, and other quality-of-life issues, they have ignored this long-simmering problem. As an activist here on Beacon Hill, both on my community council and South Precinct Advisory Council, we at the grassroots level have been aware of this staffing shortage for some years. Ask anyone in the community who calls the police about break-ins, suspicious activity—it can take hours for police to respond! There are simply not enough officers to handle all the calls. Wake up, city government, and step up to the plate... release more funding for more officers, please! This is a 911 call!
WHERE DO I SIGN?
JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE: Thanks for the overdue article about the Seattle police situation. An acquaintance of mine left the SPD earlier this year to work less hours and make $20k more in Vancouver, Washington. He left behind an understaffed Seattle precinct, where incidents below a high threshold are routinely ignored. People are free to toke, grope, and burgle when the law's hands are full. It's a liberated feeling, sure—until you want your stolen car back. Maybe the citizen initiative process can remedy this. Where do I sign to make law enforcement the highest law-enforcement priority?
JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE: The article on the SPD was insightful. Another twist to the department's woes is the fact that despite all of the issues that you wrote about facing the department at this time, SPD management implemented changes that helped to create this "mass exodus" of veteran officers. SPD management implemented the neighborhood- policing reorganization when they did not have the 140 officers needed to make the reorganization work. The Seattle Police Officers' Guild asked management to wait until the department hired enough officers to make this reorganization work, however their reasoning fell upon deaf ears. In addition to implementing a reorganization that could not work, management also implemented the SPYDER report-writing network. This new computerized report-writing system was scrapped by the Redmond Police Department because it was slow, complicated, and it took the officers off the street for longer periods of time so they could enter these reports. The officer is now entering information that is more for statistical purposes, rather than "just the facts." So, at a time when the department should be looking at ways to keep the officer on the street, the officer is tied down to a computer.
A DIFFERENT JOB
JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE: I wanted to thank you for telling the plight of SPD's frontline troops. I've been with SPD for 15 years and it's like a completely different job these days. It's unfortunate that Chief Kerlikowske has forbidden officers from talking to the press—otherwise, you'd probably get a bigger earful than you already have.
I'd say more, but I want to get promoted this year!
TULA'S INSTEAD OF HOOTERS
EDITOR: First of all, Jonathan Zwickel is a fucking writing genius ["Nothing Gold Can Stay," March 27]. He took my Hooters experiences, first impressions, and postapocalyptic thoughts, and prettified them, as only a beer-guzzling guy's guy can.
I've been to Hooters in Florida and Hawaii, the one at the Aloha Tower Marketplace. And I've even picked up some wings as takeout from the branch here in Lynnwood. While Zwickel claims the wings still rule, I cannot say the same. Somehow, the wings lost the same luster from before. It's like when I went back to Palace Kitchen in downtown Seattle for their wings after a year or so, and found them stringy, mealy, almost half-cooked, and just plain gross.
Hooters reminds me of T.G.I. Friday's, in that you never go there for the rest of the menu, and never a main course, just a few choice appetizers. Zwickel should try Tula's for some of the best, most consistent hot wings imaginable, if he's into wings. Their French fries and Greek fare are awesome as well. Plus, there's jazz and big-band music. Can't beat that.