Beginning April 1st, the Seattle Police Department will increase foot patrols in Belltown, Pioneer Square, and the international district, Mayor Mike McGinn's office and Interim Police Chief John Diaz announced today. The pilot effort responds to City Council Member Tim Burgess's five-point, grandiosely-worded plan, "Addressing Street Disorder to Preserve Jobs and Improve Our Quality of Life." (.pdf here)

Point one is increased foot patrols in specific areas. Burgess's controversial Aggressive Solicitation Ordinance (which Dominic wrote about here), is point three of this five-point plan. The ordinance is the focus of this morning's public safety committee meeting at City Hall, which Dom will report back on later.

The foot patrol pilot effort will be launched within the city’s existing budget by redeploying some if SPDs bike patrols to foot beats. In a letter to the city council, Police Chief Diaz explains that the foot patrol will increase police visibility and make officers more accessible, which will hopefully combat the "...street disorder in our downtown core," as Burgess describes.

In addition, the mayor will be touring the International District and Pioneer Square this Thursday, March 18 at 4 p.m., beginning at the Wing Luke Asian Museum, 719 S. King St. The tour is an opportunity for the mayor and the public to see some of the public safety challenges in those neighborhoods.