Police Chief Search Committee hears concerns

About two-dozen people turned out for the first of three public meetings devoted to finding Seattle’s next police chief. It took place at the Northgate Community Center on Feb. 10. Not unexpectedly, crime was on the minds of some who spoke.

Tunny Vann, a UW student, cited an event that happened the day before, during which a SWAT team showed up a few blocks north of campus. Vann, chair of a campus committee on student safety, said he learned of it after the fact by friends who questioned why they didn’t receive an alert from the campus police department.

“I called UWPD, [they] transferred me to SPD – SPD transferred me to UWPD,” Vann said. Eventually he spoke with a dispatcher, who told him things were under control. “I feel like there’s a lot of miscommunication going on,” he said.

Jens Gundlach, a professor of physics at the University of Washington, said that his house was burglarized about a month ago and many items were stolen. “We called the police of course and they were very responsive,” Gundlach said, adding that the officers were very friendly, “but that’s where it ended.” Despite leaving repeated phone messages, he has been unable to follow up with police.

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