Crime wave closes Seattle, Washington businesses whose employees do not feel safe, reports Eileen Griffin.
By Eileen Griffin
Seattle business owners are begging the city government to provide solutions to the rapidly rising crime rate.
Local business owners joined forces to demand city leaders deal with the rising violence and ongoing danger they face, Fox Business News (FBN) reports.
Some employers expressed concern about the safety of their employees and their customers.
Baristas Guard Door
Coffee shop owner Steve Naramore told FBN he has employees stationed to watch for potentially dangerous individuals entering the store.
“Our crew are often left to deal with increasingly aggressive behavior,” Naramore said. “A common position for one of our baristas is to stand by the front door with her hands on the deadbolt lock because somebody is pacing back and forth in crisis in front of the store, and we’re just worried, terrified that they’re going to come in and we don’t know really what’s going to happen from there.”
Seattle Credit Union announced it will close two branches in the city of Seattle due to rising crime in the area. Effective February 3, the locations in Rainier Valley and Georgetown will close, KTTH reports.
A spokesperson from the credit union told The Jason Rantz Show they feel the need to protect their members from threats and protect their business from vandalism and break-ins.
“Our mission to guide households, individuals, and businesses to a position of financial prosperity require environments free of verbal threats of harm, damaged property, excessive onsite security, and frequent closures resulting from vandalism and/or break-ins,” the spokesperson said.
‘Just Shut Down’
Local business owners told Daily Caller crime in Seattle has skyrocketed since the reduction of the police budget two years ago, and it is hampering their ability to conduct business.
Rohan Joseph, owner of Elliot Bay Community Fitness in Seattle, said crime has surged in the last two years. He has found groups of people using drugs right outside the door of his business.
Seattle pastry shop Piroshky, Piroshky shut their doors last year after multiple shootings near the bakery. Owner Olga Sagan expressed concern for the safety of her employees working in that location.
“We just shut down because my employees didn’t feel safe,” Sagan told Fox Business News. It was really messy. I have never seen anything as bad.”
Enhanced Penalties Proposed
Police are unable to deal with the rising levels of crime and increased problems with the homeless population. King County, which includes Seattle, is second only to Los Angeles in the number of unsheltered homeless individuals.
Washington State Rep. Jenny Graham (R-Spokane) proposing three public safety bills as the 2023 legislative session begins.
“Our families, parents and children need to feel safe in their communities; right now, many of them do not,” Graham said when proposing her bills.
H.B. 1160 creates an aggravating circumstance for criminals who mutilate or dismember victims. H.B. 1161 eliminates an early release option for violent criminals using a firearm in the commission of a crime. H.B. 1162 expands offenses and penalties for the manufacture, sale, and distribution of certain controlled substances.
U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), has also noticed the increasing crime in the state of Washington. On his website he writes that crime is rising due to public policies such as defunding the police.
“Much of this uptick is a direct result of defund the police rhetoric and policies passed at the federal, state, and local level that makes it nearly impossible for law enforcement to do their jobs and protect our communities,” Newhouse writes. “Make no mistake. Defunding the police continues to make our communities more vulnerable to crime, and risk officer safety on the job.”