For the first time since 2008, the Seattle Police Department is shifting the boundaries of its 51 police beats. The change will improve officer supervision and public safety service, better align police patrols with Seattle’s neighborhoods, and achieve a major milestone in the department’s work toward reform with the Department of Justice.
Beginning January 28th, the department will increase the number of patrols squads and sergeants at each of SPD’s five precincts, improving each precinct’s officer-to-supervisor ratio. This will enable supervisors to work more closely with officers, providing guidance in investigations, reviewing use of force, and ensuring quality of public service.
SPD’s five precincts beats will also more closely reflect Seattle’s census tracts, to match officer allocation to the recent growth and shifts in Seattle’s many neighborhoods. Beat realignments are a common practice for law enforcement agencies throughout the country, allowing police departments to account for city growth and population density changes. The last time SPD redrew its boundaries was in 2008. Now, six years later, the department has again taken the opportunity to reevaluate and meet the needs of each of Seattle’s neighborhoods.
The department has made numerous changes to the boundaries of beats across the city, but the most significant changes come for residents of Eastlake and First Hill. The Eastlake neighborhood—previously split between the East and West precincts—will now be a part of the West Precinct. The East Precinct will now serve First Hill.
As part of the patrol map realignment, the department will also revise neighborhood-based crime data available on My Neighborhood Maps, Tweets By Beat and Data.Seattle.Gov to reflect the new beat boundaries. The new data is expected to be available by mid-February.
SPD’s Tweets By Beat and My Neighborhood Maps will be offline and unavailable until February 2nd as part of the beat update. After the 2nd, we recommend using our Beat-finder tool to ensure you’re still receiving the latest information on police responses in your neighborhood.