Westlake neighbors want SPD officer permanently assigned there

SEATTLE - Angry neighbors of Westlake Park are taking to Facebook to expose open drug dealing. And a group called Friends of Westlake Park is demanding that a Seattle police officer be permanently assigned to combat violence there.

That violence reached Joey Crudo, who works the front door at the Seaborn Building and helped arrange a meeting with police about Westlake violence. Two weeks later, after alerting a guy talking with girls that someone was going through his backpack, he was severely beaten.

"Before I knew it, those three girls were in my face, trying to grab my phone," Crudo said. "A little kid came up behind me and tried to grab my wallet. As I turned to him, I was knocked out cold."

Business leaders raised the concerns first and got 30 new cops, but those 30 or so police officers won't be hired until the end of next year. And even then, they won't be assigned specifically to Westlake Park.

"We police aggressively, from patrol officers on bike on foot all the way up to our detectives," said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb with Seattle Police.

Meantime, criticism continues that police seem to be choosing to "de-police" -- ignoring minor criminal behavior that leads to serious crime.

The Downtown Seattle Association says if more officers can't patrol the area, they'll work to add more park rangers and other ambassadors, as well as design techniques to combat disorderly behavior.