Pioneer Square businessman takes on crime fighting

by: Deborah Horne Updated:

SEATTLE - Mike Klotz said he opened his small delicatessen in Pioneer Square three years ago for one main reason.

"Because this neighborhood's awesome," said Klotz. "And it's a beautiful place."

But that beauty, he says, is too often marred by crime. From the heartbreaking murder last September of a Shoreline Community College instructor to the near-constant drug dealing. He says the way to attack both is the same -- to call 911 and let Seattle police know about it.

"Logging that information," Klotz said. "Letting them know. Being able to use that information, that statistics so they can be aware of what's going on is important."

It is crucial, he says, because The Seattle Police Department determines where it will set up patrols by what the criminal history is in a neighborhood.

"We're just at our wit's end about what to do about it."

Longtime gallery owner Greg Kucera says he has called 911 numerous times in his more than 30 years in Pioneer Square. He thinks the neighborhood's woes will be lessened as more people move in.

"We're all just hoping that this neighborhood gets a little bit more weight when it talks to the city about using this area as a dumping ground for all the social service," said Kucera. "And all the other things that we all need and know and love as a democratic society, but so much of it is concentrated in Pioneer Square."

Klotz agrees and says things here must change.

"And it's the city and the county's responsibility to do it."

But he says the people who work and live here have to help. And calling 911 is one way to do that.