Chief Best says response times now three times longer in East Precinct

SEATTLE — Seattle police Chief Carmen Best on Thursday said that in the first day since officers moved out of the East Precinct, response times to crimes in progress were about three times longer than average.

Speaking alongside Mayor Jenny Durkan, Best said the difference in response times could be the difference in preventing a violent attack.

>> ‘Leaving the precinct was not my decision’ Chief Best says in message to fellow officers

“If that is your mother, your sister, your cousin, your neighbor’s kid that is being raped, robbed assaulted (or) otherwise victimized you’re not going to want to have to report that it took the police three times longer to get there to provide services to them,” Best said.

The police department moved out of the East Precinct Monday afternoon. Since then, protesters have deemed the area around the precinct the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” or CHAZ.

“It was never an option to have residents of the precinct, many of whom are members of our most marginalized communities by the way, waiting for an extra length of time for an officer to arrive to a violent crime in progress,” Best said.

Best said the department stands open and ready to engage in dialogue and action about how to address inequalities and racism in the criminal justice system.

Watch the full news conference below:

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