Jan 15 2016

Security @ Shilshole Marina

Published by at 1:24 pm under Shilshole Marina

Over the last few weeks it has become clear that theft is up here at the Marina. Identifying the social and economic causes for the thefts are numerous and would take more time than I can devote to it. The short form is that there are thieves in marina parking lots, in and out of laundry room and in some cases mail is being taken.

Bad news travels fast, rumors can run rampant, I do not want to add to the issues. I have spent a couple weeks gathering information on the condition of the Security @ Shilshole Marina. This is what I have learned:

  • The Marina Management, Marina Staff, the Maritime Media Officer and the Port of Seattle Police understand that there is a increase of criminal theft going on at Shilshole Marina.
  • The problems occur day and night.
  • The Security procedures that are in place have been in effect for sometime, few if any changes have been made with regard to the current increase in crime here at Shilshole.

There are several things that have been suggested by the Marina Management and Port Police:

1. Lock your vehicles. Make it harder for the thieves to take your property.

2. Remove everything that can possibly be viewed as valuable to someone prowling the parking lots.

3. “If you See something, Say something!” Be a witness not a victim. Call the Port Police or the Marina Staff when you have seen something. All the numbers are posted at the head of each dock and you can find them here on the Shilshole Blog.

All these items above are all tenant driven.  At the Dock Captains’ Meeting and at the meeting I attended January 8, 2016 at the marina office I heard the following:

  • The Port Police will respond to your calls. If they need to call for help, they will call the City of Seattle Police. Keep in mind there are two Port of Seattle Officers assigned to all the Port of Seattle Maritime Operations. No additional personal is expected to be hired. There are no budgeted funds for additional Port Police or Marina Staff for security.

Here are some of the suggestions that I have heard in the last two weeks. These were some from the Dock Captains’ Meeting Tuesday evening:

  • A Gate/Guard shack at one of the entrances to be used after midnight. This would require an employee to be station there between 12-5 am.
  • Install a camera capable of reading liscenses. Proposed but not budgeted for, however it is being worked on.
  • Moving forward on updated lighting fixtures in the parking lots. This project is scheduled for 2017. It was suggested that this project should be done now. It would make a great difference in what the criminals do unobserved.
  • Several times additional security staff was suggested.
  • Putting up a fence around the entire parking lot was suggested. The response on this idea was that it is unlikely, as the marina is open to the public. In addition, there are no funds for this kind of project.
    These suggestions have merit. All of these suggestions require large amounts of money.

Other ideas for securing the parking lots are continuing to surface as the theft problems continue to plague the marina. These ideas are based on close observation by one of our liveaboard neighbors, Jodine.

  • Put a spot light on each of marina vehicles that patrols the parking lots at night, some of the vehicles have spot lights;
  • do not use the flashing yellow lights at night;
  • having the Port Police park in the main parking lots rather than the small parking lot between the condos and the boatyard.
  • Having the Port Police and the Marina Staff communicate what is happening to the Tenants in the form of a report, which could be sent out with the billing.

These are things that could improve the situation. They can also be implemented without much money. Bravo to you Jodine.

Some things I want to add here. This Shilshole Blog can be a helpful tool for informing the tenants of the marina. Tell people about it, encourage others to post, check it often.  Shilshole Prepares has a weekly boaters net for the purpose of getting us, as boaters, used to our radios in times of emergency. It is called the V-MAN NET, Channel 71 Monday Night 8 pm. I was asked to look into a signal that would tell us at a glance that we should turn our radios to Channel 71.

In some communities with Neighborhood Watch organizations, members of the communities work with the police and other agencies to form Neighborhood Patrols. In other areas in Seattle, these Patrols have helped cut down on these crime sprees. I propose that we, the tenants of Shilshole Marina look seriously at doing this for a few months. We can use our experience as boaters standing watch on a passage; in this case, we are on a passage through a crime spree. We can make a difference if we chose to participate. It would discourage people from viewing us as victims. We would not need extra money to this, we would need a flash light and a phone…which most of us all ready have.

Tonight on the evening news I saw a battery switch installed in a car, it was disguised as a common dashboard accessory. One last idea comes from Dave, the Net control on the V_MAN NET reminded us that steering wheel locks are currently being used by several marina tenants, they don’t cost too much and can be effective in discouraging theft.

What I have learned from this two week project is that we need to show we are willing to participate. There are not enough Police/Marina Staff to insure zero crime. We can make a difference. If you see something you consider out of the ordinary, call 911, ask for the Port Police. Security Contact numbers are posted in the link on the right side of this page.

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