Safe and Healthy Communities

A holistic approach to safety: integrating health, public safety, and emergency preparedness through relationships and community-building
A safe and healthy community is one where people know and trust their neighbors and have reliable access to critical government services. Safe and healthy residents lead to stronger, more resilient communities. People feel safe when they are respected, valued, and have access to a full range of health, social, natural, and educational resources.   Ultimately, a safe and healthy community has the tools to identify what it needs and the ability to communicate those needs to the City. 

Provide quick and reliable help to residents when they need it

What we track: Percentage of emergency incidents responded to by specific target response times
Why is this important?
The ability to get help in the case of an emergency is the backbone of public safety. Seattle Police Department (SPD) and Seattle Fire Department (SFD) are committed to providing that help to residents in the case of an emergency as quickly and efficiently possible. Responding quickly and reliably can be a matter of life or death such as preventing a fire from getting out of control, stopping or mitigating a crime, or providing lifesaving emergency services in the case of cardiac arrest.  In addition, quick and reliable help improves resident satisfaction and willingness to report a crime. 
Hover over data points to see incident response times
How we measure:
Though SPD and SFD/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) incident responses are represented on the same graph, the events above represent separate event responses from SPD and SFD/EMS. SPD and SFD each have their own call loads and call centers and deploy resources separately, unless otherwise dispatched to events where a joint response is necessary.
Police aims to arrive on-scene within 7 minutes of 911 Priority 1 emergency calls, calls which require immediate response because there is reason to believe that an immediate threat to life exists. There is no national standard for police response to Priority 1 emergency calls.  The National Fire Protection Association Standard 1710 is the basis for the first engine arrival on-scene time to be 4 minutes to prevent fires from quickly escalating.  EMS aims to arrive within 4 minutes of EMS incidents because early notification, distribution, and concentration of emergency response services are paramount to successful resuscitation efforts for victims of cardiac arrest.
What progress are we making?
SPD and SFD have managed to keep response times stable over time, despite increased traffic and population growth. In January 2019, the Alaskan Way viaduct was closed for construction, and the month of February saw multiple weeks of accumulated snowfall and icy road conditions that made driving much more difficult over this period of time. SPD and SFD's response times decreased due to these events, but both departments were able to recover to previous response times.

SFD has an online real-time 911 fire portal that allows residents to view active and closed incidents, according to date, time, location, and type.  SPD recently published a Calls for Service Dashboard that provides more visibility into the types of calls the department receives, which neighborhood these calls come from, and Citywide police response time. SPD has partnered with Smart911, a national third-party system that stores data you provide and makes it available to emergency call centers that are equipped and ready to receive Smart911 data. For non-emergencies, there is an online crime reporting portal to help residents more efficiently report crime. 

Help residents prepare for emergencies

What we track: Number of opt-Ins to AlertSeattle
Why is this important?
Like any major city, Seattle must be prepared to respond to a wide range of emergencies, from brief power outages to devastating earthquakes to unexpected snowstorms. During a major disaster or emergency, City services and first responders will likely be overwhelmed, and access to reliable emergency information will be crucial during this time.  AlertSeattle  is the City’s official emergency notification system used to communicate with residents during all sorts of emergencies. The City strives to increase  AlertSeattle  subscriptions to ensure that all residents have the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe.
Hover over each bar to see the total number of AlertSeattle subscribers
How we measure:
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) tracks the number of people signed up for AlertSeattle. OEM's goal is to reach the largest possible portion of the population with emergency alerts and notifications. City departments review the effectiveness and timeliness of alerts and notifications in reaching residents. The totals displayed here represent the cumulative number of individuals who have created an AlertSeattle account, reported at the end of each month.
What progress are we making?
Expanded use of AlertSeattle during the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of several new system features led to a significant increase in subscribers during 2020-21. In April of 2020, a text to opt-in feature was introduced, making it easier to sign up for emergency alerts. People can now sign up to receive emergency alerts by simply texting SEATTLE to 67283. Weekly COVID-19 alerts were also introduced in 2020. Over 14,000 people signed up to receive these weekly alerts for information on current safety guidance, vaccination and testing sites, and available support resources.  
During 2021-22, the Office of Emergency Management will be focused on increasing the capacity to reach non-English speakers with emergency information through AlertSeattle. This will be accomplished by developing pre-translated messages for a variety of hazards and partnering with other jurisdictions in King County to implement the Trusted Partner Network.
Seattle has a number of resources to inform residents about emergency preparedness:

Improve situational awareness to address neighborhood safety

What we track: Neighborhood crime statistics, safety concerns, and residents' perception of crime
Why is this important? 
Developing situational awareness is essential to reducing neighborhood crime.  By understanding trends and perceptions of person and property crimes, residents can take appropriate precautions to create safer neighborhoods and a safer Seattle. Because there are many different factors that contribute to residents’ perception of safety in their neighborhoods, it is vital that both the lived experience of people and crime statistics are represented.
Seattle Public Safety Survey
Top public safety concerns by precinct and Citywide for 2016
Click the image or above link to travel to the website to view the top 5 safety concerns by neighborhood
SeaStat Crime Dashboard
Crime density by precinct for 2019
Click the image or above link to travel to the website to view the top 5 crimes committed in each neighborhood
How we measure:
To understand neighborhood safety the City uses the intersection between residents' perceptions of crime and actual crime statistics as a proxy. Seattle Police Department's (SPD) SeaStat Crime Dashboard provides an interactive map that shows crime density in each neighborhood per year. Seattle University recently conducted the Seattle Public Safety Survey (as part of an evaluation of SPD’s Micro Community Policing Plans) that includes an interactive map illustrating the top public safety concerns by neighborhood and precinct for 2015 and 2016. Comparing these two maps allows residents to visualize the top safety and crime concerns compared to recorded crime statistics by neighborhood.  
What progress are we making? 
In order to increase situational awareness around crime, the City has focused its efforts on developing place-based crime prevention programs, such as Block Watch, Micro Community Policing Plans, Demographic Advisory Councils, Rainier Beach (A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth), and pre-summer emphasis patrols.
  • SPD has created a program called  Block Watch  to better connect people with their neighbors and foster  community awareness around crime. Block Watch is a program based on the principle that neighbors working together are the first and best line of defense against crime. The program helps neighbors look out for one another by empowering residents with the tools they need to reach out to one another in the event of an emergency. Block Watch provides a block map and contact list with neighbors' names, telephone numbers, and emails that can be used in case of an emergency.  
  • SPD recently developed  Micro Community Policing Plans (MCPP) in partnership with Seattle University. MCPP is designed to address the distinctive needs of each community. The plans take a three pronged approach that brings community engagement, crime data, and police services together to get direct feedback on perceptions of crime and public safety. MCPP is tailored to meet the individual needs of each community, with a unique approach owned by the community.
  • SPD has online resources on Demographic Advisory Councils that have been organized to "create and strengthen programs and communication efforts that build trust between police and demographic communities".
  • An example of community-led crime prevention is  Rainier Beach's (A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth) program (featured in the image above, photographed by Joseph Lubong), a place-based youth crime prevention coalition that combines genuine community ownership and intimate knowledge of place to achieve a safer community. 
  • Last summer Seattle launched a pre-summer emphasis program in seven neighborhoods to improve public safety and address community maintenance by documenting and tracking the completion of community needs, such as replacing streetlights, trimming trees, removing graffiti, and removing illegally dumped debris.

Protect and improve the health of all people in Seattle

What we track: Percentage of COVID vaccination among residents
Why is this important?
On February 28, 2020, Public Health – Seattle & King County identified the first death of COVID-19. As difficult as this year has been for our region, our community took early action to save lives and lead the nation in our response to the pandemic. Seattle continues to record the lowest cases of COVID-19 compared to the top 30 other major cities with currently available data. In addition, Seattle has some of the lowest hospitalizations and deaths throughout the entire crisis, despite being the earliest epicenter.
King County COVID-19 data dashboard

Summary of COVID vaccination amount King County residents

Click the image or above link to travel to the website to view King County COVID vaccination data
What progress are we making?
As vaccinations became more available, the City undertook an unprecedented effort across government, health care, community-based organizations, and businesses to equitably and quickly vaccinate our communities. On January 14, 2021, the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) became the first EMS agency in Washington state to administer vaccinations. Seattle set the ambitious goal of becoming the first major American city to fully vaccinate 70 percent of our eligible residents. And on the first week of June, we reached that goal, and became the most vaccinated major city in the U.S. We reached this milestone through robust partnerships across health care providers and with trusted community based organizations, working quickly as a government to launch five fixed vaccination sites in neighborhoods across Seattle, as well as our Seattle Fire Department mobile teams which administered vaccine in some of the most impacted areas of our city, including affordable housing for seniors, middle and high schools, and adult family homes. We also centered equity in every element of our vaccination efforts, which resulted in 48 percent of those vaccinated by the City of Seattle identifying as communities of color. And when demand at fixed sites plummeted across the country, we launched innovative new strategies like in-stadium vaccination pop-ups, and partnerships with local small breweries and restaurants.