Documents obtained by The Post Millennial revealed that a total of 8 tires were slashed on 4 different vehicles.
Captain Andreas Raas told Discovery Institute’s senior fellow Jonathan Choe that the person or people responsible only targeted the vehicle of Seattle Fire Department (SFD) personnel at Station 8 in the Queen Anne neighborhood. Though someone got into the vehicles, nothing was taken. Affected members were told to file a tort claim with the city.
Though a police report was filed, there are currently no leads in the case. The building along Lee Street where the vandalism occurred doesn’t have any outdoor surveillance cameras, which has made the investigation more challenging.
Sources within SFD say there is growing frustration that firefighters are being targeted by criminals, and the city, along with upper management, are not doing enough to protect them.
Chief Harold Scoggins told Choe, "We'll figure it out. I'll follow up to see what's going on."
Seattle Democrat Mayor Bruce Harrell and Seattle Councilmember Andrew Lewis, the representative for the area, did not return requests for comment.
"It would just be nice to feel safe at your workplace so," said Raas.
Station 8 does not have a secure parking area, but newer stations have been constructed with secure parking areas, leading many in the department to feel that by doing so the city is acknowledging the high risk of property crime. This latest incident just adds to the nearly 26,000 property crimes already reported in Seattle this year.
Last month, Seattle police arrested a man in the Wallingford neighborhood for allegedly throwing a brick at a Seattle Fire Medic truck while it was being driven with lights and sirens to a medical aid call. Though none of the paramedics were injured, the truck had significant damage to the windshield.
In July, 21 vehicles were hit by rocks or other objects while on a nearby freeway interchange where there was a dangerous drug encampment.
Over the summer, thieves stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment from a fire truck in Ballard.
On July 20, while firefighters were battling a warehouse fire in the Chinatown-International District (CID), they interrupted a theft while it was in progress and managed to prevent anything from being taken. Fire units are becoming known targets for thieves.
That same month there were also two separate incidents of people attempting to steal fire engines while crews were responding to calls.
The department has reported an uptick in fires that were intentionally set in areas where some of the thefts and assaults have occurred.
As a result of these incidents, two crew members are now required to stay with the unit while on non-emergency work, even though the department is dangerously short-staffed. Internal documents obtained by The Post Millennial revealed that as of July, there were "more than 110 vacant positions for uniformed SFD members" in the department. The shortfall was expected to last a minimum of "12-18 months."
Dozens of attacks and assaults on Seattle firefighters have been reported since April 2022, resulting in their union taking concerns directly to city officials about "the impact that this hostility is having on firefighter safety and the critical services" they provide. Many of the suspects have not been charged or have been released from custody.
In response, the Seattle City Council expanded the city's municipal code with regard to obstructing a public officer to include interfering with the operations of firefighters.
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