Fighting crime and perception it exists

When it comes to public safety, no one is looking the other way, not Mayor Denis Law and certainly not the Police Department.

When it comes to public safety, no one is looking the other way, not Mayor Denis Law and certainly not the Police Department.

That’s why I believe Law when he says that he and the city are committed to making downtown Renton a safe place to live, work and shop.

That commitment is most evident in the police resources the city is investing in downtown Renton, even when the statistics show the actual crime rate may not justify such an investment.

What the city is really up against is perception. You hear about the stabbing at the Renton Transit Center Thursday night and it feels like just one more sign that downtown is crime-ridden.

That perception is what the city is fighting, as much as the crime and criminals that give it some credence.

Perception, like actual crime, needs to be attacked head on. It won’t go away if we just stick our heads in the sand. That’s not what the city is doing.

Still, a violent crime such as the one Thursday night and the publicity surrounding it tend to fuel that perception.

I’ve written this before. This crime is not the fault of the transit center. I tried to make that point early in my story today on the stabbing. Most everyone had probably heard or read about the incident, so it seemed logical to put such a disturbing crime into a larger context.

That larger context is making sure that we understand the role the transit center played in the incident. In this case, none. It was an innocent bystander. This stabbing could have happened on Renton Hill or in Kennydale.

What’s important here, I think, is that we take an honest look at what’s happening downtown, or in any downtown for that matter. Crime does happen. That’s a fact of life. Downtown and the rest of Renton are not immune. We certainly can’t be paralyzed by the perception of crime and we need to be ever-vigilant about the threat of crime.

That’s why information is so important when trying to figure out exactly what happened Thursday night and how we should judge its impact on the city. In reality it’s another statistic and, thankfully, the 74-year-old who was stabbed will survive his wounds.

Law makes a good point when he warns against taking matters into your own hands. That stabbing probably would not have happened had the family of the cell-phone robbery contacted the police, rather than go looking for the suspects themselves.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Opinion: Public deserves honest information on sex education

The Washington comprehensive sex education bill passed in the Senate on March 7.

Grocery store staff are working hard to keep the shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo
Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

Letters to the editor for the week of March 13

Reader worries about the county’s reach Dear editor, The article regarding King… Continue reading

As the deadline nears, state lawmakers face a few challenges

There are four major decisions lawmakers are tackling before the end of this legislative session.

A tax break for working families

As rents continue to climb in our communities, as food prices continue… Continue reading

Accelerating equity in STEM education in the Puget Sound

At the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), headquartered in Seattle’s South Lake… Continue reading

Rep. Zack Hudgins, D-11
It’s hard to do homework when you don’t have a home

We have heard it a million times — a good education is… Continue reading

Letters to the editor for the week of Feb. 14

Tommy the turtle — a childhood friend Dear editor, “Tommy the Turtle”… Continue reading

Guest opinion: Legislative ‘wants’ and ‘needs’

With a third of the legislative session nearly gone, lawmakers are starting… Continue reading

How far will Artificial Intelligence go?

The smartest Jeopardy contestant was beaten by a computer. So was the… Continue reading

Confirmation bias in the impeachment proceedings

Most of us believe what we want to believe. Our natural tendency… Continue reading

Letters to the editor for the week of Jan. 31

Voting can bring us together Dear editor, In response to Jerry Cornfield’s… Continue reading