Not that many crimes committed in city park

OlympiaFebruary 3, 2014 

I am writing in response to your editorial concerning the proposed return of Sylvester Park to the city. Like you, I find good arguments on both sides. I am concerned, however, that the editorial was based on questionable data.

The editorial states “most of the state’s annual $100,000 expense goes to sweeping the park clean of discarded syringes and policing drug-related and violent crimes.” Surely a substantial portion of this consists of police presence at peaceful events. A Google review reveals only one violent crime last year in the park, and that was responded to by Olympia police.

The editorial also says, “most of the time the park is dominated by transient people, young travelers, drunks and drug addicts.” I doubt that this statement is based on fact. It’s possible that on cold, wet days, many of the park’s users are those who, unfortunately, have no dryer or warmer place to go. Yet on fine days and weekends, the park is used by a wide demographic of state employees, shoppers, and those enjoying a little sunshine on a pleasant park bench.

Furthermore, try reserving the park for an event and you will discover that it is booked almost every weekend throughout the year with events that draw visitors from around the state and region.

Please base your opinions on facts — otherwise I’ll stick to blogs.

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