Police Neighborhood Resource center helps officers be closer

There’s no getting around it: The Tukwila International Boulevard corridor is a high-crime area. But that isn’t a life sentence. The city’s Police Neighborhood Resource Center opened in August and puts officers right in the heart of this high-profile thoroughfare.

Tukwila Police officer Ceith Cullens rides along Tukwila International Boulevard.

There’s no getting around it: The Tukwila International Boulevard corridor is a high-crime area. But that isn’t a life sentence.

The city’s Police Neighborhood Resource Center opened in August and puts officers right in the heart of this high-profile thoroughfare.

“It gives us a way to be closer to the community,” said Tukwila Police officer Ceith Cullens. “Having a neighborhood resource center here, centrally located in one of our highest crime districts, makes it so that the good citizens and residents who want to make a change have better access to the police.”

The center was closed for about a year and a half due to budget restrictions. Since the center returned, Cullens said the community response has been overwhelmingly positive.

The thanks have ranged from regular citizens emailing or stopping in to express their gratitude, to businesses showing their appreciation.

Cullens said a Wendy’s manager came out to give officers gift cards after they arrested a drug dealer who was doing business in front of the restaurant. The officers then gave the cards to neighborhood children who were acting responsibly – wearing helmets on bikes, wearing seatbelts when their parents get pulled over for speeding, etc.

Right now, with only a few volunteers in the center, Cullens said about five or six people stop in every day to ask questions, look for resources or file a report about something that’s not an emergency.

Before, Cullens said those people would be walking up and down the street, flagging down police cars, unsure what to do.

The department is hoping to get more volunteers to work the front desk, so they can have enough to put an “open” sign up and set regular hours. That way citizens come in whenever they need resources, police-related or not.

Another bonus for the center is that it gets more officers in the area. They can file reports and work out of the center, putting them closer to the high-crime district. Cullens estimated that there is an officer in the center eight to 12 hours each day. He said the officers enjoy working out of the center, since it’s closer to the majority of the calls. It also features a central location for video surveillance along the corridor, with several screens fed from the bevy of cameras in the immediate area.

“I’ve seen the response times go down for this area, as far as 911 calls,” he said. “It adds more bodies to the area that work out of here to help combat the high call load to try to make it a safer place.”

Cullens said it’s about a three- or four-minute drive from the Tukwila Police Department to International Boulevard, so that time savings could be essential in emergencies. Mostly though, having the center close just helps the officers to be a bigger part of the community. The more they are seen patrolling on bikes, or in the center, the better.

The Police Neighborhood Resource Center is located at 14862 Tukwila International Boulevard. The front desk is staffed by volunteers, but doesn’t currently keep regular hours. Community members should still call 911 in an emergency.


More in News

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Page Carson Foster. Photo credit Washington State Legislative Support Services
Carson Foster serves as page in Washington State House

The following was submitted to the Reporter: Carson Foster, a student at… Continue reading

Jim Pitts stands on walkway overlooking filtration chambers at the King County South Treatment Plant in Renton. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Human waste: Unlikely climate change hero?

King County treatment plant joins effort to counteract effects of carbon dioxide.

Washington State Capitol Building. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Legislation targets rape kit backlog

WA has about 10,000 untested kits; new law would reduce testing time to 45 days

File photo
Law enforcement oversight office seeks subpoena power

Organization has been unable to investigate King County Sheriff’s Office.

The 2015 Wolverine Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Lake Chelan. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Natural Resources/Kari Greer
Western Washington faces elevated wildfire risk in 2019

Humans cause majority of fires in state

Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County approves bargaining agreement with 60 unions

Employees will receive wage increases and $500 bonus.

Call for peace, unity, understanding

City, county and state leaders show support of Islam community in wake of massacre at New Zealand mosques

King County bail reform hinges on pretrial decision making

Data on inmates has shown that being held pretrial affects the likelihood of conviction.

State smoking age rising to 21 in 2020

Legislature approves change

A man addresses the King County Council during a public hearing March 20 at New Life Church in Renton. He presented bags filled with what he said was hazardous materials dropped on his property by bald eagles. Another speaker made similar claims. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Locals show support for King County waste to energy plant

Public hearing on landfill’s future was held March 20 in Renton.

Defense Distributed’s 3D printed gun, The Liberator. Photo by Vvzvlad/Wikimedia Commons
‘Ghost gun’ bill moves to Senate committees

Legislation would make 3-D printed guns illegal.

King County Council with Sarah Reyneveld, chair of the King County Women’s Advisory Board. Photo courtesy of King County
King County proclaims March as Women’s History Month

This year’s theme is Womxn Who Lead: Stories from the past and how they influence the future.