Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Mrs. Eliza Ferry Leary has gone to Washington, D.C., to attend the National Convention of the Daughters of the American Revolution,” and, “Leopold Godowsky, the noted pianist, was the honored guest at a luncheon last Saturday given by Mrs. Frederick Bentley.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”
All is not well. The April 26, 1919 edition of the Town Crier laments the state of affairs within the Seattle Police Department. “There is ample room for the suspicion that all is not well with the police department of the city of Seattle.” It continues, “Such suspicion, of course, not being entirely without precedent. In fact there have been years at a time when the police department would have felt itself neglected were it not struggling from under a cloud of suspicion, or resting contentedly without struggling as the case might be.” It seems that there were grifters and ne’er-do-wells in the police force. “It has been said that it is impossible to obtain a bottle of whisky in Seattle that is really fit to drink unless you get it through a policeman.” They suggested that the police chief do “a thorough housecleaning.”
Town Hall was involved in a panel discussion about policing recently. The University of Washington’s Health Alliance International, with the UW Students of Color Affinity Group, UW Concerned Faculty, UW Department of Global Health, Red May, and Elliott Bay Book Company, invited a panel discussion on “Community and Legal Strategies to Stop Police Violence.” Panelists included Jorge Torres, Alex Vitale, David Correia, and former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper.