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Renton Police Cracks Down on Unlawful Behavior at Transit Center

May 25, 2011

For more information contact:
Preeti Shridhar
, Communications Director 425-430-6569

Zero-Tolerance for Violating Rules; Offenders Can Face Expulsion

RENTON, WA—As part of the city’s efforts to enhance public safety in downtown Renton and the Renton Transit Center, the Renton Police are implementing a rigorous enforcement of any illegal behavior at the Transit Center. The city’s zero-tolerance approach authorizes Renton police officers the ability to issue warnings, issue citations and expel individuals from the transit center if they engage in unlawful or inappropriate behavior such as trespassing, littering, jaywalking, and unlawful bus conduct as defined by the Revised Code of Washington.
Individuals may be expelled for up to one year if they engage in egregious activities. For less serious offences, individuals may be expelled for up to seven days. The ordinance is designed to discourage criminal activity and unwanted behavior at the transit center.
“Our goal is to make sure people feel safe and we are making major strides in reducing crime in and providing our community with a safer, stronger and more vibrant downtown, “said Mayor Denis Law. “A special thanks to our police officers who are carefully monitoring activities to ensure that we are hitting the crimes and violations that are harming citizens while maintaining an open dialogue with residents to share ideas, concerns and suggestions for improving interaction.”

Individuals engaging in the following egregious activities at the transit center may be expelled for up to one year:

  • Camping, loitering, swearing, spitting, jaywalking and engaging in unruly activity
  • Riding a bicycle, rollerblading or riding a skateboard within the boundaries of the Transit Center
  • Possessing an open alcohol container; consumption or sale of alcohol; sale, use or possession of illegal drugs
  • Brandishing or using a firearm
  • Committing a sexual act
  • Using a public address system or other sound amplifying devices within the Transit Center
  • Engaging in gambling activity
  • Committing a theft that may be punished as a Class A or Class B felony
  • Causing damage, including graffiti, to any park property

The city recently unveiled an initiative designed to enhance public safety in downtown Renton and the Transit Center and added additional police presence along with strict enforcement. As part of the initiative, a community education period started on May 17, and is in effect until May 31. Police officers are currently patrolling the Transit Center and other areas of downtown and have been making contact with people educating them on the rules and issuing warnings to those who are in violation of the rules and ordinances. They have also engaged various users of the Transit Center including bus drivers, riders, bicyclists, youth and others to seek their cooperation and ensure that everyone follows the rules. Since May 17, approximately 25 citations and written warnings have been issued and two individuals have been expelled.
“Keeping our city safe requires a cooperative relationship between our police officers and the community members we serve,” said Deputy Police Chief Tim Troxel. “We require the assistance of everyone in addressing the issues of crime and disorder in our neighborhoods. We need citizens to be proactive in helping officers do their jobs.”

As part of the Mayor’s enhanced public safety initiative, Renton Police also increased their presence in downtown Renton during the opening night and gala event of the Seattle International Film Festival. Patrol officers including the K9 unit, were present to interact with the public, deter illegal behavior and warn individuals who were in violation of the rules of conduct.

“It was great to talk to our police officers and see them interact with our public during the festival,” said Councilmember King Parker. “I applaud Mayor Law and our police department for proactively addressing the community’s concerns, and increasing police visibility and presence in our downtown.”

To report suspicious behavior, call 9-1-1.  For more information, please visit rentonwa.gov.