By reporter Steven Smalley
The United Church of Christ had a full house Saturday with about 200 neighbors present to hear Joe Villarino explain the nuts and bolts of the private security patrol idea for Magnolia. He spoke to receptive audience.
With hand after hand shooting up with questions, Villarino and a neighborhood off-duty Seattle police officer did their best to answer them. Although some inquiries were too politically sensitive for our man in uniform, Villarino did his best to reply in his stead.
Meanwhile more than a dozen enthusiastic attendees wanted to pay the estimated $250 yearly fee on the spot to begin service. Villarino wouldn?t take a cent until by-laws are written, a governing board is set up, and a plan is put in place. Vigorous calls from the floor to, ?take the money,? were rebuffed citing the lack of financial infrastructure.
A meeting for those who spoke of a desire to work on the volunteer board is this Thursday night. Several would-be board members stood and spoke. Villarino stated he has met with private patrol administrators from Laurelhurst, Whittier Heights, and Windermere where triumph over much property crime was a considered a success.
A lively crowd, many of whom were victims of thieves themselves, gave testimony along with pointed questions. In the end it was clear more time was needed ?to authorize patrol services. Many in attendance wanted them to commence immediately.
No one spoke against the idea.
Downtown news media deemed this Magnolia story important enough to send news crews to our neighborhood including KOMO, KIRO, and KING. A documentary film maker was also in present rolling on the meeting for a future presentation on policing and communities.
Villarino estimates patrols could begin in May. He asks those with questions to email: email@example.com
See the KIRO story HERE.