Councilmember Bagshaw left office on December 31, 2019. This website is for archival purposes only and is no longer updated.

Partner up when using parks in off-hours

We’re well into our conversations about defining the role of our community centers and how best to operate them.  As anticipated, we’re hearing a lot about the power of partnerships.

It’s a good time to remind everyone about the value of partnerships, albeit a different kind. Though spring may be just around the corner and the sun’s in the sky longer each day, it’s still important for our park users to be safety-conscious and mindful of their surroundings when using our parks and open spaces, especially when it’s late at night or early in the morning.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Dan DeLong

The “buddy system” has been employed at summer camps for generations, and for good reason. It’s wise to partner up. Lt. Joel Guay from the Seattle Police Department provided us with a few good lessons, all of which are available via SPD’s general crime prevention page.


All of the crime prevention techniques in the world are nothing compared to your own gut instincts. Your gut is often right — trusting your own instincts that a situation feels “wrong” can be the best personal safety tool you have.

People are often afraid to trust their instincts because it would be embarrassing to be wrong. Remember that a moment of embarrassment is far less important than your overall safety. Don’t ignore a situation that feels wrong just because in your mind it “looks okay.”


  • Follow your intuition — trust your feelings. If you feel that a situation is not right, avoid or move out of the situation.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. In social situations, be alert to places and situations that make you vulnerable.
  • Walk confidently and alertly
  • Two is better than one:  if you are out in parks or other secluded parts of town when it is dark or at times others are not around, your overall safety is increased if you have someone with you. 
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