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Seattle's New Mayor Tries to Win Back Workers in Crime-Ridden Downtown

Seattle’s new mayor is under pressure to find fast fixes for rising violent crime and homelessness downtown. Will he succeed before tech companies decide to leave for good? 

A mobile precinct unit on Third Avenue in downtown Seattle.
A mobile precinct unit on Third Avenue in downtown Seattle.Photographer: David Ryder/Bloomberg

At a crime-ridden intersection in downtown Seattle, Amazon workers are moving out and the cops are moving in.

In a several-block area of the city’s commercial district steps from the Pike Place Market, where tourists visit the original Starbucks and gather to watch vendors sling salmon, a spate of shootings and stabbings has led police to deploy a mobile precinct amid an outcry from residents and businesses. The area has always blended tech startups with a seedier element, but as the city and businesses try to get foot traffic to return, downtown offices are bulking up on private security and stores are fashioning homemade door barriers to protect against street crime.