Amazon announced Friday that it will be moving employees from its downtown Seattle offices this week for safety reasons, as rampant violence continues to plague the progressive northwest city.
In a statement to KOMO-TVa spokesperson for the global tech giant said about 1,800 employees currently assigned to the 300 Pine St. building will be moved to another office space for their safety.
“Given recent incidents near 3rd and Pine, we are providing employees currently at this location with alternate offices elsewhere,” the statement read. “We hope that conditions will improve and that we will be able to return employees to this location when it is safe to do so.”
KOMO reported that in the past few weeks alone, shootings have plagued this downtown area.
The sustained increase in violent crime reached a new high on March 2, when a 15-year-old boy, Michael Del Bianco, was shot and killed on 3rd Avenue and Pine Street, not far from the site of the Amazon office building. . The location where Del Bianco was killed had previously been the site of numerous crimes, including several fatal shootings, KSTU-TV reported.
After the shooting, the Seattle Police Department increased its presence in the area. The department has deployed officers to patrol the area on bicycles and even set up a mobile compound to deter violence. But that apparently wasn’t enough for Amazon to stay.
According to Newsweekseveral other companies with downtown offices have continued to allow employees to work remotely amid the spike in crime.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell’s office said in a statement that the mayor “works every day to make downtown a safe and prosperous neighborhood for residents, workers and businesses.”
“While it will take time to reverse long-standing security issues, Mayor Harrell’s initial efforts are critical first steps in tackling crime and improving security through dedicated SPD officers, a mobile SPD compound and additional environmental changes,” the statement to KOMO read. “Mayor Harrell will continue to develop a comprehensive approach to public safety in collaboration with law enforcement and safety advocates, community members, service providers and businesses, including Amazon, to activate, revitalize and restore downtown for everyone.”
The mayor’s words will likely ring hollow for residents, who have seen a marked increase in crime since 2020. The city’s policies, which have often traded public safety for controversial progressive causes, have not been effective.
Earlier this year, the city announced that its police would no longer enforce certain non-criminal traffic violations due to issues of racism and fairness.