Amazon is temporarily relocating employees from its downtown Seattle office due to an increase in violent crime in the area, the company announced on March 11.
The tech giant’s office is located at 300 Pine Street, about half a mile from its headquarters on Seventh Avenue in Seattle, and about 1,800 Amazon employees work there.
“Given the recent incidents near Third and Pine, we are providing employees currently at this location with alternate offices elsewhere,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times. “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.”
It’s unclear how many of the 1,800 people are being relocated, given that many have been working remotely from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon’s decision to relocate its employees comes after a string of violent crimes in the area, including one that claimed the life of a 15 years old boy on March 2. Police are still looking for the suspect and have appealed to the public for help in identifying the attacker.
Since Feb. 21, there have been at least three shootings, two stabbings and one carjacking in the area, according to Seattle Police Department information. Twitter account.
Amid rising violence, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz announcement on March 3 that the police department would “launch an initiative to curb violent criminal behavior in the area surrounding 3rd Ave, between Pike and Pine St.”
Commenting on Amazon’s decision to move, a spokesperson for Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said KOMO News that his office “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 neighborhood and additional environmental changes. Mayor Harrell will continue to develop a comprehensive approach to public safety in collaboration with police and safety advocates, community members, service providers and businesses, including Amazon, to activate, revitalize and restore the city center for all,” the spokesperson said.
Amazon’s decision comes just weeks after fast-food chain McDonald’s was also forced to temporarily close its restaurant at 1530 Third Avenue due to rising crime, franchise owner and operator David Santillanes citing the company’s inability to keep its employees safe in a statement at KOMO News.
According to the Seattle Police Department’s Year-End Crime report, overall crime across the city increased by 10% (+4,209) in 2021 compared to 2020. Meanwhile, the city saw a record number of serious assaults (3,925) last year.