Amazon recently announced that it will be moving staff from its downtown Seattle office space this week due to safety concerns, as the region continues to struggle with violent crime. A representative for the company told KOMO-TV that around 1,800 employees currently working at their 300 Pine St. facility would be relocated for their safety.
The rep stated, “Given recent incidents near 3rd and Pine, we’re providing employees currently at that location with alternative office space elsewhere. We are hopeful that conditions will improve and that we will be able to bring employees back to this location when it is safe to do so.”
Shootings have reportedly plagued the downtown Seattle area in the past few weeks. On March 2, a 15-year-old boy named Michael Del Bianco was shot and killed near Amazon’s headquarters building on 3rd Ave. and Pine St., bringing a renewed concern for safety. According to KSTU-TV, the place where Del Bianco was slain was the scene of several other crimes, including multiple fatal shootings.
Since Del Bianco’s murder, the Seattle Police Department reinforced its presence in the neighborhood, sending cops on bikes to patrol the area and setting up a mobile station. However, that didn’t seem to be enough for Amazon to stay. Additionally, several other firms with downtown offices have continued to let employees work remotely because of the increase in crime.
Mayor Bruce Harrell’s office told KOMO-TV that it “is working every day to make downtown a safe and thriving neighborhood for residents, workers, and businesses.” The statement continued, “While it will take time to reverse longstanding safety issues, Mayor Harrell’s early efforts are critical first steps to address crime and improve safety through dedicated SPD officers, a mobile SPD precinct, 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 downtown for all.”
The mayor’s statement is in stark contrast to a January announcement that the city would not enforce certain traffic violations over concerns of racism and equity.