North Precinct Advisory Council Captain’s Report – August 2020

Hello to North Seattle! My name is Brian Stampfl and I am the new Seattle Police Department North Precinct Captain. I’d like to offer a quick introduction of myself. But before I do, I have to thank Captain Eric Sano who has done an amazing job supporting the North Precinct and the communities it serves. Captain Sano is well, but he was asked to take command of SPD’s East Precinct. As you may know, the East Precinct was, and still is, the focal point of numerous protests over the last few months. It was just outside the doors of the East Precinct that the makeshift community called CHAZ, which was later renamed CHOP, was formed. The East Precinct has undergone a few changes and was searching for a strong leader who could reconnect with the Capitol Hill community and reestablish those relationships that may have been strained during those difficult times. Captain Sano is an amazing person and will be missed here at the North Precinct. I am grateful to him for his service and allowing me to take command of an amazing precinct.

About Me: I have been with the Seattle Police Department for twenty-five years. Prior to my arrival here at the North Precinct, I was assigned to the West Precinct. As a Lieutenant, I worked as a watch commander where I supervised the second watch patrol officers and their sergeants. I was then appointed to the Operations Lieutenant position where I served as second in command to the Captain of the precinct and supervised our Anti-Crime Team (ACT), Community Police Team (CPT), Burglary Unit, and our staff assigned to the Seattle Center. I spent many years in the Investigations Bureau, where I worked as a detective and supervisor, to include the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit, Domestic Violence Unit, and our Crime Scene Investigations Unit.

Prior to having been promoted to Captain, I made it well known to anyone who would listen that I wanted to become a precinct commander. There is no other position in SPD that offers the opportunity to engage so closely with the community and provide leadership to so many excellent officers as we work to meet the community’s needs. I am honored to have been chosen to take command of the North Precinct and will do my best to provide excellent service on behalf of the Seattle Police Department.

While I realize that the COVID situation prevents large gatherings, I look forward to opportunity to meet the members of NPAC, other community members and business leaders. Together I hope to make a positive difference, one that we will both be proud of.

Addressing Homeless Issues:

It didn’t take but a few minutes in my new position to realize that homeless encampments, along with the associated crimes, socially unacceptable behavior, and general filth are North Seattle’s most pressing issue (or at least most frequently reported issue). I think it’s fair to say that most, if not all, of North Seattle’s neighborhoods have been affected by this problem.

While I’m sure the challenges the Seattle Police Department faces regarding homeless encampments have been shared many times, I believe I can generally summarize it in two points.

First, since the COVID pandemic began, the Mayor’s Office has mandated that encampments may not be cleared out and the persons removed from the area. The purpose of this mandate was meant to align with the CDC and state guidelines in preventing the spread of COVID. There have been a few exceptions, which were approved by the Mayor’s Office, but these are far and few between.

Secondly, SPD has been eliminated from the encampment removal process. SPD was an integral part of the Navigation Team, which worked to clean-up encampments while offering assistance and resources to those who were living there. This leaves SPD in a difficult position since we have historically been the ones to contact to address this problem.

However, all is not lost.

I am currently working with my Community Police Team (CPT) to come up with some criteria for addressing encampments. We won’t necessarily be able to move them, but we can address some of the criminal and incivility issues arising from them. More on this later as we develop a plan and learn more from the city as to how best to address homelessness issues.

I would also like for everyone to turn to the City’s website regarding homelessness. There is fair amount of information about the City’s approach to homelessness, and under the “Resources” link, there is information on the City’s “Find it, Fix it” phone app. This app allows you to report various problems within the city, many of which may be associated with homeless encampments.


I appreciate the opportunity to share some information from the North Precinct. In future newsletters, I will focus more on crime related matters and how SPD and our community partners are working to address them. As I said before, I am grateful to have been appointed as the North Precinct’s new Captain, and I look forward to serving you.



1 comment to North Precinct Advisory Council Captain’s Report – August 2020

  • Hello Captain Stampfl,

    Thank you very much for your introduction and your thoughtful, information letter to us. We all wish you the best of luck and fulfillment in your new position as North Precinct Captain! We also really thank Captain Sano for his great leadership and wish him the best.

    I recently visited the North Precinct to drop off a No Parking sign that my son and I found in the Victory Creek Park wetland when we were cleaning it regularly as creek stewards. I had meant to return it earlier, but somehow it ended up in our storage shed and I just rediscovered it. I noticed that the North Precinct is still closed for visitors. I am wondering if it will reopen soon and/or if you have a suggestion of what I should do with that sign.

    I appreciate your information on the homelessness situation and agree with you that at least a minimal police presence is necessary for encampment clean-up, even if only as a back-up to a different social services agency. I think that the agency that takes on this task is going to discover this soon enough and hopefully we will arrive at an accepted procedure.

    Respectfully yours,

    Eric Madis

    Former Pinehurst Blockwatch Captain and Victory Creek Steward

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