Matt Toles

Chinatown-International District Community Watch

Grassroots Community Safety in Seattle's Chinatown

I founded the Chinatown-International District Community Watch to provide lacking services to my old neighborhood following a slew of targeted, unaddressed crime in the neighborhood. Me and/or my crew patrol the 40-odd blocks we call home for a few hours each night, every night doing whatever we can to make the neighborhood a safer place. It's pretty uncommon for our interactions to get violent, but when they do we take every opportunity to deescalate the situation and avoid involving the authorities. More often, though, we spend our time distributing mutual aid to folks on the street, giving directions, picking up needles, and connecting people to community services. Occasionally we provide first aid, put out literal fires, translate, break up fights, and provide crowd control at events.

We organize on Facebook and have been featured on NPR and NBC.

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