The tech giant Amazon announced that it will temporarily be relocating all of its employees from their office in downtown Seattle after a spike in violent crime in the vicinity of the building.
The New York Post reports that there are approximately 1,800 employees working in the building at the intersection of Third Avenue and Pine Street, although many of them have continued to work remotely since the onset of the pandemic. In a statement emailed to local news outlet KOMO News, Amazon announced that “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,” the statement continued.
Most recently, the downtown area near the Seattle office saw the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy on March 2nd, with the shooter still at large. On March 4th, a homeless man was stabbed while sleeping on Fourth Avenue, around the corner from the Amazon office. And on March 5th, police officers shot and killed a man who had driven his car into a federal building and discharged a rifle.
The rise in violent crime led to the Seattle Police Department setting up a mobile precinct along Third Avenue in order to decrease response times to violent crime in the area.
The office of Mayor Bruce Harrell issued a statement on the rising crime, saying that “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,” the statement continued, “to activate, revitalize, and restore downtown for all.”