Amazon announced Friday that it would be relocating employees from its downtown Seattle office space this week over safety concerns, as rampant violence continues to plague the progressive northwestern city.
In a statement to KOMO-TV, a spokesman for the global tech giant said that approximately 1,800 employees currently assigned to the 300 Pine St. building will be moved to an alternative office space for their safety.
"Given recent incidents near 3rd and Pine, we’re providing employees currently at that location with alternative office space elsewhere," the statement said. "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."
KOMO reported that in just the last few weeks, shootings have plagued this area of downtown.
The sustained increase in violent crime reached a new apex on Mar. 2, when a 15-year-old boy, Michael Del Bianco, was shot and killed on 3rd Ave. and Pine St., not far from the location of Amazon's office building. The location where Del Bianco was killed had already been the site of numerous crimes, including several deadly shootings, KSTU-TV reported.
Following the shooting, the Seattle Police Department increased its presence in the area. The department deployed officers to patrol the area on bikes and even set up a mobile precinct to deter violence. But that apparently wasn't enough for Amazon to stick around.
According to Newsweek, several other companies with downtown offices have continued to allow employees to work remotely amid the crime spike.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell’s office said in a statement that the mayor "is working every day to make downtown a safe and thriving neighborhood for residents, workers, and businesses."
"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," the statement to KOMO read. "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 words will likely ring hollow for residents, who have put up with a marked rise in crime since 2020. The city's policies, which have often traded public safety for controversial progressive causes, have not been effective.
Earlier this year, the city announced that its police would no longer enforce certain non-criminal traffic violations due to racism and equity concerns.