Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Monday that local police will begin "phased" return to its East Precinct building in the Capitol Hill area, within the police-free occupied protest zone known as CHAZ or CHOP, "in the near future."
"It's time for people to go home, it is time for us to restore Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill so it can be a vibrant part of the community," Durkan said. "The impacts on the businesses and residents and the community are now too much."
Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best did not reveal a timeline for the police's return to Capitol Hill.
"We don't have a specific date," Best said. "We want to make sure that whatever happens that we do it safely and consider the safety of everyone involved. We're working on that right now."
Durkan said the city will not use police to enforce evacuation of the area but will ask people to leave the area voluntarily at night.
"I think we've seen across the country, and in Seattle, it would not be an effective strategy to simply send police in to try to clear the area," Durkan said. "Instead, what we're doing is we're working with black-led organizations and some of our partners in de-escalation to have them go in to communicate with people to get people to leave or to reduce their presence to reduce all presence overnight."