Seattle crime prompts security escorts for county employees in new campaign to fund police
Downtown Seattle is now considered so dangerous that King County employees will be escorted by security guards to buses, trains and ferries under a new program. Workers in the private sector will not have this option.
The new initiative, dubbed the Walking Bus pilot program, was announced internally to King County employees on Wednesday – the same day City Council, apparently going against the will of Seattle voters to reject the move to police funding, proposed a reduction of nearly $ 11 million in force.
According to the King County website, the walking bus pilot program will take effect on November 15. From that day on, county employees will be able to ‘join their colleagues and a security escort from the Facilities Management Division (FMD) each evening by walking to King Street Station and Coleman Dock from the downtown campus . ”
FORMER SEATTLE POLICE CHIEF HIGHLIGHTS TRENDS IN MOVEMENT TO FINANCE POLICE
The meeting point will be at the 4th Avenue entrance of the King County Courthouse, as the 3rd Avenue entrance was recently closed because people living in a homeless camp in the streets were increasingly attacking or harassing workers and visitors, KTTH Conservative Talk Radio reported.
In its draft 2022 budget proposal presented on Wednesday, the Seattle city council suggested cutting funding for the Seattle Police Department by nearly $ 11 million, including cuts to hiring incentives. funding for technology projects and community service workers, reported Fox 13.
The proposal has drawn criticism, especially as voters in Seattle largely rejected progressive candidates last week who backed police funding during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.
The current mayor, Jenny Durkan, who did not seek re-election following criticism of her management of the autonomous protest zone dubbed CHOP / CHAZ, also criticized the city council, arguing that its previous pledge to fund to 50% Seattle Police, her treatment of former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, and her previous layoff budget have resulted in an exodus of 325 police officers from Seattle in the past two years.
She said the council had rejected several plans proposed by her and Seattle’s Acting Police Chief Adrian Z. Diaz to address police hiring and retention issues.
“Just yesterday, another board member offered to block my emergency hiring proposal which has already generated a tenfold increase in applications for dispatching 911 positions in Seattle,” said Durkan. “The continued cuts to the SPD and the underfunding of the 911 center are not a plan for real public safety.”
“Seattle voters have made it clear that they expect the Council to fund public safety and invest in community,” she said. âWhen someone calls 911 for a dangerous and potentially fatal emergency, we need enough police officers to respond. ”
Mayor-elect Bruce Harrell, who appeared on a public safety platform and won nearly 30 points against progressive Mr Lorena GonzÃ¡lez, also rang after new pressure from the council to fund the police.
“City council must listen to voters’ desire to immediately invest in public safety and reverse the proposed $ 10 million SPD budget cut,” Harrell said. “Proposing further cuts robs the city of the resources needed to meet national best practice staffing levels, slash response times, and hire and train desperately needed agents – and is in direct conflict with what Seattle voters say” asked last week. It also delays our ability to develop and deploy a new type of unarmed community officer who will not wear a badge or firearm. Overall, we need more, not less, public safety resources.
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Harrell asserted that “Seattle voters have categorically and unequivocally rejected police funding.”
âOur campaign expressed a clear message and commitment: we need to ensure true community safety, ensure impartial policing and reduce response times by improving training, hiring more and better officers, creating responses. unarmed and alternatives and by changing the culture within the SPD, “he said.” This vision and these goals of improvement and reform cannot be achieved with this proposed $ 10 million cut. “