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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Councilmembers urge McGinn to be tougher on downtown crime

Mayor Mike McGinn has scheduled an afternoon news conference to announce additional resources for public safety, but three Seattle City Council members aren’t waiting to see what the mayor has in mind, offering instead their own suggestions this morning about how to reduce violent crime and street disorder.

“Contrary to what the mayor and police commanders say, the police department’s own statistics show an increase in violent crime to the highest level since 2009 in some areas downtown,” wrote Council President Sally Clark and Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell in a blog post. “… Here are three practical and immediate steps the Mayor should take.”

The blog post then offers the mayor these suggestions:

  • “Acknowledge the problem, don’t deny it.”
  • “Embrace a continuum of response, including the arrest and prosecution of those causing the most harm.”
  • “Police matter, but give them clear and consistent direction.”

After a Metro bus driver was shot Monday, the mayor and West Precinct police Capt. Jim Dermody both suggested violent crime was down downtown. But a Times analysis of police department data shows that’s not the case. The mayor’s Center City Initiative seeks to reduce downtown crime and provide social services while supporting jobs and tourism.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: Center City Initiative, crime, mike mcginn

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