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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

February 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM

McGinn addresses crime concerns in annual speech

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s 2012 State of the City Address was light on specifics and passion until a short section near the end when the he responded to concerns about crime and drugs.

Reading from prepared remarks in the City Council chambers this afternoon, McGinn used most of his nearly hour-long speech to recap minor initiatives in downtown parking, Internet access and youth jobs. He didn’t offer many new specific policy ideas, and he didn’t even spend a lot of time talking about a recently unveiled proposal to built an arena in the Stadium District that could accommodate NBA and NHL teams.

But near the end of the speech McGinn brought up the fact that seven homicides have occurred in the city so far this year.

“I am here to tell you that we will stand firm with the people of Seattle against violent behavior, armed robberies, open-air drug dealing and any other form of criminal behavior in Seattle,” the mayor said. “Everyone who lives here, who works here, who shops here, and who comes here to enjoy what Seattle has to offer deserves to feel safe and secure.”

McGinn said the Seattle Police Department is launching “violence prevention emphasis patrols” across the city and emphasized that addressing unmet social needs will be critical.

The mayor also tied crime to the drug trade, a connection that he said warranted the legalization of marijuana.

“It’s time for the state to legalize marijuana, and stop the violence, stop the incarceration, stop the erosion of civil liberties and urge the federal government to stop the failed war on drugs,” he said to loud applause.

Comments | More in Government | Topics: crime, mayor, Mike McGinn

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