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Topic: mental health treatment funding

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September 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM

McGinn calls untreated mentally ill on Seattle streets an ’emergency’

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn called untreated mentally ill people on Seattle’s streets an emergency at a Monday news conference and called for increased funding for mental-health treatment beds.

McGinn said an effort to fund mental health services in the 2011 Legislature through repeal of an out-of-state sales tax exemption was defeated by business. The mayor called on the Seattle business community, which has been critical of his inaction on downtown crime, to help identify a funding source to support additional treatment beds.

“This is a longstanding issue for the city, the county and the state,” McGinn said, adding that he wanted people to feel safe downtown.

After the August shooting of a Metro bus driver by a man with mental-health and drug issues, McGinn said that violent crime downtown was down and criticized statistics in The Seattle Times showing that on four beats around Westlake Park, violent crime was relatively steady over the past five years with a notable spike in July.

Three days after the shooting, McGinn announced that he was directing an additional $400,000 for police-emphasis patrols through the end of the year, but that downtown was only one of several neighborhoods that would get the stepped-up enforcement.

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Comments | Topics: Mayor Mike McGinn, mental health treatment funding