Public Safety

Public Safety

Best of 2016: The hard fall of Seattle’s first Somali police officer

His name was up in lights: Mohamed Said, Seattle’s first Somali police officer. There he is in photos, arm in arm with Police Chief Kathleen…

Police reform in 2016: A look back at Seattle’s efforts

When Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole sat with Michelle Obama at President Obama’s final State of the Union address last January, she set a bar for…

Best of 2016: Washington’s lead poisoning problem, explained

The city of Flint, Michigan is in the midst of a major public health crisis, following the discovery of widespread lead poisoning in children. Given…

Homeless crisis 2016: How the city responded and what it plans next

As Mayor Ed Murray will often remind the public, Seattle is not unique among West Coast cities when it comes to homelessness. While the country…

State is warehousing mentally ill in solitary confinement

After being arrested for stealing money from his grandmother, Burien resident Mark Allan* spent nearly four consecutive months in solitary confinement at Seattle’s King County…

Will Seattle’s drug policy experiments survive Trump?

For all the angst about the future of legal pot under President Donald Trump, there are, at least, business and public opinion arguments for the…

Search for Pacific Crest Trail hiker takes on new urgency

Despite extensive air and ground searches, a hiker who had completed most of the 2,659 mile Pacific Crest Trail remains missing as winter weather increasingly…

‘Overly polite’ 911 call center could cost lives

When cries of slow police response were at their loudest in early 2016, the blame fell largely on the understaffed patrols of the Seattle Police…

Data sharing between Seattle police and feds receives new scrutiny after election

As the Seattle Police Department looks to begin rolling out body cameras on officers by the end of this year, a persistent question among skeptics…

City to offer body camera contract to police-tech giant Taser

The Seattle Police Department intends to award Taser International the contract to equip its officers with body worn cameras, according to the City of Seattle’s purchasing…

Coffee with a mission: To get homeless kids back on their feet

Even in the well-caffeinated neighborhood of the University District, one new coffee bar stands apart from the others. Street Bean, which opened its doors this month,…

Is the Bellevue Police Department scared of ‘gypsies’?

Early Thursday morning, a Twitter user identifying as a “Romany Gypsy” in his profile tweeted an advertisement. It was for a training, apparently sponsored by…

The real lessons from the Fizzle in the Drizzle

The series of weather events that were threatening Western Washington are now in our rear view mirror. While it was windy and several inches of…

When cops play security guard, whom do they serve?

After an anonymous man hit Kellyann Mullen across the face outside her downtown apartment, he apparently turned his back, walked down Third Avenue and disappeared…

Tempers flare at city council meeting on homeless camps

As if taking cue from the stormy weather outside, the tumultuous fight over homeless encampments in Seattle ratcheted up a notch Friday, culminating in a…

Council considers unilateral action to diversify police force

Washington state law mandates that veterans receive extra points on the civil service exam to become fire fighters or police officers. But because the overwhelming…

UW study seems to equate Black Lives Matter and … Nazis?

If you found a letter addressed to the American Neo-Nazi Party on the sidewalk, would you put it in a mailbox? If the envelope was…

Police shooting stalls closure of the Jungle homeless encampment

A Seattle police officer shot and killed a man Tuesday afternoon, just feet from where city and state officials had begun the official closing of…

‘Zero tolerance’ for homeless camps, says Bryant

Before a backdrop of tents in City Hall Park Monday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant threatened to cut off all state homelessness funding to cities that…

Weeks after it was cleared, homeless camp returns to Freedom Hill

West of Rainier Avenue, between the road and the looping off-ramp from I-90, is a field known as Freedom Hill. For many months, it was…

Police body cameras to roll out by January. Maybe

Even after the Seattle Police Department announced it had lost two days’ worth of in-car video footage this summer, the department’s brass is committed to rolling…

Debate rages over homeless camps in Seattle

The homelessness debate in City Hall has recently become a war of words. What is a suitable or unsuitable location to camp? What is safe…

4 fixes for Washington’s foster-care crisis

This story is part of a series produced by InvestigateWest for KCTS 9 and Crosscut about the crisis facing Washington’s foster care system. Start reading here.…

Moralizing is out, safe drug consumption sites are in

King County’s vocabulary around opioid use is not what it used to be. What was once seen as a moral lapse is slowly being reframed…

Worlds collide as Sawant and allies visit police precinct

The fight against building what could become America’s most expensive police precinct station —best known by the campaign’s hashtag #BlocktheBunker —has always been about more…