Public Safety

Public Safety

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…

A ‘trade secret’: SPD’s record-keeping system?

When the Austin Police Department released its drunk driving statistics for 2015, they showed a stunning 23 percent drop in alcohol-related crashes. Everyone cheered, especially…

Spurning mayor, council advances new approach to homeless encampments

On Tuesday, the Seattle City Council advanced a proposal to drastically change how the city conducts homeless encampment cleanups, based largely on policies supported by the ACLU, Columbia…

The hell with Seattle Process, advocates say. Fix homelessness.

When Barbara Poppe, the city’s hired consultant on all things homelessness, was in town last June, she cosigned a long-lived stereotype of the Seattle Process.…

Murray pitches next steps for the Jungle and homeless sweeps

There are fewer tents beneath I-5 than there used to be. Several still hug the highway’s pillars, but unlike even three months ago, there is a…

Federal judge overseeing Seattle police reform: “Black lives matter”

Just moments after federal judge James Robart, who oversees police reform in Seattle, threatened to steamroll the Seattle Police Officers Guild, he said something no one…

Exposing sexual assault at Washington colleges

While the issues of sexual and domestic violence have come out of the shadows over recent decades, there is one place where it too often…

Frustrations rise around Seattle police reform

On Wednesday, the civilian Community Police Commission (CPC) approved their final recommendations for police reform in the city, marking notable movement on a long-clogged process.…

Oregon derailment was one of many for Union Pacific

This story originally appeared on OPB/EarthFix. After last month’s fiery oil train derailment in the Columbia River Gorge, federal regulators put the blame on Union…

Reminder: Puget Sound has a ton of nuclear weapons

The ad pierces your consciousness and catches you by surprise. Plastered on the side of King County Metro buses, it hurls you momentarily back in…

Former Seattle Chief: Are police really ‘protecting and serving’?

"This is what people want from their police: They want their police to protect and serve." - Norm Stamper In a candid conversation, former Seattle…

Megaquake drill illustrates how underprepared region is

This story originally appeared in OPB/EarthFix. A Portland firefighter and a national guardsman check for bodies in a pile of crumpled cars at the base…

What if Seattle police were like Scotland’s?

A story from abroad, which I heard from a friend at a party the other night, points to ways of understanding police work here that…

Reformers aren’t celebrating police union leader’s resignation

With the news that the president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, Ron Smith, was resigning, some corners of social media Tuesday night lit up like…

The surprising ties between poverty, gentrification and asthma

There’s a map that simultaneously illustrates Seattle’s rich/poor divide, and shows how quality of life can differ in unexpected and dramatic ways across that divide.…

Police killed his brother. Andre Taylor wants to change how they’re prosecuted

The system has never been kind to the Taylors. As the War on Drugs infiltrated black and brown communities in the ‘80s, Che Taylor’s mom…

Following shootings, Seattle’s police reform faces scrutiny

In a press conference Thursday, Mayor Ed Murray expressed solidarity with the black community following the police shootings in Baton Rouge and St. Paul this…

Missing dash-cam video raises questions about police oversight

More than two years after the Seattle Police Department learned that its in-car video cameras were frequently dropping frames, at times leaving gaps of more…

Time for a ‘tectonic shift’ in policing, says former Seattle chief

Imagine a peaceful day in Ferguson, Missouri, two years ago this summer. Officer Darren Wilson stops 18-year-old Michael Brown and politely points out that walking…

The man who tried to end homelessness

Back in 2005, King County announced a bold project: it would end homelessness within ten years. The man put in charge of the initiative was Bill…

Washington is on a massive gun-buying binge

After a season of mass shootings nationwide, Washington state is on track to set an all-time record for gun purchases. There isn’t a gun registry…

Megaquake planning must focus on recovery, not just survival

Last week, over 100 state agencies, private businesses, and non-profits participated in the Pacific Northwest’s largest earthquake drill, called Cascadia Rising. As an earthquake and…

After Orlando, some grieve, others buy guns

Twelve hours after the largest mass shooting in modern American history, in which 50 people in an Orlando gay nightclub were gunned down as they…

Police commission calls for ban on blast balls

A civilian police advisory commission is calling on the Seattle Police Department to temporarily cease carrying blast balls, which are used for moving large crowds…