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Public Safety

Public Safety

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…

After Murray’s threats, council backpedaled on homeless proposal

The first plan Councilmember Sally Bagshaw devised to deal with The Jungle – one of Seattle's largest homeless encampments — came as a response to Mayor Ed…

Seattle mayor threatened councilmember, texts show

Last month, shortly after staff from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee’s offices introduced their plan to shut down the East Duwamish Greenbelt,…

Seattle looks to tech to track shootings

On a breezy afternoon, Mayor Ed Murray stood outside the Rainer Beach Community Center, steps from Rainier Avenue. He emphasized the importance of violence prevention,…

Is legal pot really leading to more underage use?

Hamza Warsame, a promising 16 year old student at Seattle Central College, died last December when he fell from a six story apartment balcony. Given…

Murray’s Jungle closure plan meets council resistance

When government representatives from Seattle and Olympia unveiled the plan to close the Duwamish Greenbelt — known informally as the Jungle — Mayor Ed Murray…

Addiction and homelessness: fixing the vicious cycle

Only one in three heroin users have stable housing. The other two are either homeless, on the verge of being homeless or in jail. So…

The path clears toward permanent police reform. Maybe.

The cloud that has hung low over the head of Seattle’s police reform efforts is this: while progress has surely been made, none of it…

For community leaders, Seattle terrorism initiatives are tone-deaf

The meeting was not open to the public, nor on any public event calendar. Those who were invited — including representatives from the Ethiopian, Somali, Latino, LGBT and…

Are Seattle schools prepared for heroin epidemic?

If there was an easy-to-use drug that virtually brought people back from the dead, wouldn’t you keep it close at all times? Naloxone – which can…

Peaceful May Day march overshadowed by ‘black bloc’ protests

The once-a-year celebration of May Day in Seattle has for years now been two days in one — the permitted march for human and labor…

Despite warnings, Seattle still dangerously unprepared for megaquake

When it comes to our pathetic lack of action on earthquake safety in some of our most-used buildings, you can’t really blame the infamous Seattle…

Tax on business will fund new cops

Mayor Ed Murray’s got a plan to pay for 200 new cops by 2020. In a statement Thursday, the mayor announced he would expand the…

Is there lead in Seattle’s drinking water?

When Seattle Public Utilities advised residents last week to run their taps for two minutes before drinking the water, it was, at first, a little…