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Council News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
10/11/2006  4:55:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lisa Herbold, Licata Office, (206) 684-5331
Neil Powers, Steinbrueck Office, (206) 684-8804

Council President Nick Licata
Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck
Councilmember Sally Clark
Councilmember Richard Conlin
Councilmember David Della
Councilmember Jean Godden

COUNCILMEMBERS INTEND TO DEVELOP COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC SAFETY BUDGET PACKAGE
Package could include increased police staffing, crime prevention, pedestrian improvements, and programs that link human services and public safety.

SEATTLE Councilmembers today announced their intention to develop a comprehensive public safety budget package in response to widespread concern about crime and policing issues. Council President Nick Licata, chair of the Councils Public Safety, Government Relations, and Arts Committee, said, Seattleites want us to take a broad, thoughtful approach to their concerns about preserving our quality of life in the face of an increasing population which is accompanied by more social problems. Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, a member of the Councils Public Safety, Government Relations, and Arts Committee, says, We must increase police staffing on the streets to deal with an upsurge in burglaries and gang activity.

The Council is currently reviewing the Mayors 2007-2008 Budget Proposal that would raise and spend $803 million next year and $813 million in 2008 for the Citys general fund that pays for city services including the Seattle Police Department. Elements of a comprehensive public safety package could include: increased police staffing, more money for capital investments at the police department, youth intervention and crime prevention programs, pedestrian improvements, and programs that link human services and public safety.

Councilmember Sally Clark, chair of the Councils Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee, said, Neighborhoods have stressed that they want to see more officers on patrol and I think theyre right. Councilmember David Della, chair of the Councils Parks, Education, Libraries and Labor Committee, said, Our parks need trained officers who can work with constituencies to ensure that our open spaces can be enjoyed by all.

Councilmember Richard Conlin, chair of the Councils Environment, Emergency Management, and Utilities, stressed, Public safety is about more than just crime and policing. It also requires investments in critical social services that address underlying human needs. Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Councils Energy and Technology Committee, said, Every dollar that we invest in keeping our youth engaged in school and the community will not only honor our precious children, but will pay dividends in reduced spending on jails and prosecutors in the future.

The Council will continue to exercise its budget authority in October and November by scrutinizing the Mayors budget and potentially proposing changes. The budget must be adopted no later than December 1. The Council and the Mayor will, as required by state law, adopt a balanced budget.

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