Seattle City Council
5/31/2005 2:48:00 PM
Lisa Herbold (206) 684-8803
“TEAMWORK” NEEDED TO ADDRESS CRIME ON SEATTLE’S STREETS
Licata’s Civil Streets Initiative Resolution passes Council
SEATTLE –The City Council passed a Resolution today launching the Civil Streets Initiative, a proposal to address certain types of crime on Seattle’s streets. The concept behind Civil Streets combines traditional law enforcement with the delivery of critical human services.
“Traditional law enforcement alone is less effective when those committing the crimes are people with mental illness, severe alcohol or drug addition,” said Councilmember Nick Licata, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights & Arts Committee. “Jail is often inappropriate for them and thus begins—or continues—the costly cycle from the streets to jails and back again. We all pay the high cost of those failures.”
In a recent Citywide Crime Summit, the Council heard the public express desire for enhanced partnership with the Police Department to share information, identify problems, create solutions, as well as call for more officers. Licata’s initiative calls for collaboration between the Seattle Police Department, emergency services and human services, combining specialized police beats, proactive enforcement, emergency medical services and human services. These teams would focus on identified areas; emphasize prevention and treatment as a means of changing behavior.
In addition to kicking off the Council discussion of Civil Streets, today’s resolution supports the mayor’s proposal to fund 25 new Seattle patrol officers. The funding mechanism under consideration for the Civil Streets Initiative is a possible three-year levy to put before Seattle voters. The Council’s Committee of the Whole (which includes all Councilmembers) now takes up the Civil Streets agenda with meetings scheduled through June.