Seattle City Council
6/21/2005 4:28:00 PM
Newell Aldrich (206) 684-8803
COMMITTEE APPROVES 25 NEW OFFICERS FOR SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOODS
If approved by Full Council, new officers could be in place mid-2006
SEATTLE –Today, the Council’s committee on Public Safety, Civil Rights and the Arts passed to Full Council legislation authorizing the Seattle Police Department to hire 25 new full- police patrol officers. If passed by Full Council next Monday, the ordinance also authorizes an appropriation in the 2005 Budget to cover the $837,300 needed to hire the new officers.
“The Police Department has committed to deploying these officers in our neighborhoods,” said Nick Licata, chair of the Committee, “This will improve their ability to respond to 911 calls from people in crisis.”
Both Licata and Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck voiced their concern that law enforcement be linked with human services for repeat offenders—particularly the homeless—with severe alcohol or drug addictions or mental illness, emphasizing prevention and treatment.
“Jail is not the place for them and we all watch as they go through that heartbreaking and costly cycle from the streets to jails and back again,” said Steinbrueck. “We all pay the high cost of those failures,” he added.
If the City Council approves of this legislation, and the Seattle Police Department hires 25 new officers, they will enter a 10-month training program and neighborhoods will see an observable difference of deployed strength in mid-2006. The bill must be approved by a three-fourths vote of the Council.