August 7, 2:10 PM click here to comment > 2
Building Safe Communities in Seattle
Public safety is a high priority for the people of Seattle and for city government. The Seattle Police Department is addressing violence with emphasis patrols and other actions specific to each precinct. Last month Mayor McGinn visited each of the city’s five precincts to review their summer public safety plans. You can learn more by reading our blog posts on each visit to the North, West, East, South and Southwest precincts.
Law enforcement actions are important, but we know it will take more than that to build communities that are safe. It’s time to look at the roots of violence and address longstanding neighborhood concerns. That’s why the Mayor’s Office, the Seattle Police Department and other City departments are working together on the Safe Communities Outreach Initiative. In the SPD 20/20 Plan, we pledged to launch a community outreach initiative to deliver sustained community outreach that is focused on shared values, promoting equity and strengthening accountability and responsiveness to the communities we serve. Safe Communities will not only help achieve that goal, it goes further, seeking to ensure the City is meeting our goal of reducing crime and creating the safest possible neighborhoods.
Safe Communities is modeled on the Youth and Families Initiative, which brought together more than 3,000 people in over 130 community meetings in 2010 to discuss issues and concerns confronting youth and families in our community. They told us what needed to be done for our children – and what city government needed to do differently to help them. That led to the enhanced Families and Education Levy and a refocusing of City resources on innovative programs to use our existing dollars more efficiently.
Safe Communities will follow a similar path, bringing residents, police officers and City departments together in living rooms, cafes, barber shops and community centers across Seattle to tell the City and SPD about specific things their communities need to improve safety, and determine which priorities should come first. Those priorities will then guide the actions the City, SPD, and the neighborhoods will take together to protect public safety.
Staff from the Mayor’s Office will be attending National Night Out events in their neighborhoods this evening to provide more information about Safe Communities. The first Safe Communities meetings will begin next month. We’re looking forward to hearing your ideas and developing an action plan with you to reduce violence, reduce fear, and build thriving communities for our families.
Posted by: Harry Bailey, Senior Advisor to the Mayor