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City of Seattle

September 14, 1:33 PM click here to comment > 5

Mayor’s 2013-2014 Proposed Budget includes funding for new police officers and gunshot locators

Mayor McGinn today announced new investments in public safety as part of his 2013-14 Proposed Budget, including the hiring of 10 new police officers and the purchase of a gunshot locator system. McGinn’s budget also includes funding to invest in new in-car police video equipment and in data analysis. It also includes a reserve to implement the 20/20 plan and the Settlement Agreements with the Department of Justice.

“By hiring new officers and giving them new tools, we can help protect public safety in Seattle,” said McGinn. “Public safety is a top priority for the community and it’s a top priority for me.”

Seattle Police will be able to hire 10 additional officers in 2013, bringing their total sworn officers to 1,310, up from 1,300 in 2012. The cost will be about $1 million per year. These additional positions will allow SPD to continue meeting or exceeding the outcomes in the Neighborhood Policing Plan, and help continue the emphasis patrols launched in 2012 in response to violent crime.

Also included is funding for an automatic gunshot locator system, at a cost of $950,000 over two years for installation and operation. The City will install up to 52 mobile gunshot locator units near hot spots, with each having a minimum 600-foot radius range and each having the ability to stream video. They can be moved in response to special events or changing crime patterns. These units can determine if a gunshot has occurred within 4/10ths of a second, pinpoint the location to within a 50-foot radius and determine the caliber of weapon that was fired with a 90 percent accuracy rate.

“The proposed funding in this budget will allow us to hire new police officers, pay for critical academy training and help improve existing equipment and technology – all of which will improve the level of service we provide to the public,” said Police Chief John Diaz.

McGinn’s budget will propose improvements to SPD’s in-car video program, and replace some of SPD’s aging mobile data terminals which are nearing the end of their useful life. The budget adds to SPD’s crime analysis capabilities by adding staff to analyze the data. These investments will also help provide better access to the public for police videos.

The proposed budget also includes $5 million annually to implement the 20/20 reform plan and to implement the settlement agreements with the Department of Justice. The full scope of the costs will not be known until the monitor and Community Police Commission, both requirements of the Settlement Agreement, are in place. McGinn expects both will be named later this year.  The proposed budget holds in reserve sufficient funding to allow the City to fully implement the terms of the agreement with the DOJ.

McGinn will announce the complete details of his 2013-14 Proposed Budget on September 24.

Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance


Comment from irrelevent
Time September 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

They SHould hire 10 cops who know how to stop the implosion from the pimp and drug pushing culture..Wanna prostitue just come up to the outside of the unemployment office.You can get a $20 dollar hollar in no time.In fact you can get what ever drug you want.You may have to wait till the pusher comes outside the souplkitchen they hide out in across the street from the ywca between virginia and lenora..The cops drive by making another bogus show of force then the uncivil war continues..ITs a living hell…

Comment from Carol Prim
Time September 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Will the South precinct get at least two of thoser officers to respond and be dedicated to South Park, we currently have no officers, If West Seattle, has time they may or may not resond. Also where will the locators be placed

Comment from Christopher Peguero
Time September 24, 2012 at 9:41 am

The south end (I-90 and south) is in need of more police officers and could benefit from gunshot locators. My two cents.

Comment from Heather
Time September 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm

In addition to locating gun shots, the ShotSpotter is a 24 hour audio surveillance system capable of picking up and recording private conversations of those who happen to be within range of a unit (600feet?). A recorded verbal exchange was recently found admissible in court as evidence during trial.
I would like to see our Mayor provide truthful and thorough information to the public on the benefits and costs. The loss of a privacy with this system is larger than we can yet imagine. We take for granted or assume we are constitutionally protected when the opposite is proving true. ShotSpotter is also very expensive to maintain and we’d have the option of paying them annually for 24 hour monitoring or find the manpower to do it ourselves.
McGinn should have sought public opinion and feedback before we got to where we are now, finalizing the budget. Of all the actions or inactions since our Mayor took office, this is by far the one that will impact our citizens the greatest and longest. We are paying to have our privacy taken from us and put in the hands of the government and the SPD.
To the Mayor: this is a violation against your people, those who put you in office and those who don’t have voice. It saddens me that I can no longer support you. Thank you for reading.

Comment from CanadianCommenter
Time March 10, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I agree with Heather. Invasion of privacy is the issue here, and the evidence speaks for itself.