Mayor Murray Announces Millions for More Cops and Homeless


We don't need more cops. We need better cops.
At the May 14, 2014, budget workshop City Council held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, I heard City Council President Tim Burgess announce to the room that despite their efforts, councilmembers had been able to determine what only about 400 of SPD's nearly 1300 sworn officers are assigned to do. He said they looked forward to a potential audit of staffing to get a better handle on things. Has that happened?
If it worked then, it could work now: find some land and allow people to build improvised housing on it. Seattle's Hooverville back in the '30s wasn't perfect, but it's better than having 2,000+ folks sleeping where they can, subject to harassment and indignity.
Homeless services? Seattle's bleeding heart liberals are gonna let bums sleep on their couches?
Homes for the homeless ? That's nice, but what about municipal broadband ? I need gigabit to SLOG faster.
While Mayor touts "data-driven policing," consider LAPD's experience with it: "LAPD Blames Predictive Software For Misconduct And Abuse, Rather Than Its Own Disinterest In Holding Officers Accountable," by Tim Cushing, September 9, 2014,…
Mayor Murray thanked Bruce Harrell of Seattle City Council for police reform. Has any of the officers, partners, and supervisors behind the 240 unconstitutional uses of force found by DOJ been disciplined or even publicly identified?
What @1 and @3 said
We DO need more cops. We need more and better cops.

Also, Dominic, kudos on making every story about you and your crusades. Top notch stuff.
@9: Why do we need more cops? Because they say so? Where's the data?
Dominic: Thanks for asking difficult questions of people in power and for yelling loudly when they dodge those questions. Few others bother to do so.
Phil, I actually think that a lot of people ask those difficult questions. Dominic has his own strategy of asking and reporting, and I don't find it as effective as you seem to. In fact, I find it counterproductive. We disagree on his effectiveness as an advocate and as reporter. We disagree. Not for the first or last time.
@9 & 12: Oh bullshit. I was at the presser today. Dominic's questions to the Mayor were polite, respectful, totally on point, and totally clear. His representation of the Mayor's responses is accurate. Maybe you see that as making it about himself, but I certainly don't.

As to your thinking that "a lot of people ask those difficult questions", I'd like to hear who all those other people are because aside from Dom, Tim Harris, and a small handful of others I don't see that many.
@10 Because the neighborhoods and the communities are asking for them. The ask is from residents, businesses and social services.
@12: When our elected representatives and other politicians respond to reporters' questions without answering the question that was asked, they should be shamed mercilessly. Next time you hear someone else do that around here, I'd love to know about it.

For now, let's take these two examples: Who else reported Murray dodging that question at today's press conference? Who else reported Rasmussen dodging questions at the recent press conference about bike master plan funding?
@14: Neighborhoods and communities will ask for whatever the police tell them they should ask for. Again: Where's the data to support the idea that SPD are understaffed? They clearly have time to dedicate to their lowest law enforcement priority. That tells me we should decrease staffing and put our money toward accomplishing higher-priority tasks.
Anybody else think that was a wax sculpture of Danny Trejo behind Murray?
There is literally no excuse for increasing the SPD budget. None. Zip. Nada.
That $3.3 million should be used for something useful, not more militarized jackasses terrorizing the citizenry.
House the homeless in gates foundation bldg at the sesttle center.
@16 No, neighborhoods and communities ask for what they need. I'm shocked, Phil, that you would take that position, honestly. I now that Capitol Hill is asking for things that are direct requests from the people living and working here - not in any way influenced by what SPD or City Hall are telling them to ask for. For a populist like yourself that's a very strange position to take.

On Dominic - dodging Dominic's questions is not dodging, much of the time. It's denying Dominic a personal platform.
Seattle, the Gated sister, Portland, finds the money to build tiny house communities for the homeless and to stock food pantries and kitchens for the hungry while Seattle, a city full of billionaires and millionaires with corporate construction cranes crowding the skyline, keeps saying how empty its pockets are when it comes to the needs of poor and working class people and families.

Instead, Seattle's mayor proposes more and more cops to protect the affluent people and corporations from having to see "those people" in their neighborhoods...except, you know, during the day when their cheap manual labor is needed to serve the rich and create more wealth for the powerful. Know your place, boy.

Seattle is being transformed into an economically gated city with a massive police force to guard the gates.

The city is rotting from the inside out. It's once vibrant soul lies withering in the piles of ruble and discarded people.

The train to Portland leaves in the morning.

Let Seattle fuck itself...won't be the first time.
I'm always real suspicious about claims like 'we don't have the resources to take care of the people who sleep on the city's streets'. I'm pretty sure the actual truth is pretty much always that no city wants to allocate adequate resources for housing the homeless because of the belief that they will become the city that attracts all the homeless. Same sort of rationale behind dismantling encampments: allow the homeless to be too comfortable and there will be more of them here.

I can't imagine it would really cost all that much relative to the size of the budget to increase shelter beds and, god forbid, add actual staffed public toilets to areas like Pioneer Square that are in dire need of them. This is always something that can't be done because way too many people have a barely concealed interest in not doing it.
These eyes. Cry every night. For you.
@20: I listened to the press conference. Murray spoke for about a minute without ever answering the question of where those people can go to avoid harassment. This shit happens all the time, and reporters rarely do anything about it. The next person called on should have asked Murray the same question. If he does not have an answer, he should say, "I do not have an answer," not talk around the subject until most people forget what the question was.

Our neighborhood has asked for years for cops to be reassigned out of their cars and onto foot patrol, it never happens, and you and I both heard the head manager at East Precinct refuse to commit to it. That we want such reallocation does not mean we want more staff hired.

Where are the data indicating that SPD are understaffed? Have you even seen an org chart? Did you see my comment @2 about the mysterious other 900 sworn officers and the staffing audit that Burgess described? How do they possibly have time for investigating and busting people for pot when there is anything else to do?

If Seattle Police Department claim to have not the resources to accomplish what we request of them, let's demand that they open the books before we throw more money at them.
"House the homeless in gates foundation bldg at the sesttle center."''

Great idea! Put a fence around it, install cameras, and charge $$ for folks to watch Bumville in action.
The math sounds right.

Average 2 bdrm in Seattle: $1200

1.5M/(1200 x12) ≈ 104 apartments; 208 people

For one year at least.
"The city is rotting from the inside out. It's once vibrant soul lies withering in the piles of ruble and discarded people."

Come on darling, meet me on Ballard Ave this evening. Great food. Great drink. It'll be a hoot. Might even put a smile on your sad little face : (
@17: To me, it's Murray who looks artificial in that photo — like a foamcore standee listing a bit to starboard.
@20 No, they ask for what the few people who attend their meetings want. People who likely have zero understanding of the broader social problems that cause the problems they see.

Murray has it exactly backwards. It's not that we can't afford to help the homeless because we need more cops, it's that we need more cops because we don't help the homeless.


My goodness, I totally forgot about that song. Seems like I haven't heard it in at least 20 years.…
Well, thank you, huffy, four your socially conscious patronizing. It's most helpful.
Change huffy to giffy and four to for. Never type slog comments on yer phone. Lesson learned.
SPD spends $50 million per year (about 20% of their budget) and dedicates 300 officers (about 25% of them) to their bureau that "provides crowd control, special event, search, hostage, crisis, and water-related support to monitor and protect critical infrastructure to protect lives and property, aid the work of uniformed officers and detectives, and promote the safety of the public" Source: 2014 Adopted Budget Book, page 21.

Is the community asking for that?
The question remains: Can Seattle ever produce a competent mayor?
Phil, yes, I believe that they are. Crowd control, water safety and the rest seem an appropriate use of 20% of the police budget. I think that most Seattlites would agree.
CAN SOMEONE TELL ME what was it that got Murray to flip on controlling the SPD faster than Deblasio in NY (who flipped like a vichy french fascist)?
also gotta love the played out method of "have half white guy stand behind you while you annouce policies to endorse a racist police department".

Murray has turned out to be McGinn part 2. With less bike lanes.