"As I reported last week, there's already an organization that's proven it can handle low-level calls for service like the welfare checks Lewis harped on during the meeting."
This is a bit of a stretch. We Deliver Care has merely proven it can perform contact work for LIHI. In that role, We Deliver Care appears capable of deescalating conflicts in temporary shelters operated by LIHI, resulting in a decrease in calls to 911. But that is a very different scenario that responding to 911 dispatch across the city.
@1: "A bit of a stretch" seems overly charitable. We Deliver Care has a small amount of experience in de-escalating some situations in the specific environment you mentioned. There's no particular reason to believe that small amount of experience in a limited environment will extrapolate city-wide into a much more varied environment:
@2: "Some low level calls escalate quickly, what then?"
Obviously, the still-understaffed SPD will respond perfectly, easily and safely delivering the We Deliver Care team from danger, whilst quickly and flawlessly de-escalating! Hence, the Stranger's sneering at Senior Deputy Mayor Harrell's "set anyone up to fail" nonsense. (What a nervous ninny!) And if the taxpayers wonder why they're funding a non-cop team who needs to be rescued by cops, well then, the Council will simply respond, "S.T.F.U., or we'll tax your jobs AGAIN, you impertinent peons."
Let’s just admit the decriminalize/defund social experiment hatched in the leftist fever dream in 2020 failed. Use that money for something useful like recruiting bonuses, retention bonuses and training for the police rather than pissing it away to more NGOs with no accountability.
How are those sanitary public sinks for the homeless the council has been working on for 2 years coming along?
We are in the 2nd week of the King County Inquest into the SPD murder of Charleena Lyles, yet the Stranger fails to provide coverage & context to her case, why cops keep killing folks experiencing a behavioral health crisis, & why we still have no police accountability. Reporting on the Seattle City Council's curated debates around police alternatives ignores the reality that none of this will work without police accountability (and accountability for all public safety providers) & can actually have negative consequences as I explained in my op-ed last week:
"Seattle needs to have public safety alternatives to police confronting people experiencing a behavioral health crisis, such as the much cited and lauded CAHOOTS model in Eugene, Oregon. However, removing police from situations where people are wielding a weapon will prove problematic. The CAHOOTS model forbids its teams from responding when there is “any indication of violence or weapons” (see link above). It is difficult to imagine non-armed individuals who would work for the city and be willing to face off against folks who are armed. In attempting to section off and limit the kinds of interactions we want police to deal with there may be an unintended consequence: We may inadvertently fuel the belief that police can only respond to situations requiring a gun, with the implied expectation that it will be necessary to use it. By limiting the circumstances under which we call out police, we could actually increase the proportion of police calls resulting in shots fired and people killed."
policing is broken. why is the "you can't keep throwing money at the problem" crowd not speaking up? they never fail to mouth breathe all over any sort of funding for actual social good.
It's all about the SPD Chief wanting to control the overtime dollars, and the fact that 95 percent of 9-1-1 calls don't actually need an armed sworn police officer to handle them, which means his budget wouldn't continue to grow as the Mayor dithers.
@6: The South Seattle Emerald will publish pretty much anything, won't it? From repeatedly failing to understand the Seattle Human Rights Commission is not an independent body, to your dodgy, carefully-curated statistics:
"From March 27, 2004, to March 26, 2013, the SPD caused the deaths of 21 people, whereas during the nine-year period after the CPC started meeting that number was 29, a 38% increase from the prior nine years."
An increase of eight incidents is not in any sense large against the size of Seattle's population, which itself grew by 24% "during the nine-year period after the CPC started meeting..." Factoring in that large population increase, an additional eight cases is not statistically significant.
"That is, during the nine years after the CPC started their work there was a 100% increase in the SPD killing people experiencing a behavioral health crisis (who were not possessing a firearm) when compared to similar SPD killings during the prior nine years."
During the period 2013-2022, Seattle experienced a homelessness crisis, which saw thousands of persons, many with serious mental and behavioral problems, living openly in Seattle's parks, sidewalks, and greenbelts. An increase of six total killings of persons in mental crisis pales by comparison to the number of persons with mental disorders who were walking Seattle's streets during this period.
You also get bonus points for comparing Seattle to Scotland (96% of population in one ethnic group), and for praising police forces in the UK and Japan for their supposedly superior abilities to disarm persons with knives. In the UK, it is not legal to carry a blade of more than 3" long; in Japan, the allowed length is even less, 5.5 cm (2.16"), making personal carriage of all but the smallest of Swiss Army Knives illegal there.
@9: "An increase of six total killings of persons in mental crisis pales by comparison to the number of persons with mental disorders who were walking Seattle's streets during this period."
Most Slog readers already know what a moral black hole you are, but in case there are new readers it was helpful for you to so clearly represent you black bottomless empty empathyless heart.
"You also get bonus points for comparing Seattle to Scotland (96% of population in one ethnic group)"
Racist much? Don't you feel a tad bit frustrated having to pretend you are something you are not?
@10, Awwww, someone who wallows in lavishing criticism upon others simply can't take it himself. (What? On Slog?!? NOOOOOOOO....)
Pointing out that ~98% of Japan's population belongs to the same ethnic group is racist? No, it's merely noting reality, just as is noting that Seattle's (ethnically and culturally diverse) population increased dramatically as Japan's (ethnically and culturally homogeneous) population declined slightly over the same period. Your 'analysis' takes absolutely none of this into account. "A population which experienced a tremendous population influx over a short time saw increases in some problems" is not news, unless it's news that the number of such problems grew by very small absolute numbers, which is what actually happened in Seattle.
And while you didn't contest my points about the statistical insignificance of the numbers you cited, what was Seattle's increase in number of unhoused persons with mental disorders over that time? Five-fold? Tenfold? Twenty times? The wonder here is the total increase in incidents was only from six to twelve over that time, when it could have been far, far higher. But hey, totally ignore a major public health crisis, and the attendant suffering and misery it brought. That'll make you into the very paragon of bright-hearted empathy.
@11: Not only can I take well thought out criticism, I relish it as a method of understanding and finding solutions. I have not seen any in your statements. Statements based on ad hominem, sophistry, false assumptions, false comparisons, and just flagrant trolling do not constitute a meaningful critique deserving of a serious reply.
In general I would reply to meaningful critiques if I was engaging with a person of good will or if there was the possibility that a Slog comment reader might be fooled by your spurious claims. None of those factors apply here. But hey, if someone reading this, who is not a troll, is actually taken in by your spurious statements then let me know!
How do we know you are a troll, or at the very least more driven by your own inner demons/logic versus reality? We all remember your unfalteringly moronic position as regards the Mayor Murray pedophile scandal (https://www.thestranger.com/news/2017/07/31/25318351/guest-editorial-murray-should-resign-and-the-council-must-show-leadership/comments/12). Oh, and there is so much more!
But hey, I'll throw you a couple of bones.
Yes, talking about ethnic homogeneity in the context of crime, mental health, and policing (without specifying imagined mechanisms) is unavoidably racist because what the fuck does it have to do with anything? When I was in Malmö, Sweden a few years back I visited an exhibit on crime and policing. In the 1870s this region wasn't just 100% Nordic or Swedish, but nearly 100% Scanian. You'd have to fucking clone people to get greater homogeneity. Yet they had crime, poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, folks suffering from untreated mental illness, police abuse, etc. It is 100% about social conditions and policies and 0% about homogeneity. But yes, there are correlations between public disorder/crime and homogeneity because of RACISM/CLASSISM. Deliberately ignoring that is racist/classist.
I pointed out in my article that (1) small numbers matter (no airline company would survive a day by saying "yeah we are having more accidents, but more people are flying") and (2) those numbers are indicative of much greater problems concerning the treatment of not just those in behavioral crisis but anyone who presents as different or inconvenient (e.g., demonstrators). Seattle killing twice as many people experiencing a behavioral health crisis AFTER Seattle establishes what it calls "best in the country police accountability" seems concerning. But hey, knock yourself out and do a chi-squared test to see if we have statistical significance!
And, for fucks sake, I documented how UK cops (not just Scottish cops) deal with folks brandishing knives, samurais, swords, machetes, etc. London is way bigger, way denser, and about as homogeneous/non-homogeneous as Seattle. London has homelessness, poverty, and people with severe substance abuse and mental illness. But cops don't kill folks because they are experiencing a behavioral health crisis and brandishing a knife or a sword.
Anyone of goodwill who has real questions knows how to reach me.
@12: "In the 1870s this region wasn't just 100% Nordic or Swedish, but nearly 100% Scanian. You'd have to fucking clone people to get greater homogeneity. Yet they had crime, poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, folks suffering from untreated mental illness, police abuse, etc."
With the possible exception of any voices gibbering in your head, no one here has claimed that a non-diverse society has no problems. By equating very non-diverse populations to Seattle's diverse population, you have effectively claimed that the diversity of a population should not matter in police work. That's an astounding claim to make in Seattle, and especially in the South Seattle Emerald. (Thank you for continuing to provide support for my opening observation @9.) If you have some justification for comparing police work in a diverse city to police work in very non-diverse societies, please give it; otherwise, those comparisons prove nothing about police work in Seattle.
"And, for fucks sake, I documented how UK cops (not just Scottish cops) deal with folks brandishing knives, samurais, swords, machetes, etc."
And, for your sake, I already described how strictly knives are legally controlled in the UK and Japan. In those countries, simply walking in public, carrying in one's pocket a Swiss Army knife with a 4" blade, completely justifies immediate police intervention; not so in Seattle. If you're claiming local laws do not affect local police work, well, good luck in providing justification for that claim.
'I pointed out in my article that (1) small numbers matter (no airline company would survive a day by saying "yeah we are having more accidents, but more people are flying")...'
Again, with the possible exception of any voices shouting in your head, no one here has claimed that small numbers do not matter. Per our laws, every aircraft crash and every killing, by the police or by anyone else, needs investigation.
"...and (2) those numbers are indicative of much greater problems..."
That's actually what you need to prove. As already mentioned, Seattle's population grew dramatically over the second interval you defined. Your 'analysis' has completely failed to account for this. By this failure, you're implicitly claiming the vast increase in Seattle's population had absolutely no effect upon the numbers of persons killed by the police. What justification have you for this? Your only 'response' so far has been the ad hominem attack with which you began @10.
"But hey, knock yourself out and do a chi-squared test to see if we have statistical significance!"
Again, that's actually your job, and good luck with it, because you have yet to provide any expected values for the numbers of persons killed in the second interval you defined. Absent those expected numbers -- which, again, you must both provide and justify -- you have nothing upon which to perform a chi-squared test.
To make this very clear, your second point currently consists of nothing other than the fallacy, "post hoc ergo propter hoc," because event B happening after event A does not, all by itself, mean A must have caused B to happen. That's what you have to prove, and again, good luck with that.
Finally, the aforementioned South Seattle Emerald claimed you were working with the Seattle Human Rights Commission when they made the ignorantly foolish decision to seek independent counsel. (https://southseattleemerald.com/2022/04/29/breaking-scao-tells-human-rights-commission-not-to-seek-amicus-status/) Did you help goad them into that utter folly? If so, thank you very much, because their wailing, bawling, and sniveling about the epic smackdown they promptly received from City Attorney Davison's office provided me with many a welcome chuckle. Hearing overly-entitled adults whine like spoiled toddlers when they can't get Every! Last! Thing! They! Waaaaaaaaant!!! can bring a smile to the face of almost any other adult, myself not excepted. Thanks for the laughs!
Why is this so difficult.... Once We replenish our police dept...which includes the 911 operators, then we can look at alternatives. That is the easiest, proven and effective plan on the table.
Safety first... then you can experiment on us like guinea pigs to your hearts content.
(lets also just put it on the table and acknowledge it.... the far and yes wack-a-doodle left tried their great social experiment...defunding, decriminalizing and it failed in miserably....this "alternative crap" is nothing more than trying to save face.)
If, and only if, this is done, should we then move carefully to explore alternatives. Its not much of a broad jump in logic to make an adjustments.... we can easily explore alternative ways of answering the phone.
The other nonsense of "sending in the clowns"-- social workers into hostile or potentially hostile situation is just plan stupid...sorry ... I meant STUPID.
@1 -- No, it is not a stretch. They did a fucking study: https://coleadteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/JustCARE-Report_7-12-21.pdf. You want to refute the study by UW researchers, be my guest. Start by listing your qualifications.
@4 Let's just admit you don't know shit, and haven't bothered to do any research on the subject. Have you actually read the fucking report?
@11 -- It is racist to suggest it makes any fucking difference when it comes to this issue. This argument is common from old-school, Nixonian conservatives like yourself. When faced with study after study that shows that other countries do things much better than us (now) you point to their lack of racial diversity, as if that is the reason they are doing so much better, not the much wider policy difference. This ignores the fact that America is and was very diverse when we became the most powerful country on earth. This also ignores the fact that countries like Sweden have high immigrant population (over 25%). Or that Canada is quite diverse -- more diverse than us -- and has a better record than us in almost all of these issues. Canada's biggest weakness is that their policies are too much like the U. S., and not enough like, say, Sweden's. Your statement is either fatalistic in nature, or suggests that the best way to reduce crime is America is to become more white.
No one in Sweden feels that way. No one in Sweden thinks that America's problem is that isn't homogeneous enough. It is all about the policies. They would say that the U. S. has a lot to learn from Nordic police, something that most cops would agree with: https://theweek.com/articles/918143/what-america-learn-from-nordic-police. They would also say that the U. S. needs to have a much bigger social safety net, like they do there.
@16: Ross, the assertion was that police in Japan and Scotland do their jobs better than in Seattle. That may or may not be true (the person making the assertion hasn't provided anywhere close to enough data) but noting those countries have much less diversity isn't racist, it's noting a fact which may have important effect. When first responders arrive on a scene, they'll rely on their training (hopefully good training!) but, like any human in any situation with incomplete information, they will rely upon assumptions. If the society lacks diversity, then the assumptions the responders make are more likely to be valid; if the society is diverse, then those assumptions are less likely to be valid. In an emergency situation, that can be the difference between life and death.
"Your statement is either fatalistic in nature, or suggests that the best way to reduce crime is America is to become more white."
Or more Japanese, as Japan has less racial diversity than does Scotland. I guess that makes me (and my pasty ass) racist against white people? C'mon, think: if you compare two very dissimilar entities, you must justify the validity of your comparison. Otherwise, as our wonderful friend did, above, you're effectively saying Japan is inherently superior to Seattle because it has less diversity -- and that is racist.
"They would also say that the U. S. needs to have a much bigger social safety net, like they do there."
Oh, so having a public-health service which treats persons with mental disorders from going into mental crisis is better than having persons with untreated mental disorders camping in parks? Wow, what an amazing revelation! Perhaps you could inform @6 that might be another teeny tiny difference why police in the UK kill fewer persons in mental crisis than do police in Seattle? (The Stranger responds: "STOP THE SWEEPS!!!")
One more thing about homogeneity. It is common for conservatives (especially racist ones) to point homogeneity as the reason say, Scandinavia does so well on various measures (democratic quality, crime rate, education, income equality, happiness) instead of policies (different electoral system, strong safety net, high union membership, smaller but better trained and better paid police force).
But there is another possibility. It is quite possible that these polices came into being because of their homogeneity. Anti-democratic policies have a long history of racism. It is just one form of divide and conquer. Bust up the union by blaming Chinese immigrants. Blame crime on black people to win elections or further private interests. Suggest ending welfare because of black "welfare queens". Hell, the drug war was specifically created to attack hippies and blacks: https://www.vera.org/reimagining-prison-webumentary/the-past-is-never-dead/drug-war-confessional. This is fascism (and I don't use that word lightly) and it occurred well before anyone ever heard of Trump. It is much harder for this sort of approach to work in a more homogeneous society. Instead, policies are more likely to evolve in a sensible way. People look at what works and what doesn't. Thus they evolved to create a system that is far more effective than what we in the (very divided) USA have.
They owe their success to their policies, not because of their homogeneity. It is just that their homogeneity allowed them to pick those successful policies, while we allow oppressive forces to divide us.
@15: Where in that study does it say, or even imply, that We Deliver Care currently has anything near the capacity to answer 911 calls? @1's description is completely correct. Perhaps We Deliver Care could participate in a city pilot program towards that end, but that would be all at this stage.
"You want to refute the study by UW researchers, be my guest. Start by listing your qualifications."
(Elitist much?) If you read the report, it's mostly about We Deliver Care running hotels where formerly-homeless persons can try to return to indoor living. Sometimes, We Deliver Care staff help to de-escalate situations in those hotels. That's all. We Deliver Care is very far from being a substitute for 911 service.
@16: "When faced with study after study that shows that other countries do things much better than us (now) you point to their lack of racial diversity, as if that is the reason they are doing so much better, not the much wider policy difference."
I noted that police work seems to go easier in homogeneous places than in diverse places. That is in fact the opposite of claiming that non-diverse countries "do things much better," but rather, the difficult work of policing is inherently easier for them. It's not racist to note how a diverse society can tend to be more difficult to police than a homogeneous society, and if a police force in a diverse society attempts merely to copy what police forces in homogeneous societies do, the result may not go as well as hoped.
@18: You might want to recall some words from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "But in analysing history do not be too profound, for often the causes are quite superficial." You've built an anti-diversity argument upon a speculative foundation about homogeneity, while ignoring other aspects of Scandinavia, such as those lands' relative isolation from the turmoil of mainland Europe. (It's also easier to get consensus after you've just finished spending a century or more shipping most of your country's ambitious malcontents off to North America.)
@12: If you really want to re-hash l'affaire Murray, we can do that. I'll happily introduce you to concepts such as the presumption of innocence, and the rigorous and skeptical examination of all evidence. (Hint: simply swallowing the emissions of male convicts does not count as the latter.)
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