Seattle City Council Postpones Fight Over Cost of Police Station Amid #BlocktheBunker Protests


"We will not stop until the number [cost of precinct] is zero," said one speaker.

Okay, now that's just silly. The north precinct IS in need of replacement. It's too small and doesn't meet their needs.

They don't need a $160million military bunker, but they do need a new larger precinct. The number needs to be a lot lower than they currently want for their palace/bunker, but to push for zero is a non-starter.
@Reverse Polarity Exactly. Build a new station not the Barbie Dream Station they seem to think they have a right to.
So, did the protesters go up to the existing North Precinct and protest?
Well, it's a non-finisher, but as a starter it may improve (reduce) the final outcome.
I think we should step back and take a new look at what is needed in a police department facility. We may with this issue, as we have with most issues police-related, gotten so caught up in what feels customary that we have taken for granted things that need not remain the same.

We're talking about an office building. Just what do our police need in their replacement office building? They need some offices for management and call-takers, a large room or two for meetings and training sessions, a break room, and if we want a rather luxurious office building for them, then maybe an indoor parking garage, showers, and a locker room. Unique to police is the need for a few holding cells in which to lock suspects prior to transfer to jail. What else?

Absent from this discussion seems to be a set of acceptance criteria for the new police department office building.

These are people whose jobs consist mainly of working out in the community, no? Do other city departments--those whose jobs consist mainly of working at desks--demand dozens of millions of dollars for their offices?

If a blast-proof bunker with an underground facility where they can hone their killing skills is demanded by these particular public staff, then I think we should stop and take a hard look at their relationships with the public.

If most of our police spend and intend to continue to spend their time hunkered down in their offices, then we may have discovered the answer to questions about supposedly-inadequate staffing.
It also requires the city to engage in a racial equity analysis to inform the design of the building

What does this mean exactly?
@6 I wanted to add, this isn't snark, I honestly don't know what this sort of analysis entails and what it's supposed to uncover or prevent.
@6, it's something that the Social Justice Ministry of Truth is working to implement. I mean those Gender Studies majors need something to push for to justify their poor paying college degree choices.
@8 what's it like being the most unpleasant person on earth?
@8 How much does your position as Compulsive Internet Asshole pay? Clearly you get paid by the post.

I'd go even further than that: a police station isn't just an office building, it's an office building that belongs to the public. As such, at least some of it should be publicly accessible, and it should be a place where the public feels welcome and comfortable.

So much of community integration in policing focuses on "outreach," but here we have a rare opportunity to consider "inreach," if you will-- that is, encouraging the community to mingle with the police instead of the other way around.
The answer is simple. The existing North Precinct building is fine. It's structurally sound and in good condition. The problem is that it's too small for the current staffing level of the North Precinct, which is the city's largest and includes the entire city above the Ship Canal.

So either we split the North Precinct in half, or we simply set up a "substation" of the existing precinct. Either way, rather than replacing the current building, we set up additional office space for SPD. It could be on the proposed sit at 130th and Aurora and could be built for a tiny fraction for the $149m cost. Or it could be in Ballard or the U-District in order to provider greater geographical coverage of the huge precinct. Whatever the case, there's really no need to scrap the existing building and build a huge new one. Just add new office space somewhere.

I heard he was doing it gratis, because, like, it's GREAT exposure...
@6/7, I had this question too "Racial Equity Analysis" is not a term I've heard before.

So if we regard race and socioeconomic categories as shorthand for communities of people with shared interests who are seeking representation in the city's decision making processes, I would suggest that balancing resource expenditures among the various interests is an inherently political process. And therefore one that the elected representatives are responsible for carrying out.

A "Racial Equity Analysis" to me sounds like (a) an attempt by a politician to punt the hard decisions and (b) an attempt to apply a veneer of objectivity and science to what is an inherently subjective and political process.

In other words, a cop-out.
How about they include a food court with a PF Changs?
To be fair, the comment @8 is close to something Dan Savage would say.
@16: I'm just wondering exactly how the design of a building affects racial equality.
Just out of curiosity, for someone just getting to this debate, what makes it a bunker? I read that the claims of "a blast proof building" are false, so are there other elements of the project that are bunker like? From my understanding, there is a significant community area in the front of the building (the glass area in the rendering), and the facility will be open to the public. Where is the bunker component?

If I were black I'd probably be as angry and frustrated as many of the people in the City Council meeting were. I can only imagine what it must be like. But we also have one of the most progressive city councils in the country. And one of the most liberal and progressive populations as well. Almost all of us care about racial and economic justice, and believe in doing whatever we can to correct the grossly unfair disparities that have been built into the system.

But when you scream insults at us, and accuse us of being racist, it not only hurts, but it pisses us off. We are not the enemy and never were. We'd like nothing better than to work closely with you on any issue, regardless of how hard the challenges might seem. But no one likes to work with, or even be around, people who feel that they have the right to insult them every time they have a disagreement of any kind. It's a terrible strategy for getting anything done.