As a father of three, nothing is more important to me than the safety of my family. The role of police and other first responders is to keep our communities safe; so it is only logical that as society changes, so must our approach to public safety. We need to provide our emergency services professionals with the latest tools and strategies to better do their job. I am a firm believer that if we want the best out of our law enforcement officers, then we need to put our money where our mouth is and provide them with every resource available to keep themselves and those they serve safe. First responders put themselves in harm’s way for our benefit and they deserve substantially higher salaries than the current average, but we must also maintain the highest expectation of equity and de-escalation from law enforcement. Here are some of the things I will do to improve public safety in our city:
- Fight for more funding for our police department and higher salaries for our first responders so that we can attract and maintain the highest caliber of personnel.
- Work to diversify our police department so that it better represents the city we live in.
- Embrace innovative technologies like smart sensors and augmented reality glasses for police, and drones for firefighters that can sense dangerous gasses and scout burning buildings.
- Pair first responders with academic researchers and tech industry leaders to develop evidence based response strategies that maximize positive outcomes.
- Hire more social workers to operate in the field and take pressure off police so that they can focus on serious crimes.
- Allow police officers to enforce the law and end the city’s pattern of ignoring and encouraging destructive behavior.
Enforce Existing Laws – Once the laws are enforced, people who came to Seattle to break the law will eventually leave to find an easier target. Even “basic” laws need to be enforced including: parking, vagrancy, and panhandling. Substance abusers will be given the option of treatment or jail. Anyone requesting city services must be background-checked and verified before receiving those services so the city is not enabling repeat offenders like they are currently.
- Reject the failed Safe Injection Sites Approach