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City, county to tackle safety at King County courthouse

King County Courthouse in Seattle. (Dyer Oxley, KIRO Radio)

King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski agrees with a judge’s emergency decision to close the 3rd Avenue entrance at the county courthouse in downtown Seattle. A public defender and bus driver were attacked at the entrance last week.

Judge hopeful courthouse’s Third Avenue entrance will become safer

“The public’s got to be safe,” Dembowski said. “That’s what this is about.”

The closure is a short-term fix. The councilmember says they now need a permanent solution.

“You gotta have safe streets,” Dembowski said. “And you gotta have safe streets everywhere, including around the courthouse.”

Dembowski says the want to add uniformed officers on the street during business hours to help improve safety in front of the courthouse. The King County Sheriff, transit police, judges and others will attend a meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss possible solutions.

King County Council will consider whether to allocate $600,000 in emergency funding to boost courthouse security at a Wednesday morning meeting.

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Since Seattle is responsible for the area outside the courthouse, the police chief and city attorney were also invited to the meeting, but are no longer on the list of speakers. Whatever happens, Dembowski says it’s vital the city and county work together.

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