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Dori: Courthouse entrance action only because public employees attacked

As we told you last week, instead of cleaning up the drug and violence problems on Third Avenue between James Street and Yesler Way in Seattle, King County has just closed the Third Avenue entrance to the King County Courthouse.

The reason for the action was that two weeks ago, a defense attorney was violently attacked outside the courthouse. When a King County Metro bus driver came to his aid, the assailant then violently attacked him.

This shows how incompetent King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht is at her job. I have had sources who are highly-placed tell me this for quite a long time. I have proof of that now. A listener sent me an announcement to employees from October of 2018, 14 months ago.

Judge hopeful courthouse’s Third Avenue entrance will become safer

As you may know, there was an incident today where a man was stabbed with a knife after an altercation with another man outside the Fourth Avenue entrance to the King County Administration Building … Seattle Police has advised county officials that there has been an uptick in incidents in the downtown corridor. In response, they are stepping up their presence in and around the downtown corridor, expanding their presence beyond commute hours, and working closely with the city’s Nav Team.

What has happened in the 14 months since that notice was sent out? The problems have gotten worse.

So why are we doing something about it now? I suspect it’s because an officer of the court — a defense attorney — was the one to get attacked. A bus driver also got attacked. What do they have in common? They are both public employees. Ordinary citizens have been attacked on a regular basis down there and nothing has been done. But when public employees get attacked, that’s when it’s time to secure the area. Mitzi Johanknecht said this at a press conference this week.

We talk a good game about making them safe. It’s time we put up the money.

What does that even mean? Where are we going to get the money? Perhaps we could lower six-figure salaries for county government bureaucrats and put that money toward courthouse security. King County Executive Dow Constantine has three sheriff’s personnel solely assigned to driving him around, at a cost of roughly $400,000 per year. As we know, he has abused this privilege by having them drive him to bars after work. Maybe, just maybe, we should take some of those hundreds of dollars and re-deploy those salaries and those full-time cops to the courthouse?

County officials are being praised for acting quickly, but who is really acting quickly here? That urgent safety memo talking about dangers at the courthouse was from October 2018. They have let people get assaulted and stabbed for 14 months beyond when that notice was sent out.

Are you as infuriated as I am? Bless this public defender who got attacked, and I am glad he is alright, but it is not fair to your constituents to wait until public employees are the victims, and ignore the ordinary citizens who have been victims long before this.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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