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Rantz: Seattle mayor tells cops to ticket speeders but ignore homeless addicts

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan unveils a 25 MPH speed limit sign. (Seattle Mayor's Office on Twitter)

When it comes to dealing with the intersection of the homeless and rampant drug addiction, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan prefers a hands-off approach from the Seattle Police Department. When it comes to driving 26 MPH on an empty city street, Durkan demands tickets! It’s the latest move highlighting a shocking apathy to the lives ruined by addiction.

Citing pedestrian deaths, the mayor this week unveiled a plan to make the majority of arterial streets in Seattle abide by a 25 MPH limit. The move is more about inconveniencing drivers in an attempt to get them to give up on their cars and instead take the perpetually late buses. Durkan is simply exploiting deaths for her political agenda. If this was just about saving lives, the city could very easily go into areas where there is the most pedestrian concern and offer fixes. Instead, she’ll just make blanket changes where they don’t make sense.

In her push, she said she is fine with Seattle officers ticketing drivers via “enhanced enforcements.”

“We don’t want tickets to be our first response but we want people to know we are serious about these changes,” Durkan robotically read from a script at a press conference.

Yet when it comes to homeless addicts shooting up on the streets of Seattle, she takes a different tune. We need to back heroin injection sites! We need to dismiss marijuana misdemeanors, regardless of the context of the arrests.

“We know from previous other criminal conduct you can’t just arrest your way out of it…” she often says.

Fair enough. But when it comes to “speeding” we can ticket our way out of the problem?

Durkan doesn’t want cops doing their jobs when it comes to people who will die on our streets due to their drug addiction. She handcuffs SPD action, she puts no public pressure on the city attorney to enforce drug laws, and she’s actively pushing policies that keep homeless addicts hooked. In the meantime, officers can’t even use the threat of jail time over an addict as a means to get information on their drug dealers.

So drugs will stay on the street, continuing to kill the homeless. Why aren’t their lives as important as pedestrians being hit by cars in poorly designed areas of Seattle? Maybe neither are important. Durkan and other city leaders want you out of your car and this is a way to do it. It’s not about saving pedestrian lives. Driving people out of cars: it’s the exact kind of feel-good policy one can use to brag about how Progressive they are! Similarly, they don’t truly care about the addicts. Heroin injection sites: it’s also the exact kind of feel-good policy one can use to brag about how Progressive they are!

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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