King County proposes millions for new policing alternatives

Sep 20, 2022, 7:29 AM

behavioral health...

Dow Constantine at a press conference (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Choe)

(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Choe)

King County Executive Dow Constantine on Monday proposed measures to boost public safety in Washington state’s most populous county with alternatives to traditional law enforcement.

Many of the proposals for the county including Seattle focus on alternatives to incarceration and law enforcement oversight, as both the county sheriff department and correctional staff look to add employees with hiring bonuses and recruitment drives, The Seattle Times reported.

The priorities of funding both law enforcement and less-traditional approaches — represent what Constantine said were dual goals — stopping “immediate harm” and addressing “root causes to prevent future offenses.”

“We cannot simply address any of these challenges with a single function like policing,” Constantine said, announcing his proposals alongside the county’s law enforcement, corrections, public health, human services and public transit department leaders.

He proposed $5 million in funding to provide long-awaited body cameras for every sheriff’s deputy, while another program would focus on keeping low-level youth offenders from incarceration. Another would pay for housing and health programs for about 80 people who most often are in and out of jail for minor offenses.

Four new units with mental health professionals would respond to some emergencies alongside law enforcement.

Constantine’s proposals will be part of the biennial budget he unveils next week and will go to the Metropolitan King County Council for discussion and any changes this fall.

King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, chair of the Law and Justice Committee, said the crises of housing, mental health, agency staffing, and the pandemic are exacerbating one another.

“Public safety has to be the top priority for any local government,” Zahilay said. “And despite what some might tell you, there is no simple fix for all of these unprecedented challenges.”


climate change...

Associated Press

2 lawsuits blame utility for eastern Washington fire that killed man and burned hundreds of homes

Two lawsuits have been filed against an electric utility for allegedly sparking a fire in eastern Washington that killed a man and burned approximately 240 homes.

1 day ago

Seattle non-profits...

Associated Press

Oregon man convicted of murder in fatal shooting of sheriff’s deputy in Washington state

A jury has convicted an Oregon man of murder in the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in Washington state.

2 days ago

Image: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on Monday, Sept...

Associated Press

Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire

A judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House.

3 days ago

FILE - The Amazon logo is displayed, Sept. 6, 2012, in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon's profitable clo...

Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon sued by FTC and 17 states over allegations it inflates online prices and overcharges sellers

The FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday, alleging the e-commerce behemoth uses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices

3 days ago

KYIV, UKRAINE - 2022/09/03: A man looks at an image generated based on the stories of displaced chi...

Associated Press

Tech companies try to take AI image generators mainstream with better protections against misuse

Artificial intelligence tools that can conjure whimsical artwork or realistic-looking images from written commands started wowing the public last year. But most people don't actually use them at work or home.

3 days ago

Image: Actor David McCallum attends an event for "NCIS" during the 2009 Monte Carlo Television Fest...

Associated Press

David McCallum, star of hit series ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ and ‘NCIS,’ dies at 90

Actor David McCallum, who was the eccentric medical examiner in the popular "NCIS," has died. He was 90.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

King County proposes millions for new policing alternatives