Mayors join forces to fight crime in Snohomish County
Snohomish County mayors are hoping they are stronger together. 15 mayors have joined forces to fight crime in the county.
According to their new website, the group posted they are “a coalition of local government and business leaders” coming together to “develop local strategies (to fight crime) that can be implemented within available resources.”
Violent crime up
“We’ve seen a continuous rise in crime, especially violent crime, which I think is really concerning, but also property crimes and open drug use,” Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin told KIRO 7 News.
The purpose of the group, according to its website, is to identify homelessness, drug addiction, mental health, and public safety as interrelated problems while finding and developing “demanding comprehensive solutions.”
“More funding for law enforcement and social services. Criminal justice reforms to fully allow officers to use their training in the field,” read the organization’s agenda on its website. “More transparency among judges and prosecutors regarding charging decisions, bail, convictions, and sentencing. More resources and tools to address fallout from the Blake decision that decriminalized nearly all drug possession, including possible legislative fixes.”
The Blake decision’s impact
The Washington Supreme Court ruled in Feb. 2021 that the state’s main drug possession statute was “unconstitutional” and “void.” The ruling led to many drug cases in Snohomish County and across the country to be vacated. Some county officials believe the decision is partially to blame for an increase in crime.
“Staffing shortages, combined with criminals seemingly becoming more emboldened and more violent, has created a safety issue for our deputies,” wrote Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney in a recent social media post.
Local law enforcement officials have described the crime situation as increasingly dire. Vacant jobs and anti-police sentiment have often been blamed for the county’s higher crime rates.