Prosecutor candidate: Policing alone will not solve crime

Oct 20, 2022, 6:04 PM
Leesa Manion has been Chief of Staff at the King County prosecutor's office for 15 years. (Photo co...
Leesa Manion has been Chief of Staff at the King County prosecutor's office for 15 years. (Photo courtesy Leesa Manion for Prosecutor)
(Photo courtesy Leesa Manion for Prosecutor)

Leesa Manion, the current Chief of Staff at the King County Prosecutor’s office, is running for the top job.

“I will prosecute drug dealers because illegal behavior is not welcome in our communities on our streets and our neighborhoods,” Manion told KIRO Newsradio. “I will prosecute violent crime, sexual assault, and repeat property crimes because those crimes cannot go unpunished. And you can trust me to fight for more police resources and to include more social workers and mental health professionals because policing alone is not the solution.”

Manion: We need more police and resources to investigate crime

Speaking on The Gee and Ursula Show, Manion said, “I think we can all acknowledge that we don’t have enough police resources right now. And we need police to investigate crime. We need police to respond to 911 calls when people are afraid. And we also know that our police need help. They need social workers and mental health professionals working alongside them, because not every call requires a police officer with a gun and a badge.”

Manion said she will advocate for the police and the mental health workers who support them.

“They are deserving of fair compensation because we ask a lot of them,” Manion said. “The work is hard. And we also have to increase pay to attract talent to these really important fields.”

Federal Way mayor Jim Ferrell is Manion’s opponent

Manion is running against Federal Way mayor Jim Ferrell. Ferrell, also a career prosecutor, was interviewed on KIRO Newsradio on Tuesday.

King County prosecutor candidate calls pursuit laws ‘outrageous’

One of the biggest issues the prosecutor’s office faced was the backlog of cases, built up during the pandemic. “The court has a backlog of 4,500 charged felony cases. And the reason that number is high is because prosecutors in my office were in the courthouse every day of the pandemic. We never stopped filing felony charges,” Manion said.

“At the same time, the Washington State Supreme Court issued an emergency order that closed all courts and halted our system’s ability to resolve cases,” she continued.

In 2021, $14 million was secured to specifically address the backlog.

“We have used some of that money to hire 125 new employees, including 10 new victim advocates, to ensure that a greater number of victims are receiving services while cases are pending,” Manion explained. “We are absolutely on target to eliminate this court backlog.”

A public safety summit is needed

Gee asked her what her priorities would be if she were elected.

“What I would do is I would convene a public safety summit,” Manion said. “I would invite the participation of all of our police departments and all of our local officials so that we can focus our resources on the same priorities. So that we have the type of collective impact, we want to move the dial on important public safety issues.”

Juvenile crime continues to be an issue in the county, but Manion believes the tide is changing.

“The police referrals for juvenile crime are at an all-time low. Over the past 20 years, law enforcement referrals for juvenile crime have dropped 90% and for violent crime 70%,” she outlined. “Young people have gone through programs working with social services. They get new tools for dealing with conflict that has gotten to the root cause of poor decision making.”

Manion has been Chief of Staff for 15 years

Manion said she is highly qualified and has the passion to become prosecutor.

“I want our streets to be free from crime. And I want King County to be a place where everyone has shelter and the services they need,” she said. “Accountability is at the core of public safety.”

Manion has served as the Chief of Staff for the past 15 years. “I oversee a workforce of 600 employees and an annual budget of $80 million, which jumps to $100 million in 2023. I’m the only candidate who’s worked with all 600 of our employees, all four of our divisions, and both of our labor unions.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

Gee and Ursula

tree lighting...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Gee and Ursula to host Seattle Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

The annual tree lighting ceremony in downtown Seattle this Friday has a new twist: Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin!
4 days ago
Love trumps hate Colorado Springs...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Gee & Ursula: ‘Where does the hate come from?’ in LGBTQ+ nightclub shooting

Gee & Ursula take on the difficult question of 'Where is all the hate coming from?' in light of the Colorado Springs shooting.
5 days ago
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

The most reviled Thanksgiving food in Washington state

A map created with geotagged Twitter data by a food website identified the most reviled Thanksgiving food in each state.
6 days ago
Tina Podlodowski...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Podlodowski reportedly threatened funding to Dems who supported Anderson

Tina Podlodowski, the chair of Washington's Democratic Party reportedly threatened to cut campaign funding for another local Democrat.
9 days ago
King County addition...
Bill Kaczaraba

King County Councilmember pushes proposal to fight addiction

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn is pushing a proposal to use $5 million to support social and human service workers.
10 days ago
Bill Kaczaraba

Study: Former discriminatory housing practices contributed to ‘Wealth Gap’

A new study shows that former discriminatory housing practices helped contribute to the 'wealth gap' across western Washington.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Prosecutor candidate: Policing alone will not solve crime