Rantz: Seattle, Tacoma leaders should take notes from Spokane on crime

Sep 17, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Sep 18, 2023, 2:14 pm

Downtown Seattle shooting...

Seattle police are on the scene at an officer involved shooting in downtown Seattle. (Sam Campbell/KIRO Newsradio)

(Sam Campbell/KIRO Newsradio)

Seattle is on pace for record-high homicides, and not a week goes by where there isn’t some significant crime out of Tacoma. Yet local leaders are mostly silent. They have a lot to learn on how to run a city and tackle crime. Perhaps they’ll see what’s happening in Spokane and decide to act.

Like Seattle and Tacoma, the city of Spokane has been seeing a surge in crime thanks to Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies and legislation. According to police chief Craig Meidl, the downtown core has seen an increase in violence, drug use and dealing, theft, trespassing, and more.

“What they (businesses) see on the street is open drug deals, drug use, and the devastating impacts of addiction. Fentanyl foils, feces, tons and tons of garbage. And they see the result of failed policy,” Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward said.

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Spokane takes action and sees results

Rather than stay silent and let the chaos continue, Mayor Woodward, a conservative, and Spokane Police Chief Meidl acknowledged the problem, then created and implemented a plan.

Last week, Spokane PD’s dedicated officers to emphasis patrols in the downtown core. With a more visible police presence, the city sent the message that they’re taking the crisis seriously. And they’ve seen success, even as the department is understaffed.

“In the last week alone, we have made hundreds, hundreds of contacts, and 60 plus arrests. With those arrests come guns off the street. We’ve confiscated guns, a large amount of fentanyl pills, and we’ve identified people who are actively participating in human trafficking,” Cpt. Steven Wohl said, according to KHQ-TV.

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Harrell and Woodards on the sidelines

Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards stay mostly silent as their city is under siege. Citizens and cops are being shot, teens are committing violent crimes, and cars are being driven into storefronts. You’re lucky to get a press release or a post on X out of the mayors.

When they do talk, they offer empty promises. Harrell has told us he’s been working on a plan to tackle crime since he became mayor. He always says his team is working on a plan that he’ll unveil in the coming weeks, hoping the media will forget to follow up and ask about progress. But he is giving us a pickleball tournament. That’ll clean up downtown.

The crime crisis continues to spiral out of control, and the people in charge don’t seem to mind. Woodward spoke up about the crisis in Spokane and acted with urgency.

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Can we get a plan? Any plan?

When was the last time the mayors of Seattle and Tacoma held a press conference to acknowledge the crisis and specifically explain how they’ll urgently tackle it? We still don’t have a plan. At this point, I’m willing to accept a bad plan because, at least it’s a starting point.

Harrell and Woodards are reluctant to say anything is all that bad, refusing to even point out the rampant gang violence. As a result, the crisis continues, more people are killed or hurt, and more property is damaged or destroyed.

Nadine Woodward is doing what’s necessary. Harrell and Woodards should take notes.

Listen to The Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). He is the author of the book “What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our Cities.” Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Seattle, Tacoma leaders should take notes from Spokane on crime