Bob Kettle: ‘We weren’t going to move forward with the current city council’
Nov 16, 2023, 6:21 PM | Updated: Nov 17, 2023, 10:03 am
(Photo courtesy of Kettle for Seattle Campaign)
Bob Kettle defeated incumbent District 7 representative Andrew Lewis in a hard-fought race for a seat on the Seattle City Council. As Kettle awaits the city’s official announcement, he’s already preparing how to tackle the three most prominent issues in Seattle: Public safety, public health and wellness.
“But you’re in? This is it? The beginning of peace and harmony in Seattle?” John Curley, co-host of The John and Shari Show on KIRO Newsradio, asked Kettle.
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“Well I would see my counterparts and my colleagues all through the seven districts, and public safety is at the forefront for all of us,” Kettle answered. “And for me personally, I look forward to the reset of the council. I think it’s needed, particularly in the area of public safety. And this will allow us to have a reset with SPD, with the men and women in the police department and also with the guild as well. That’s needed because we weren’t going to move forward with the current city council. And I think, with a reset, we can have fresh eyes, fresh approach.”
According to KTTH’s Jason Rantz, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) lost 10 more officers in September, bringing total separations this year to 88. SPD hired six more recruits in September for a total of 56 in 2023.
EXCLUSIVE: Seattle Police Department lost ten more officers in September, bringing total separations this year to 88. It hired six more recruits, for a 2023 total of 56.
Since 2020, SPD lost about 600 cops. Mayor’s recruitment/retention plan is still largely offline.
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) November 15, 2023
Staffing the SPD has become one of Kettle’s top priorities.
“We can do this, but it takes clarity,” Kettle said. “With the public drug use and possession bill, that was a step forward. But we need to be clear, for example with public transportation, we cannot accept public drug use. We can’t afford second-hand fentanyl smoke on our buses or our public trains.”
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After the City of Seattle passed a drug possession bill that closely mirrors the state’s law, SPD launched a drug bust in Seattle’s downtown where, in cooperation with the city attorney and the service providers, officers began implementing the city’s new law against public drug use. More than a dozen people, whose only offense was using drugs in public, were diverted to treatment while a dozen others were booked into King County Jail because they had felonies or warrants against them.
“This is the combination where we have to take advantage of this situation to work the public health side, but then also work the public safety side,” Kettle added. “It’s a combination of public safety and public health and I think we can do it.”
Kettle will officially be sworn in by the City of Seattle on Nov. 28.
- Tune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.