A city’s first job is to provide safety for its residents and employees. The citizens of Seattle have a right to be safe, and it is the city’s duty to provide that safety. The criminally permissive environment created for us by recent mayoral policy (in which the police have been instructed NOT to enforce law), is the opposite of a city’s duty to its citizens. Laws exist for a reason, and the failure to enforce basic laws has consequences.
The vast majority of crime in Seattle is committed by a very small number of repeat offenders. In 2011, police identified 54 people who had been arrested over 2,700 times. Ensuring that those people are kept off the streets until they are able to function as a productive member of society, would reduce crime dramatically.
Our jail system does not do enough to help people reintegrate to society upon release. Most people fall through the cracks very quickly, and return to their old behaviors and peer groups, which continues the cycle of crime and jail. We don’t need to spend significantly more money on these systems, what we have to do is ensure they are working, linked, and people are compelled to use them correctly.
Those with significant mental health and drug issues are incapable of making good decisions for themselves. It is our duty to intervene and help them get to a place where they can. Letting people live on the streets with untreated drug and mental issues is unacceptable for everyone, especially for those on the streets.