Increasing Public Safety
The need to protect and enhance our public safety budgets and to properly provide for the safety and families of our public safety officers has been made clear by the recent outbursts of violence in Seattle and across the nation.
Just a few short blocks from my house, 5 people were gunned down in a café, highlighting the critical importance of emergency responders. Gun violence is a public health crisis in our state and nation. Far too many children die from gun violence, often due to the failure of adults to secure guns. Gerry strongly supports efforts to have gun owners bear responsibility when their guns are taken by children or others who should not have them; and, for gun sellers to be required to sell a gun safe or secure, locking jacket with a gun.
In Seattle, we need to add police officers and firefighters – response times and abilities to investigate crimes are down, while our population surges. Police staffing levels are at the level when Seattle had hundreds of thousands fewer residents.
Police staffing has to come with accountability and training to work with the community, not reflect the stereotypes which we need to overcome in our society. Gerry led efforts to insist that body camera and police dash cam videos will be available to civil rights, community groups and public defenders.
Our firefighters spend an inordinate amount of their time responding to calls from adult / retirement homes when residents fall. Many residents fall every day. For insurance purposes, the retirement homes do not help their residents get up – calling firefighters instead. We need to address this diversion of our firefighters while increasing support for our senior citizens who shouldn’t have to wait on the ground for a firefighter to help them back up. We should change insurance requirements and improve staff training and staffing levels.