Issues involving public safety and retail crimes are top priorities for WR and its members. Retailers and other businesses are seeing an alarming rise in incidents involving public safety.
WR collaborated with four dozen state organizations to inform Washington lawmakers about safety and welfare issues impacting businesses and residents. The coalition recently sent a letter to the state’s House and Senate, presenting a unified message resulting from extensive cooperation between the organizations. By coming together, WR and its partners aim to raise awareness and encourage legislative action that promotes the well-being of Washington’s communities and businesses.
“We are concerned about the sustained and significant rise in certain types of crime, including violent crime, as well as the decrease in the number of law enforcement officers,” the letter stated. “The combination of these two factors has fostered an environment where too many of our state’s residents no longer feel safe going to and from work, shopping in stores, dining in restaurants, and leaving vehicles in parking lots or even in front of their own homes.”
The letter highlighted that in 2021 alone, 495 law enforcement officers were lost, raising concerns about the impact on safety. The loss of such a significant number of officers has created an urgent need for action to address the issue and ensure that the community’s safety isn’t compromised.
The closing message read, “The purpose of this letter is not to prescribe specific solutions or to endorse specific legislation, but rather to emphasize the urgency of the crisis and implore you to find solutions this year that will ensure improved community outcomes… Our collective request is that you carefully consider each proposal, giving each its due consideration in light of the urgency of our present situation.
In addition to WR, other organizations signed on to the letter, prepared by the Association of Washington Businesses, including the Washington Food Industry Association, multiple chambers of commerce, and the Washington Hospitality Association.