Following up on their campaign promises to address chronic crime issues in Seattle, the newly elected Mayor and City Attorney each announced new efforts to reduce crime.
In a February 4 press conference, Mayor Bruce Harrell identified organized retail theft, gun crimes, and open-air drug markets as key targets for his Administration. Echoing the words of his inaugural address, the Mayor declared:
“We will not tolerate crimes that signal a city is out of control or looking the other way … I’ve directed Chief Diaz to focus his efforts on those places in our city where crime is concentrated first, [where crime is] disrupting the lives of the people who live and work there.”
And on February 7, new City Attorney Ann Davison is expected to announce a new policy of prosecuting new misdemeanor cases within five days of the crime being committed. The goal is to avoid adding to the existing backlog of 5,000 that she inherited when she took office. As Davison explained, “We are going to be doing a change of course. . .. It’s going to be deliberate and purposeful to start to change the timing of when a crime is committed and when we do our part to address it.”