Public safety isn’t just up to the police and fire departments, according to Mayor Murray, whose office sent this news release tonight announcing a plan to start talking about “a unified approach”:
In an unprecedented action, Mayor Ed Murray this morning sent a letter to members of the Seattle City Council, calling for a special meeting of the Full Council to begin the conversation of a unified approach to public safety.
“Public safety is our paramount duty and we must move forward together with a unified approach,” Murray wrote in the letter. “As elected representatives for the people of Seattle, we have a collective interest and urgency to translate vision into action for all of our residents.” Read the letter here.
Murray will address the Council and public in Council Chambers on Wednesday, June 25 at 1 p.m., joined by the executive cabinet and senior staff.
This discussion will take a holistic look at public safety in each community from the perspective of every city department, and will address public perceptions of public safety, changes that can be made to Seattle’s built environment to lessen the opportunity for crime, opportunities for activating streets, parks, community centers and public spaces, creating job opportunities and programs for youth employment, coordinating crisis intervention and mental health services, and cultivating a police model that keeps the community safe.
The Mayor is granted the authority to call a special Full Council meeting under Article 5, Section 6(c) of the Seattle City Charter. This authority has been invoked only three times in the past decade, but never used in this manner: McGinn sent his legal counsel Carl Marquardt to Council to discuss an emergency proclamation (4/3/2012), McGinn spoke in Chambers memorializing the victims of a fire in Fremont (6/14/2010), and Nickels addressed the Council through a pre-recorded video, welcoming everyone to the first meeting in the new Chambers (8/4/2003).