Category Archives: public safety

Understanding the Fair Chance Housing ordinance

Last week the Seattle City Council passed the Fair Chance Housing ordinance, which prohibits most Seattle landlords from using criminal background to deny housing to prospective tenants. Yesterday morning, Mayor Ed Murray signed the bill into law. The bill was not without controversy, and it’s worth understanding the rationale behind it as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments.

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SPD briefs Council on recent gun violence

Recently there has been a cluster of gun-related incidents in Seattle, which have captured the attention of the media, the community, and the City Council. This morning, the Seattle Police Department briefed the Council on what they know, what they are still investigating, and how they are responding.

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Justice Department threatens nine “sanctuary jurisdictions,” but not Seattle

On Friday, the Justice Department sent letters to nine jurisdictions requiring them to certify that they are in compliance with the federal law requiring certain forms of cooperation with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.  But Seattle was not one of the recipients.

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Council starts to update rules on surveillance technology

The City of Seattle has a law on the books requiring The City Council to approve any department’s acquisition of surveillance equipment. The law is old and badly in need of updating, as last year’s Geofeedia incident made clear. Yesterday the Council started its formal consideration of a refreshed version more in keeping with today’s technology.

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Bridging the Gap gets a boost from the Emergency Operations Center

Late last summer, Mayor Murray announced Bridging the Gap, his administration’s short-term plan too address homelessness while the longer-term plan Pathways Home, took its time to spin up.  Both efforts have sputtered along since then, mired in city government bureaucracy and hidden behind a maddening lack of transparency and accountability. But there are now signs that the shorter-term effort is starting to find its groove thanks to a creative idea for how to reorganize the effort.

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