Category Archives: public safety

Understanding the 2017 Seattle Public Safety Survey

For each of the past three years, a Seattle University research team has conducted a survey of Seattle residents to assess their views on public safety issues in their communities and on the police. Called the Seattle Public Safety survey, it is commissioned by the Seattle Police Department as part of their Micro-Community Policing Plan (MCPP) to help it understand how best to engage with each neighborhood in Seattle.  The most recent survey was fielded last October and November, and the results were published last month.  Yesterday, representatives from the Seattle University team and from SPD briefed the City Council on the report. The briefing was high-level, but there’s an ocean of data on individual neighborhoods included, so here’s a deeper dive into what’s notable and meaningful in this year’s report.

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Council passes gun safety regulation; on to court

This afternoon the City Council passed an ordinance requiring gun owners to securely store their firearms at home when not being carried. As I wrote previously, this is a perfectly reasonable idea, but it’s beyond the authority of the city to enact it because state law preempts cities from passing their own gun regulations.

This afternoon in an interview I asked City Attorney Pete Holmes for his legal argument as to why the city has the power to enact this ordinance in the face of a state law that clearly prohibits it.

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Gun safety bills advance out of committee; one of them is illegal

The two gun-safety bills that Mayor Durkan and Council member Gonzalez announced last month passed out of committee this morning with minor amendments, and will come up before the full City Council for final approval on July 9th. But even if they pass, as is likely, one is all but guaranteed to be overturned in court.

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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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