There has been a bit of a perfect storm is Seattle regarding homelessness. Cost of housing in the 20-teens went up across the country but here it was really bad with the introduction of Amazon and other tech companies. 50,000+ tech workers making vast salaries quickly rolled into town driving housing costs through the roof. This literally pushed people living on the margins into the streets. Throw in an opioid epidemic at the same time and shit gets ugly fast and as one of the article stated the root of the problem isn’t cost of living, but it made it worse. From the law and order perspective people here are pretty tolerant, much more than I am. The public consensus is throwing people into jail because they are poor costs a lot of taxpayer money and actually makes the problem worse, I can’t say I disagree with that but little else has been done to fix the problem. When you get large groups of people living outside of society lawlessness ensues. Lack of police enforcement definitely makes that worse and it is frustrating as hell. And that lack of enforcement is driven a lot by rules handed down by the government. But the reason why those rules were made is because without them the police were not effectively doing their jobs and abusing their power. Let’s ignore the humanitarian aspect of it, you cannot actively run government when you get bankrupted by lawsuits over excessive police force. All that went down prior to when I moved here, perhaps all those rules and oversight made a better police force. The reaction of the police to the recent demonstrations showed that they haven’t exactly perfected accountability and de-escalation. What could have been a display of responsibility turned into a show of force, which included ignoring orders from both the mayor and the police chief. A direct result of that was the application to remove federal oversight was withdrawn.Do you feel the problems outlined above were caused by the police or that the police issues were caused by trying to control problems seemingly endorsed by politicians and the citizens that elected them?
A group of Seattle civic leaders say there is data to back up the idea that a group living on the street is responsible for an unusually high level of crime, and that the system to prevent it is failing.www.google.com
Record numbers of homeless people are occupying the city’s public spaces, despite massive government spending to fight the problem.www.city-journal.org
The police here have proven to be unable to properly handle problems where social issues and crime are one in the same, and we should be asking if that should really be their jobs. A guy with a gun and pepper spray isn’t really equipped to deal with drug addiction and mental health problems. And that is the whole point to reasonable ideas of defunding the police. Remove that from their list of responsibilities and provide that funding to people who are equipped to solve that problem.
As an interesting note, I think crime around here has certainly increased in certain areas like downtown but overall rates have actually decreased. Another interesting point is that despite having high property crime rates, Seattle has relatively low violent crime rates, similar to Denver and Boston.
For all the caterwauling about public safety in Seattle, here on the streets crime actually went down, across the board, in 2019. Robbery was down 9 percent from a year ago, burglary was off 6 percent. The property crime rate...