السلامة العامة

Seattle Homeless Tents

أحد أهم الأدوار الأساسية للحكومة المحلية هو ضمان بيئة آمنة حيث يمكن للعائلات والشركات أن تزدهر. لسوء الحظ ، غالبًا ما تم التخلي عن هذه المسؤولية الحيوية من قبل دولتنا وبلدياتنا ، مما تركنا ندافع عن أنفسنا عندما نكون في أمس الحاجة إلى المساعدة. 

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen surges in murders and drug overdoses to which our cities have slashed police forces, enabled addicts, and given more criminals than ever chances to repeat offend without consequence. The burden of these decisions has fallen hardest on the working class, who see far higher likelihood of crimes committed against them and far lower chances of seeing justice.

Homeless encampments in our cities and our parks continue to blight on our state. As discussed elsewhere, homelessness is a complicated issue which requires coordination on multiple fronts. What is clear, however, is that we must put the best interests of people first, and no homeless person is ever best served by living in public camps where drugs proliferate and violence abounds, especially violence toward women.

فلنعمل على تمكين شرطتنا للقيام بوظائفها بشكل فعال ومسؤول ، ولا نهدد بقطع تمويلها. دعونا نمكن المدمنين من علاج مرضهم وليس تمكينه. دعونا نمكن المجتمعات لاستعادة ما هو حق لهم.

يضع ضباط الشرطة حياتهم على المحك للحفاظ على أمن وسلامة مجتمعاتنا. لا يمكن الاستعاضة عن دورهم بالأخصائيين الاجتماعيين أو غيرهم من أفراد الشرطة في الغالبية العظمى من الحالات - ولا يرغب الأخصائيون الاجتماعيون في أداء وظيفة ضابط الشرطة. الجهود الرامية إلى إبطال مفعول الشرطة لصالح البدائل لا تفعل شيئًا يذكر لكنها تعرض الأشخاص الأقل خبرة والأقل كفاءة في طريق الأذى.

أعتقد أن كل مهنة تتطلب الإشراف المناسب ، بما في ذلك الشرطة. ومع ذلك ، من المهم أن تتذكر الإجهاد الشديد واتخاذ القرارات في أجزاء من الثانية المطلوبة لكونك ضابط شرطة. من السهل تخمين شخص ما من الخطوط الجانبية عندما ينتهي التوتر. لا أدعم الجهود المبذولة لإنهاء الحصانة المؤهلة للضباط أو معاقبة الضباط العاملين في حدود الإجراءات الرسمية.

تراجعت معنويات الشرطة بشكل كبير بسبب الآخرين في نظام العدالة الجنائية ، وخاصة المدعين العامين ، الذين يرفضون أداء وظائفهم كما يقتضي القانون. لقد جعل المشرّعون لدينا في المنطقة 44 هذا الأمر أسوأ من خلال منع الشرطة من ملاحقة المجرمين في العديد من المواقف مثل سرقة السيارات. إذا أردنا أن تعمل الشرطة بشكل استباقي وتبني علاقات قوية مع المجتمعات التي تخدمها ، فيجب أن يعرفوا أن من هم فوقهم هم أيضًا وراءهم. يجب علينا تطبيق قوانيننا.

يتم إجراء غالبية التدريب على سلامة الشرطة وخفض التصعيد والصحة العقلية والتدريب القانوني لضباط شرطة واشنطن من خلال ندوات عبر الإنترنت وتدريبات أخرى عبر الإنترنت. تحدث هذه التدريبات عادةً أثناء قيام الضباط بواجبهم وانتظار الرد على المكالمات. هذا يسبب إحباطًا كبيرًا للعديد من ضباط الشرطة الذين لم يتم منحهم الفرصة للتركيز على المحتوى الذي قد يحسن قدرتهم على أداء واجباتهم بشكل فعال. نقص الموظفين ونقص التمويل المخصص لتدريب وقت الضباط يجعلهم بحاجة إلى أداء واجب مزدوج. يجب علينا تصحيح ذلك وتوفير المزيد من صيغ التسليم التفاعلية إذا كنت أرغب في إجراء إصلاحات ذات مغزى في عمل الشرطة.

Snohomish County Jail is one of only a handful of large correctional settings nationwide which employs a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program for inmates addicted to heroin and other opioids. Studies suggest MAT programs for inmates significantly reduce subsequent drug use after release, above and beyond other treatment programs. Opioid overdoses in Snohomish County and statewide have soared during COVID, especially due to gang-trafficked synthetic fentanyl, and nowhere is this more prominent than among the homeless and criminal populations. It is imperative that we bring this addiction treatment program to jails and prisons across Washington.

In Seattle and other parts of Washington, desire to help addicts has produced judicial systems where claiming addiction effectively allows criminals to avoid punishment for property and even violent crimes. This has been taken advantage of not only by regular criminals, but also by gangs and cartels trafficking deadly Chinese-made synthetic fentanyl from Mexico who can avoid jail sentences by falsely claiming addiction. This is one reason by opioid overdoses have spiked during COVID– there’s simply more supply available.

We need to be able to separate legitimate addicts from gang members who simply ingest heroin right before a drug test to avoid justice. One way to do this might be to eliminate the incentive to pretend by ensuring that drug use is not an effective legal excuse for property and violent crime. If we build addiction recovery into the standard incarcerative process, such as by bringing MAT programs into jails and prisons, rather than keeping it separate, the incentive to lie is reduced.

Another option might be to expand the types of drug tests used before authorizing release to rehab and drug court over standard incarceration. Hair testing can be used to identify longer-term users of heroin, but hair tests may have higher false negative rates than ideal, meaning we may need a combination of tests to avoid losing legitimate addicts.

Let’s provide every homeless person living on our streets and in our parks with a simple choice: accept housing assistance and abide by its rules, go to in-patient rehabilitation and then to housing, take a bus out of state, or go to prison until you change your mind. No more coddling. No more enabling.

Taxpayers deserve safe streets and parks. Children deserve safe schools and playgrounds. No one should be allowed to steal these from you. Enough is enough.

Prosecutorial discretion is an important right of public attorneys working for cities or counties, but it has come to be abused by some who now decline to prosecute entire classes of crimes they personally disagree with punishing. Discretion was always meant to be allow for case-specific circumstances to be taken into consideration, not as a one-person line-item veto negating the law. Failure to prosecute property crimes in Seattle under Pete Holmes, for example, led police to give up on enforcing many laws entirely.

Addressing abuses of prosecutorial discretion is a complicated task. Some potential options include:

  • Prohibiting blanket requirements on subordinate line prosecutors to not prosecute classes of crimes
  • Establishing a citizen-initiated review board which automatically files for Writs of Mandamus against non-compliant prosecutors
  • Lowering the required number signatures for public prosecutors to face a recall election to fifteen percent of votes cast and explicitly clarifying that failure to prosecute as directed by law constitutes “acts of… misfeasance while in office” as required for recall under the Washington State Constitution

Another example of discretion in our legal system which has been abused for political purposes to great harm is the question of how judges set bail. Too many repeat offenders are released due to relaxed bail or no bail requirements at all, only to commit further crimes again and again.

States and cities which have experimented with eliminating cash bail have seen surges in failures to show up in court and in recidivism. While scaling bail requirements to the defendant’s assets and to the severity of the crime makes sense, eliminating cash bail entirely eliminates the incentive for many defendants to show up in court.

Further, repeat offenders, those charged with violent crimes, those with restraining orders, and those who charged certain other crimes such as arson should be kept behind bars without bail, period. Another option to limit judicial abuse would be mandatory recall elections against judges who see too high of a recidivism rate or no-show rate among those they choose to release without bail.

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