Ballard residents urge O’Brien to help increase police presence

Homelessness and the lack of police presence in Ballard were central issues at Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s budget meeting at the Phinney Neighborhood Association on Sunday.

Comments were heard for over an hour at the meeting, most of which revolved around public safety concerns. Many were urging O’Brien to approve more funding for the police department, with some saying the current force can’t handle the volume of incidents in North Seattle.

“We need more police officers. They’re not able to respond,”John Wisdom, chairman for Speak Out Seattle, said. “There are some people that are prolific offenders that need to be incarcerated — we’re all dealing with them every day.”

Elizabeth James, also on the chair of Speak out Seattle, urged O’Brien to ratify the new SPD contract. “Seattle Police have been underfunded and understaffed for years. Please fund our police department or we’re going to lose them,” James said. “If you really care about public safety, that’s what you’d do.”

A police officer and resident Sergio Garcia spoke about the strength of Community Service Officers, or CSOs. “It’s a phenomenal program, but we need more cops before we need CSOs.

“We also need to attract hiring minorities. We barely have any female officers, we barely have any black officers, we barely have any Hispanic officers. There have been times where I’ve been the only Spanish-speaking officer from here all the way to the south end,” Garcia said. He also mentioned how hard it is to afford to live in Seattle on an officer’s salary.

“There have been times where I’ve only been able to pump $4 of gas into my truck because I cannot afford living in Seattle. I want to stay in Seattle, but you’re making it very difficult if you don’t pass this contract.”

Cary French, a Ballard resident, told O’Brien she’d like to see more transparency about where money for homelessness is going.

“We had a homeless encampment in Ballard with tiny houses. Everybody was happy. And then they kicked them out, and now they’re on the streets again. We don’t see anything happening, and the police can’t do anything,” French said.

“We need more policemen. We can’t even call when a car is stolen anymore — we have to do it online,” she said. “We need policemen to take care of us.”

O’Brien didn’t give a firm response on where he stands regarding the new police contract, which would increase officers’ salaries and add more jobs. He did, however, mention the work being done to add housing units for homeless.

“Last year the city opened 250 units of affordable housing,” O’Brien said. “This year, it’s about 350, next year it’s going to be about 900. It takes awhile to secure land, get an apartment and build it. But, the efforts put in a few years ago are starting to show.”

There will be a public hearing on the city’s budget at city hall on Tuesday night.


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BAM
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BAM

There suggestions will go in one ear and out the other and won’t even bounce.

Hillary Raven
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Hillary Raven

That’s good because most of them are ridiculous:
“We can’t even call when a car is stolen anymore — we have to do it online,” she said. “We need policemen to take care of us.”

I don’t need someone to answer the phone for a property crime that can and should be handled on-line. My tax money should not go to sending out a squadron of police to get something back for the squeaky wheels who don’t lock up their stuff properly

Peak Liberal Stupidity
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Peak Liberal Stupidity

Wow. Just wow. The victim blaming is strong in this one. I can’t even. Wow.

They don’t PROSECUTE THE FELONS when they are caught, much less send officers in person under an hour unless there’s a body on the ground. Muh safe spaces!

You know what does COST A FORTUNE, THOUGH? It’s the EMT/Fire/Police personnel that must be scrambled every time one of O’Brien’s precious hobos overdoses. Those sirens are a lot louder than some “squeaky wheels” that upset you, Princess.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I don’t think we’re too far apart on this one.

...
Guest
...

So you think the City Attorney or King County Prosecuting Attorney works for Mike O’Brien? No wonder the world is so scary and confusing to you.

Peak Liberal Stupidity
Guest
Peak Liberal Stupidity

Same team, Skippy. Muh social justice
Nowhere did I say Slackerberg works for O’Conjob. Grow up

Homeless On the Range
Guest
Homeless On the Range

I find it telling that O’B steered the narrative away from the positive aspects a stronger police presence can have on a community (lowered crime rates, general feelings of safety) to the building of affordable housing units. Correlation is not causation. The lack of housing units does not increase the crime rate. The criminals are going to continue hiding out in places where they are likely to blend in and be ignored – tent encampments and rows of RV’s. If forced to be held accountable to secure low-income affordable housing, they know their criminal records will tag them as more likely for police scrutiny.
More affordable housing will get those who want help off the streets, and that’s a good thing. But it’s not going to significantly decrease the crime rate. We need well paid, well trained police officers on the streets, being allowed to do their jobs without good-intentioned but misguided oversight by the city council.

hayduke
Guest
hayduke

No, you got it all wrong, according to one of MOB’s supporters who spoke. She said that having more cops not only won’t make our neighborhoods safer, but all the crime that’s been going on lately? Those are “survival crimes.”

Some people you just can’t reach.

fumanchu
Member
fumanchu

“Some people you just can’t reach.”
Very true but if you could reach them you’d probably find there is no fixing stupid.

Phyzzi
Guest
Phyzzi

Despite the cynical replies, I have to agree. Looking at the doorbell camera data for my area at least, the actual crimes aopear to be from well dressed 20-30 yo whites, many of whom have access to a decent vehicle. The ‘crimes’ from most homeless seem to be more something that needs a show of force followed by a night either in detox or getting intensive psych treatment (sidebar, WA laws don’t support psychiatric treatment very well either, which certainly contributes to the stress police feel here). That still needs police resources though, because someone, say, repeatedly threatening moms with their kids at a popular park needs a police response even if it turns out not to lead to an arrest. I would say that anyone who really cares about police having positive, caring, and above all minimally biased interactions when called would support more money for police staffing, pay, and training. While we might disagree on where that money might come from, I think there is reasonable support for this from people of multiple political viewpoints, if we can hold off on the name calling. That said, O’Brian probably did the write thing in shuffling to another subject when… Read more »

Josh
Guest
Josh

The best improvement for North Seattle would be to replace Mike O’Brien with someone who actually works for the citizens of Seattle and not the O’Brien political agenda.

Truth
Guest
Truth

Maybe if a credible candidate ever runs against him. Until then, over 60% of District 6 voters seem OK with O’Brien, so he must not be doing as bad of a job as the sockpuppets seem to think.

Peak Liberal Stupidity
Guest
Peak Liberal Stupidity

Oops. Looks like all those years of bashing cops and chasing them off with ACLU lawsuits have resulted in a takeover of the streets by scumf*ck junkie criminals. This Garcia makes some good points, but Seattle would do well to have more cops OF ANY RACE on the streets, so maybe worrying about diversity should come secondary AFTER SECURITY FOR CITIZENS.

Keep toking that bong, Boomers and Millennials, and keep blaming conservatives for your lack of understanding of human nature!

Steve
Guest
Steve

I find it interesting that with all the lib PC-ness that gets bantered around this site, we still can’t seem to drop the labels and finger pointing, oh its the Boomers and Millennials that are the problem, if they would all just die you could have your social utopia and the world would be a better place is essentially what I’m hearing from you.

The only one in this god forsaken world that is going to take care of you and keep you safe is YOU, the sooner you see that the sooner you can go out and live your life and be happy. It’s called personal responsibility, look it up because it really is a thing.

Open your eyes and take them off the screen for a few minutes and look at this great big world and ask yourself, what can I do to make it a little better?

If you can’t take responsibility for yourself, how the hell do you expect an under paid and under trained cop to help you, even if he or she can speak multiple languages?

Peak Liberal Stupidity
Guest
Peak Liberal Stupidity

When almost an entire generation(s) of people share views that are fundamentally incorrect about key issues, then this kind of thing results. It’s safe to say that Seattle is VERY homogeneous politically, so they (we) have painted themselves into a corner where their ideology has failed in certain aspects and pulling one thread makes the whole fantasy world fall apart. It’s not unlike when the fundamentalists wise up and realize the megachurch pastor is just another salesman huckster, and not someone “anointed by God”.

Progressive politicians are just corporate race. gender, and poverty hustlers, and don’t care about whatever cultural damage ensues from their expensive, misguided policies.

Cee
Guest
Cee

Did anyone record the discussion? I wasn’t able to attend and would like to watch it.

hayduke
Guest
hayduke

You can view it a few posts down on My Ballard FB page. Although it seems to have buffering issues.

hayduke
Guest
hayduke

Wow 25 downvotes and counting for my above comment. I must have really triggered some tender sensibilities with my advice to Cee.

Who'da Thunkit?
Guest
Who'da Thunkit?

If you posted photographic evidence that Mike O’Brien clubbed baby seals to death, there are readers here who’d rush to his defense. They just love his ‘values and smile.’

Homeless On the Range
Guest
Homeless On the Range

It took a big effort to downvote you! It triggered all the SJW’s that visit the lovely and informative MyBallard website, and now they’ve all run off to find a space safe, instead of finding a cogent argument to refute your claims! Muh internet keyboard skills!

Eric
Guest
Eric

“I ride my bicycle everywhere, so no one needs more police.”

Who'da Thunkit?
Guest
Who'da Thunkit?

So Mike thinks a couple hundred ‘affordable housing’ units coming on-line is going to significantly address the basic in your face problem: a large and growing street addict population that has to steal from businesses and residents to finance their habits. Mike basically wishes that problem away. He even wants to bring to Ballard the unproven LEAD program (whose only measurable success to date has been reducing felonies to misdemeanors; no externally validated data on the program exists). And then we’ll put license plates on vehicles that shouldn’t even be on the streets, and which are often focal points for crime, drugs, garbage and dumped sewage. Talk about lipstick on a pig.

And his next big scheme? Massive spending on ‘affordable housing’ that won’t come on-line for years.

But the law of unintended consequences always has the last laugh. For years, Mike’s been fertilizing the social decay with his virtue-signals and willful disregard for the justifiable interests of 99 percent of the people in his district. It’s doubtful the often parlous conditions seen on Seattle streets are going to improve between now and next November.

And Mike will have some ‘splainin’ to do.

guesty
Guest
guesty

affordable housing has nothing at all to do with feral junkie thieves/criminals – those dudes won’t likely EVER “afford” any sort of rent let alone reform their bizarrely anti-social ways.

Lack-le-more
Guest
Lack-le-more

Hey, at least the SPD has time for big lip sync videos. PRIORITIES

steve
Guest
steve

RIGHT!?!?!?

Mike O'Birdbrain
Guest
Mike O'Birdbrain

It’s not like they are able to do their job anyway so why not?

Dr.Clipper
Guest
Dr.Clipper

Purge them junkie criminals this Halloween….be there !!!!!!

Sanctuary City Blues
Guest
Sanctuary City Blues

Huh. Garcia mentions a *cough* “lack of Spanish speaking officers”. Sounds more like there’s a lack of English speaking people living in the South End. You know they invented this thing called “language” way back so people could communicate in densely populated places. It might even work better if- I dunno sounds crazy – WE ALL SPOKE THE SAME LANGUAGE IN AMERICA? You can speak your native tongue proudly but it’s irresponsible and disrespectful to move (illegally?) to a new country and refuse to learn the language. Grow up.

You're retarded
Guest
You're retarded

I bet you aren’t even part British. After all, English is a British language. If you can’t talk your own mother tongue, you are a retard. Especially for putting down bilinguals that are way more intelligent than you will ever be. If you can think about it, which I highly doubt it, being that you are the typical ugly racist retard that is most likely inbred…
In truth, bilinguals, trilinguals, and multilinguals are very intelligent people because they use both sides of the brain at the same time, unlike monolinguals which are usually ignorant… typical and obviously uneducated.

Mike O'Birdbrain
Guest
Mike O'Birdbrain

Be sure and thank a Mike O’Brien voter the next time you step in human sh-t or hear a junkie say, “F- you! F- you! F- you!” while they roll around expose their crotch to you. Saturday outside my of house in front of my kid!

Ben Dover
Guest
Ben Dover

Now THIS is what an ideologue really appears as. As in a 1 note samba. He has NOTHING to do with bringing anybody together whatsoever. Has he ever used the word/phrase “bi-partisan”? Ever? And he will not either. This is the resistance we keep hearing about. It’s not very pretty is it.

Truth
Guest
Truth

A Mike O’Brien article? Time to watch our resident sockpuppet get triggered and have delusional conversations with himself.

*munches popcorn*