Re: “Ballard businesses say they’ve seen startling increase in crimes like illegal dumping, shoplifting” [ Nov. 19, Local News]:
It isn’t just business owners in Ballard who are worried. The city’s failure to provide public safety is becoming untenable for Ballardites young and old, new and longstanding, housed and unhoused.
As president of the Ballard District Council, I get frequent emails asking what our community can do and when things will improve. And I’m not sure what to say.
The city has no framework for neighborhood safety coordination. We have been sharing concerns with District 6 Councilmember Dan Strauss and organizations like the city’s newly re-formed Community Service Officer program and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), all of whom joined our online meeting on Nov. 12.
Everyone says they’re doing all they can. Yet our Community Police Team officer was recently cut. 911 response times are dismal. It isn’t adding up.
Mayor and council cannot claim to be committed to public safety — even during an era of significant reform — while diffusing accountability in communities experiencing the real impacts of Seattle-style “harm reduction.” Both nuisance and violent crime is worsening.
At Ballard District Council, we are trying to serve as a bridge among people and organizations, but neighborhoods can’t meaningfully contribute if the city has no local accountability.
Brent Lackey, Seattle, president, Ballard District Council