Violent crime does not impact the community equally
August 11, 2021
The conversation around the recent spike in gun violence often ignores the victims.
As non-profit leader Sean Goode wrote in Crosscut, “…gun violence in Seattle and south King County is not new. It has long and overwhelmingly victimized people of color, and long and overwhelmingly deserved significant resources to curb.”
He explains the importance of having a broad, proactive, and preventative approach to reducing violence. The truth is that we cannot successfully reduce violent crime if we are only responding to it – especially when Seattle police don’t have the resources to respond in a timely fashion.
This point was raised by Chief Carmen Best, former Seattle police Chief and ChangeWA adviser: “…devoting resources based on 911 calls and deployment models is no longer sufficient.”
In her recent op-ed, she noted that the communities that suffer the most violence are usually the ones that suffer from underinvestment, underpolicing, and harmful policing. She said, “When officers do not have time to connect with members of the community because of staffing constraints, or when the community is not interested in or is unable to engage in co-creating community safety plans, public safety suffers.”
In the rush to defund police, Seattle leaders failed to provide the community investment and healthy policing that will protect the communities that suffer the most violence. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can help save lives and restore safety in all our communities. But we need leadership.