Thank you for your interest in the on-going efforts to replace the current North Precinct police station, a facility which provides public safety services for the nearly 300,000 Seattleites who live north of the ship canal plus all those who attend school, visit hospitals, and work in the area.
The current North Precinct police station is an inadequate facility which needs to be replaced. Severe overcrowding has meant that the precinct has lacked community meeting space for positive community-police interactions since 1998. Most importantly, the building is not meeting the needs of our area’s expanding community and the related growth in demand for police services. As the City of Seattle responds to the federal consent decree for police reform, our infrastructure must support improved police-community relations. For this reason, two mayoral administrations and previous councils voted on 10 occasions to replace the North Precinct. The actual law to fund the police station at $160 million was passed unanimously in August of 2015.
However, the current proposal is too expensive and was not designed with meaningful input from communities of color. Today I joined Mayor Murray, Councilmember Tim Burgess and Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez in announcing plans to pause the project long enough to develop a more fiscally responsible design and conduct a fair and thorough Racial Equity Toolkit. The financial overview and the Racial Equity toolkit that council called for, in the resolution I co-sponsored and that was passed by a majority of the council, should not be rushed. Although the previous councils did not call for this work to be done, I believe these steps are critical to ensure a successful project is delivered to our community.
Plans to re-evaluate the project will be done with a commitment to rebuilding a useful and productive North Precinct station. Constituents in Districts 4, 5 and 6 deserve a cost-effective proposal that is responsive to racial justice issues and will provide for north end public safety reliably over the long-term. I hope you will join me in supporting this proposal to take the time to do this project right.