On the front page of NW Wednesday, the second section of the Seattle Times this morning is notice of a letter sent by Jim Pugel, Seattle Police Chief to Pete Holmes Seattle City Attorney asking for cooperation to crack down on 28 repeat offenders in downtown Seattle who have numerous infractions for public drinking, sitting, lying on sidewalks, and criminal behavior. These behaviors have been identified by Seattle Downtown Association as in direct conflict with tourism and public safety. The Seattle Police are trying to get individuals with chronic problem behaviors who have been cited with criminal charges off the streets. That's a good goal, isn't it?
I think it is kind of odd that the Seattle Police feel powerless to act and accomplish certain goals for the public safety. Aren't the Seattle Police in charge of public safety? Why aren't city leaders working together? Yes, rules must be followed and rights must be respected but there must be much more to the picture.
Some cities put individuals like this on a bus and drive them a few states away and then drop them off. I know of churches who give money to move just to get problem people out of their congregation. Is this the right thing to do? No. It temporarily solves the problem but the larger problem is left unsolved which is to deal with issues, solve problems once and for all.
Some individuals are a drain on society and do not give back. They continually break the law, cause problems, and never seem to turn their life around to become productive members of society. What is even worse are those individuals who cause harm, murder, rape, and pillage and never mend their ways. What is the answer? One country put an entire population of people with criminal behaviors on a boat and dropped them off in another part of the world to give them a second chance. Some countries in the world take problem people to the edge of the city without a trial and shoot them. It ends the cycle once and for all. Is this the answer? It's a harsh and final answer but is in direct conflict with our way of life and our moral traditions in this country.
Are we ever going to be able to help all the people who need help in the world?
What is the vision we want for Seattle? What goals do we want to work toward? Do we accept certain problems as a necessary reality or do we deal with it? Always more questions than answers.
It seems as though people aren't working together. Problems need to be solved. Issues need to be addressed. People need to take responsibility to protect the downtown environment of Seattle so everyone feels safe.