Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood


November 2, 2005



Councilmember Richard McIver, Chair

Finance and Budget Committee and

Members of the Seattle City Council

600 Fourth Avenue, Floor 2

P.O. Box 34025

Seattle, WA 98124-4025


RE:       Budget Request—Public Safety Funding


Dear Councilmember McIver and Members of the Council,


            The Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees supports the recommendations of the North Precinct Advisory Council regarding additional funding for police officers in the 2006/2007 budget.  In addition to the 25 positions approved earlier this year, we ask that you provide funding for at least 50 new sworn positions each year for the next five years.

             Citizens are entitled to an adequate police force.  Property crimes are up and our dedicated police officers deserve backup when needed.  It is not acceptable that Seattle is below the national average of officers serving citizens for cities of similar size.  Currently 2.2 officers serve 1,000 residents, while the national average is 2.7 officers.  This means that our citizens and police department are shortchanged by 250 officers.  A phased-in approach to increasing the number of sworn officers is in the public interest and paramount to promoting public safety.

             We also support additional funding for crime prevention.  Seattle’s former highly successful crime prevention program is all but defunct now due to lack of funding.  This should not continue.  In our view, it is extremely cost-effective for the police to work in partnership with the community to keep our city safe.  The police cannot be everywhere at all times and Block Watch programs and other community efforts provide great assistance.  Block Watch has been shown to be an effective deterrent of crime at the neighborhood level, but the success of the program is dependent upon adequate funding.  Without this funding, our communities are at greater risk.


            We hope you will consider our recommendations regarding public safety funding in the budget process.




Jeannie Hale, President                                                 Pat Wright, Crime Prevention Rep

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE                                              3925 48th Avenue NE

Seattle, Washington  98105                                                      Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631                                          206-522-0871