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caption: King County Executive Dow Constantine talks to reporters, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, during a news conference in Seattle.
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King County Executive Dow Constantine talks to reporters, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, during a news conference in Seattle.
Credit: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

King County executive proposes millions for law enforcement and behavioral health

King County Executive Dow Constantine is laying out his public safety plan.

Constantine will unveil his full two-year budget proposal next week, but he has provided a sneak peek into a few law enforcement investments he has planned. The proposal calls for hiring new deputies. It also aims to spend $21 million to support transit security officers who keep tabs on the transit centers and bus stops.

Some other highlights of the plan include:

  • Expanded behavioral health services for those in crisis, and assistance finding them someplace to go other than jail.
  • Help 850 young people who commit non-violent crimes receive services through the Restorative Community Pathways program.
  • The executive also wants to use millions to help 80 repeat adult offenders by addressing their underlying housing and health needs.
  • Body cameras for deputies.
  • A new unit focused on gun violence along with $9 million for a community based gun violence program.

“The health of our communities depends on the ability of every person to live a safe and productive life, and starts with knowing that when you call for help, it will be there," Constantine said in a statement. "To deliver genuine community safety and uphold our highest values, we must invest in the programming and workforce that will both stop immediate harm and get to root causes to prevent future offenses. By breaking down silos, working with community-based organizations, and broadening our options beyond just the traditional responses, we can help end harmful cycles and implement new partnerships that bring about systemic change.”

See a roundup of Constantine's budget proposal here.