KUOW asks: How would you address violent crime in Seattle?
KUOW is asking Seattle voters the same questions it is asking candidates for mayor in the 2021 primary election. This week, we asked about violent crime.
Question: Seattle experienced a spike in the murder rate from 2019-2020. What’s one thing you’d do differently to try and address violent crime?
The answer to that question ranges, if you ask Seattle voters. Solutions involving better funding of social programs was the most common response from KUOW readers.
"Make drug abuse a public health crisis, more affordable and free housing, and free education," was one response from a KUOW listener on Instagram.
Listener Rachel wrote: "I'd address the social and economic factors that cause people to commit these crimes. If our jails were actually about rehabilitation, arresting people might work, but it's just a temporary solution."
"Violent crime primarily happens because the community is disadvantaged or depressed, with lack of opportunities. So that's where the focus needs to be, not in excessive policing," another listener wrote.
"I would ban all possession and sales of all firearms; better allocate spending to include community engagement, particularly in low income neighborhoods and schools," David wrote in.
Others pointed to the criminal justice system.
Teresa wrote in to say "Violence is Seattle is due to laws with little or no consequences."
"Support SPD and the officers," another person answered. "Learn about the department and actually come to a precinct."