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Investing in Seattle’s Community Safety Initiative

The City of Seattle annually invests $4 million into the Seattle Community Safety Initiative (SCSI), a collaborative partnership between Community Passageways, The Boys and Girls Club of King County, Urban Family, and the YMCA of Greater Seattle. This initiative aims to advance effective, community-led, and culturally responsive safety programs and services. The SCSI programs and services are administered through three community safety hubs in West Seattle, Southeast Seattle, and the Central District. SCSI partners provide critical incident response, hotspot remediation to reduce violent incidents through credible messengers, ensure safe school passage through outreach workers, and offer a range of intervention and support services to stabilize young people, families, and the community at large.

Addressing Gun Violence through a Public Health Interventions

The City of Seattle, Public Health – Seattle & King County, Harborview Medical Center, and community-based organizations have partnered together to disrupt cycles of violence using a public health framework centered on hospital-based violence intervention services. When a youth or young adult is injured by gun violence, a Violence Intervention and Prevention Specialist connects them (or their family) with follow-up care, disability accommodations, and community-based case management services for support to interrupt cycles of violence. In 2023, the city expanded hospital-based violence interruption services to include adults over 25 years old. 

 Additionally, the city is investing in a comprehensive ecosystem of supports focused on youth and young adult wellbeing. Examples of investments include a $4.5 million investment in a Student Mental Health Supports Pilot serving students at Aki Kurose Middle School, Rainier Beach High School, Denny Middle School, Chief Sealth High School, and Ingraham High School; Reach Out Seattle initiative prevention and early intervention of youth mental and behavioral health challenges, so that parents, caregivers, supportive adults, and community members are better equipped to recognizing the signs of a youth in psychological distress and have the tools and training needed to support them; and $1.5 million investment in the Regional Peacekeeper’s Collective (RPKC) —a program that employs credible messengers with street-level knowledge and relationships to mediate conflict and disrupt retaliatory violence.

The city’s investment in evidence-based solutions, rooted in public health approaches, reflects an ongoing commitment to addressing underlying factors such as economic opportunity, mental and emotional healthcare access and support, neighborhood investment, and community connections, that can impact the risk of firearm violence for individuals and the community at large.

Centering Survivors in Addressing the Gun Violence Epidemic

The Mayor’s Roundtable for Mothers Impacted by Gun Violence (MIGV) is a powerful initiative dedicated to centering survivors in the effort to address the gun violence crisis. Since 2021, participating mothers have collaborated to identify critical gaps in services and resources, engage in process mapping, and offer essential support to each other throughout their healing journeys. As of October 2023, the MIGV group will sunset and transition to the first ever Parents of Murdered Children Evergreen State Chapter —a local branch of the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children – created to support local families and survivors impacted by gun violence.

Supporting Responsible Gun Legislation

The City of Seattle actively endorsed vital gun violence prevention bills during the last legislative session. These measures included an assault weapons ban, extended waiting periods, comprehensive background checks, and support for industry accountability. Mayor Harrell advocated for $30 million in funding for the Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention, underscoring Seattle's commitment to addressing gun violence, particularly for those most directly impacted.

Partnering with Law Enforcement to address Gun Violence

In June 2023, Chief Diaz initiated the Community Violence Taskforce, made up of nearly 30 Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers and detectives from units across SPD, focused on disrupting violence in heavily impacted neighborhoods including downtown, Aurora, South Seattle, and the Central District. In 2022, the department confiscated 1,349 guns. So far in 2023, the SPD has already confiscated 1,014 guns and recovered over 4,350 spent casings. All firearms and casings are entered into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to aid investigators in solving gun crimes. 

Through Critical Incident Response, SPD also partners with community organizations to reduce retaliatory gun crime.  

Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Communities Impacted by Gun Violence

On February 1, 2023, Mayor Harrell issued an executive order that supports immigrant and refugee families during crisis responses related to sudden, unexpected, and unnatural deaths. Mayor Harrell’s order brings together the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, the Human Services Department, and the Seattle Police Department to assess measures the city could take to be more culturally competent, improve access to city resources, and ensure the city's response to unexpected deaths more culturally appropriate for Seattle’s immigrant and refugee communities. The Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIRA) launched the Immigrant Safety and Access Network (ISAN) program, which aims to establish a network of community-based organizations that provide support for immigrant and refugee families who experience disproportionate harm from violence.

Addressing Gun Violence through Regional Partnerships

Mayor Harrell fulfilled his pledge to reinvest in the Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit. Funding from the City of Seattle and King County supports this unit’s ability to focus on harm reduction and prevention, aiming to reduce gun violence and increase victim and community safety through regional collaboration and proactive enforcement of firearms laws.   

Additionally, in June 2022, Mayor Harrell was welcomed as tri-chair of the Regional Gun Violence Leadership Advisory Group by King County Executive Dow Constantine and Renton City Councilmember Ed Prince. The quarterly convening facilitates regional cooperation to advance a public health approach to reducing gun violence.

Interested in learning more or accessing resources? Individuals and families impacted by gun violence can explore the Regional Gun Violence Community-Based Resource Guide here.

Mayor Bruce Harrell

Address: 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA, 7th Floor, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 94749, Seattle, WA, 98124-4749
Phone: (206) 684-4000

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Seattle's Mayor is the head of the Executive department. The Mayor directs and controls all City offices and departments except where that authority is granted to another office by the City Charter.