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SEATTLE – Mayor McGinn today announced new investments in public safety as part of his 2013-14 Proposed Budget, including the hiring of 10 new police officers and the purchase of a gunshot locator system. McGinn’s budget also includes funding to invest in new in-car police video equipment and in data analysis. It also includes a reserve to implement the 20/20 plan and the Settlement Agreements with the Department of Justice.
“By hiring new officers and giving them new tools, we can help protect public safety in Seattle,” said McGinn. “Public safety is a top priority for the community and it’s a top priority for me.”
Seattle Police will be able to hire 10 additional officers in 2013, bringing their total sworn officers to 1,310, up from 1,300 in 2012. The cost will be about $1 million per year. These additional positions will allow SPD to continue meeting or exceeding the outcomes in the Neighborhood Policing Plan, and help continue the emphasis patrols launched in 2012 in response to violent crime.
Also included is funding for an automatic gunshot locator system, at a cost of $950,000 over two years for installation and operation. The City will install up to 52 mobile gunshot locator units near hot spots, with each having a minimum 600-foot radius range and each having the ability to stream video. They can be moved in response to special events or changing crime patterns. These units can determine if a gunshot has occurred within 4/10ths of a second, pinpoint the location to within a 50-foot radius and determine the caliber of weapon that was fired with a 90 percent accuracy rate.
“The proposed funding in this budget will allow us to hire new police officers, pay for critical academy training and help improve existing equipment and technology – all of which will improve the level of service we provide to the public,” said Police Chief John Diaz.
McGinn’s budget will propose improvements to SPD’s in-car video program, and replace some of SPD’s aging mobile data terminals which are nearing the end of their useful life. The budget adds to SPD’s crime analysis capabilities by adding staff to analyze the data. These investments will also help provide better access to the public for police videos.
The proposed budget also includes $5 million annually to implement the 20/20 reform plan and to implement the settlement agreements with the Department of Justice. The full scope of the costs will not be known until the monitor and Community Police Commission, both requirements of the Settlement Agreement, are in place. McGinn expects both will be named later this year. The proposed budget holds in reserve sufficient funding to allow the City to fully implement the terms of the agreement with the DOJ.
McGinn will announce the complete details of his 2013-14 Proposed Budget on September 24.