After the police got done addressing the audience, some more representatives from the prosecutor’s office came to describe what happens after the arrests are made and how the community can be involved.
Dan Clark of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office was up first to describe how he and his colleagues work to “come up with innovative ways to prosecute crimes.” He shared with us his office’ targeted approach on drug crimes.
As an anecdote, Seattle used to be 6th in the nation for car crimes, but has improved to 38th because the prosecuting office took a targeted approach. The same could work for our problems in Belltown.
Key points of Dan’s speaking time included identifying and targeting people that are causing the drug market problems, as well as doing something to dry up the drug demand. This includes things like Drug Court programs and other alternatives to help people drop their dependency on drugs and eliminate the market for dealers.
Mary Barbosa from the Narcotics group within the prosecutor’s office stated that we need to address the visible open-air drug markets that negatively impact our community. She described dedicated and targeted narcotics operations and partnerships with the Seattle Police Department to deal with the problem.
As a community, we can support our prosecutors by alerting police about constant and consistent dealers and problems. She also shared with us the existence of other alternatives to jail, such as drug court, rehab, and other programs.
I didn’t take as many notes for this segment since their time was shorter, but it sounded like the best way we can support these guys is by feeding information, keeping issues alive we want to see resolved, and staying in contact with our prosecutors.