Once proclaimed the “Emerald City” in an effort to enhance its image as a Pacific Northwest metropolis, the city of Seattle has become a train wreck of politics and now it appears even King County government workers believe the downtown area is a hell hole.
Beginning Monday, employees at the King County Courthouse will receive escorts to transportation points.
According to Fox News, the city’s downtown area “is now considered so dangerous that King County employees will be escorted by security guards to buses, trains and ferries as part of a new program.”
However, the report noted “private sector workers don’t have such option.” Translation: Security escorts aren’t available for just anyone who works in the downtown Seattle area. If you don’t work for the county, you’re on your own.
MyNorthwest.com is also reporting on the problem. According to that publication, “The move comes after years of security complaints from county staff due to the growing and aggressive homeless population that has consumed the neighborhoods.”
The main entrance to the King County Courthouse is on Third Avenue. However, MyNorthwest.com says this entrance “was shuttered because the homeless living on the street kept attacking or harassing workers and building visitors.”
Under the Jenny Durkan administration, which ends shortly due to this month’s elections that resulted in former Seattle City Councilman Bruce Herrell being picked by voters to succeed her, the city has become a magnet for homeless people, petty criminals and drug abusers. The far-left City Council has reduced police department funding, more than 300 officers have left the agency over the past 20 months and the city has simply lost its glimmer.
Perhaps it is no wonder why King County—the most populous in Washington State—now boasts about one-sixth of all active concealed pistol licenses in the state. As of Oct. 31, King County accounted for 98,338 of the state’s 643,317 active CPLs. More than one in four of those CPLs (21,380) is held by a woman. Strange as it may seem, because Seattle is considered a liberal stronghold, the number of armed citizens has been creeping upward for many years.
Crime statistics in the city are discouraging. Last year, Seattle logged 52 homicides, and this year the body count so far is 40. Seattle officials may spin this as good news, but in a city where the average number of murders was below 25 during the years 2009-2015.
But it was in 2015 the city adopted a special tax on gun and ammunition sales, ostensibly to raise a projected annual revenue of $300,000 to $500,000. Ever since 2016, the first full year of the tax, the number of homicides has steadily crept upward, from 19 the first year to last year’s staggering 52, according to data retained by Liberty Park Press. Revenue from the tax has never met expectations, and has driven one of the city’s main gun shops out of town and into a neighboring county.
The election saw more moderate candidates win council seats. A moderate city attorney was elected. Whether that leads to a return of public safety in the downtown area remains to be seen.