Law Enforcement

Recent violence against tourists and residents in downtown Seattle is putting pressure on the city council to put more cops on the street.

The council received a letter from a large coalition of businesses and organizations concerned about public safety downtown.

The letter is signed by nearly 160 organizations and entities in Seattle, including several hotels, restaurants and the downtown Seattle Association. Its president, Kate Joncas, says they kept hearing from people about aggressive panhandling and open air drug dealing.

Tom / Flickr

Is a community at risk when cops don’t get enough sleep? Washington State University researcher Bryan Vila says it is. In a briefing before the King County Council, he said there are hazards associated with overworked officers.

He says lack of sleep affects your ability to think clearly and problem solve and do other things law enforcement needs to be skilled at, such as:

Jonathan Caves / Flickr

Could the Millennial Generation transform law enforcement, making it more focused on communication skills than physical force? Sue Rahr, the new director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, thinks so.

Rahr, the former King County Sheriff, says people who are part of what's come to be called the millennial generation are different than baby boomers or even Gen Xers.

Lawmakers are scheduled to take testimony Wednesday on a proposal to overhaul the state’s bail system. But now two key constituencies have yanked their support.

County prosecutors and an organization representing frontline police officers say they will oppose the measure because it doesn’t require defendants put down a minimum amount before bailing out of jail.

Eric Chan / Flickr

If you’re a fan of the television series "Breaking Bad" then you know, in the words of Walter White,  that making methamphetamines "is just basic chemistry."

And some of the key chemical ingredients of meth are found in over the counter cold, flu and allergy medications which contain pseudoephedrine and ephedrine. That’s why the Washington State Board of Pharmacy is implementing a new electronic reporting system that will monitor purchases of these medications in real time.

CBP Photography / Flickr

The famous "battle in Seattle" more than a decade ago put the letters "W-T-O" into the collective consciousness. Now most people have at least a vague idea about the role the World Trade Organization plays in regulating international commerce. 

But what about the letters W-C-O?

A new law that would legalize medical-marijuana dispensaries and growers in Washington has already passed both chambers of the legislature in Olympia.  But it looks like it won't ever take effect.

That's because the state's top federal prosecutors have threatened to crack down if it goes forward.

In a letter to Governor Chris Gregoire, U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Michael Ormsby of Spokane write that the bill would undermine drug enforcement

West Coast lawmakers want to take shark fin soup off restaurant menus. The Washington, Oregon and California Legislatures are all considering measures to criminalize the trade in shark fins.

Washington could soon be the last state in the nation to issue driver’s licenses without an immigration check. A controversial proposal in Olympia to create a two-tier license system appears to have died. Senate Republicans failed to force a vote just before a key legislative cut-off.

 

Newly released video shows Seattle Police Officer James Lee stomping on the head of a man detained by a group of cops in city's Belltown neighborhood last October.

KING-TV's Linda Brill reports the incident is bringing further allegations of excessive force by Lee, already under criminal investigation for kicking a teenager in a Belltown convenience store, just minutes before the second confrontation happened.

Some state lawmakers are proposing major changes to Washington's voter-approved medical marijuana system. 

Associated Press reporter Curt Woodward describes a packed meeting yesterday of the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee, which was discussing Senate Bill 5073, proposed by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle. It would give medical marijuana users more protections against arrest than they currently have. 

Lakewood Police Officer Scott Novasky, left, and others.
Ted S. Warren / AP

Hundreds of people attended today's dedication of a memorial to four Lakewood, police officers who were shot to death.


An Arkansas parolee, Maurice Clemmons, gunned down the officers at a local coffee shop one year ago today.  Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar told the crowd that community support has sustained his department over this past difficult year.

AP (Ted Warren)

It was one year ago that four Lakewood police officers were gunned down in a coffee shop. Their assailant was Arkansas parolee Maurice Clemmons who was later shot and killed by a Seattle police officer. Today Governor Chris Gregoire will help dedicate a memorial to the slain officers at Lakewood’s police headquarters.