Push to condemn Seattle park with large homeless population – News Vibe24

    Push to condemn Seattle park with large homeless population - Times of India
    A local lawmaker wants to condemn a Seattle city park with a large homeless camp next to a courthouse and declare the area a public safety hazard or nuisance.
    At the suggestion of King County Councilman Reagan Dunn, King County will acquire the park from Seattle City and ask Executive Dow Constantine to relocate the park’s dozens of residents to temporary or permanent housing, provide additional security and fix damage to the park, The Seattle Times reports.
    The proposal came after the deadly knife on June 17 of a 31-year-old man in the park. Seattle Police Department spokesman Randy Huserik said police responded to 100 service calls at City Hall Park between April 13 and June 20 – including assaults, robberies, warrant arrests and public harassment.
    “The city of Seattle has no responsibility other than itself for not being able to reduce the inconvenience and keep the area safe,” Dan said. “People have a right to a safe county court and we must not fight this hard for it.”
    The adjacent King County Courthouse belongs to the county and taking over City Hall Park would allow him to be policed ​​by the King Sheriff’s Office instead of the Seattle Police Department, he said.
    Legislative state law would require the county to pay the city fair value for the property, Dunn said. It takes five votes, including his own, for the legislation to move forward.
    “It will be an intense discussion,” he said.
    King County Superior Court Presiding Judge Jim Rogers said the park next to the courthouse “is quite crowded with tents and the people and (park dwellers) are increasingly hostile to those who walk in the park.”
    This week, three future jurors informed the court that they refused to serve, specifically citing the dangers of City Hall Park as the reason, Rogers said.
    Anthony Derrick, a spokesman for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, said the city has worked closely with the county for several years to improve park security, add lighting, cut down trees and strengthen police patrols.
    On Monday, Seattle City Council pledged $ 7.5 million to address homelessness in City Hall Park and Pioneer Square next year, matching the $ 7.5 million the county has committed to an outreach program for the homeless, Derrick said.

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