SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. - Mayors from Snohomish County announced a new partnership to improve public safety throughout the county.
On Tuesday afternoon, Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin, Lake Stevens Mayor Brett Gailey, Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring and Sultan Mayor Russell Wiita will be speaking about the new partnership at the news conference Senator Henry M. Jackson Park.
Police chiefs from across Snohomish County were at the event, as well.
"My fellow Snohomish County mayors and I share a deep and growing concern for the safety of our communities. We must find a balanced approach where we can enforce our laws and ensure everyone’s safety," said Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin. "Unfortunately, there is not currently balance in our ability to respond. As someone who has worked extensively within the world of social services, I can tell you this will require enacting criminal justice reforms that allow our officers to use their training, experience and judgement in the field if we are going to actually make progress in enforcing the law, and administering justice."
The mayors were also part of a video released last month that called for changes to police reform that went into effect last year.
Specifically, they take issue with the Blake decision that decriminalized drug possession statewide, the 2021 law restricting police pursuits, and alleged defunding of their law enforcement and social services.
"Homelessness, mental health and public safety are all interrelated problems demanding comprehensive solutions. We cannot expect our dedicated law enforcement professionals or social service agencies to solve these issues independent of one another. We have to look holistically at the challenges confronting our cities, and work collaboratively to solve these problems," said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring.
"We believe that our coalition is the first in the state to pull together the public and private sector leadership countywide to address these problems. As such, we have an opportunity to serve as a model for other communities," said Nehring. "Public safety is the most important part of what we do as elected officials, and all of the mayors involved agree that it’s time for a new approach in order to get a better handle on crime and help restore balance to our communities."
For more information on the coalition, visit their website at Mayors and Business Leaders for Public Safety.