Ballard residents want more police patrolling the streets

SEATTLE -- People living in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood want more police officers patrolling the streets.

Ballard's city councilmember, Mike O'Brien hosted a forum Sunday. It was a chance for the public to weigh in on budget priorities and review the mayor's proposed plan.

Most of the public's comments surrounded around the idea of hiring more police to increase safety while working to decrease homelessness.

"The LEAD program that stands for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion. We put that in the budget last year to expand to the North end. We asked them to expand the scope that they deal with to include people who are living in vehicles," O'Brien said. "So they are making connects with people who are living in vehicles, finding the resources they need."

Seattle resident Hilary Sparrow said that's not enough.

Last week, Sparrow waited two hours for police to arrive after she called 911.

"The police aren't coming. If you think they're coming, you haven't called them yet and waited two hours for them to show up," Sparrow told the crowd Sunday. "Ratifying the police contract is one tiny step, it's a really complicated issue."

A public hearing on the budget is set at city hall Tuesday night.