New Councilman Bob Kettle has a message for Seattle officers thinking of retiring or quitting

On Tuesday, seven elected Seattle City Council members were officially sworn in and five of those people are new faces.

It marks a significant change to the council, and it's the most newcomers at once in more than a century.

This week, FOX 13 will air in-depth conversations with most of the new council members.  

It was a quote from Andrew Lewis that partly compelled Bob Kettle to run against Lewis for Seattle City Council. 

"Mid-March, he was quoted in the Seattle Times as saying, ‘I’m shocked that drug dealers can act with impunity on 3rd Avenue’ and I was shocked," Kettle said.

He says council members played a role in creating an environment of permissive attitudes toward drugs and crime.

Kettle, a former Senior Naval Officer with years of experience in the intelligence field, is the only new face who managed to beat an incumbent.

"It’s a desire to move away from past city council, the dysfunction that was present," Kettle said.

After retiring from military work, he spent years volunteering in civic organizations, including the Queen Anne Community Council and the Advisory Council for Seattle Police.

He now leads District 7, which spans from Interbay to Queen Anne to downtown Seattle.

For FOX 13’s interview, Kettle chose to meet at Uptown Espresso in Belltown, saying he wants to support an environment where small businesses and residents can thrive.

"Here we are in this coffee shop. It’s very nice, and it’s the thing we need to build on in Belltown, downtown Seattle and the rest of District 7," Kettle said.

He said public safety, public health and homelessness are his top priorities and expects challenges.

He also has strong feelings about Seattle Police, saying he believes that it’s the best force in the entire country.

"I believe that because of all the work that’s happening on the consent decree and building on that, we should acknowledge the bad, but also acknowledge the good," Kettle said.

He has a message for officers who plan to retire or quit right now:

"Give us one year," Kettle said.

Kettle is requesting one extra year. In that time, he says the new council will help boost morale and re-imagine ways to recruit new officers.

"I would like to marry up the young people with our community college program. [I] imagine we can get some partnership," Kettle said.

He wants the city to officially create a pipeline of young people who have an interest in policing. The idea is to pair them with a community college to get an education and then right into SPD’s force.

"The more we invest in our people early on, whether that’s education or training, we are going to benefit in the back end," Kettle said.

Another goal for Kettle is to get more public health resources for people struggling with drug addiction and mental health issues. 

He says the state needs to step up and provide a lot more resources and he plans on pressing the state for more things like beds and treatment.