State of the City: Seattle Mayor Harrell addresses public safety, gun violence

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell delivered his State of the City Address Tuesday afternoon.

The annual speech took place before a crowd of more than a hundred inside the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in the South Lake Union neighborhood. During the nearly hour long remark, the mayor presented the audience with evidence pointing to progress made in public safety, housing, downtown revitalization and fighting homelessness.

Harrell presented the spectators with several statistics, among them:

  • Overall crime fell 7%
  • Major crime fell 6%
  • Property crime fell 10%
  • Homicides increased
  • Damage inflicted from gun violence increased

In 2023, Seattle saw a record-breaking number of homicides, a rate unseen for more than four decades.

"We have to change this," declared Harrell. "Last year, our officers recovered over 1,500 guns, a record for our city. Now I will repeat, there are too many guns on our streets and in the wrong hands."

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Last February, Mayor Harrell talked about bolstering the Seattle Police Department. Staffing decreased last year but at a much lower level than in previous years.

"We are urgently recruiting more police officers who share our values," stated Harrell. "Our monthly applications are the highest they’ve ever been in three years."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.