The Importance of Public Safety
Mark is proud be have been endorsed by both the Federal Way Police Department and South King Fire and Rescue. Both organizations recognize the commitment Mark has to support their organizations in fulfilling their commitment to serve the citizens of Federal Way.
Early in Mark’s term four shootings, three of which occurred within 48 hours, rocked our community. Through these events Mark came to a deeper understanding of the desire we all have to feel safe where we live. The other abiding lesson from this time was the strength we have in unity and the wisdom derived in collaboration.
While there was a justifiable outcry for more police, both the City budget and the constraints of the rigorous screening process utilized by our Police Department made this a long-term solution rather than an immediate fix. The commitment was made at that time to add more officers but knowing this would take time, Mark was one of the Council members to propose formation of a community-based committee to look at the issue of youth violence.
As a result of this effort, the Council and Mayor formed the Violence Prevention Coalition Steering Committee with the interest of discovering the answers to this issue within our community. This was collaborative effort focused on finding innovative ways to address the public safety needs of our City, with a specific focus on prevention. The Committee’s work resulted in ten recommendations the Council and Mayor are now in the process of implementing. As a community we are indebted to this committee for their efforts and insights.
The long term need for additional officers remains though. Mark remains to supporting our Nationally accredited and exemplary Police Department by providing the funding required to increase staffing as our City continues to grow. Their work is vital to creating the safe city we desire. Mark is also committed to other innovative ways to support the efforts of law enforcement One such program Mark has continued to support is Safe Cities.
The Safe Cities program is equivalent to a 21st Century block watch, with high resolution cameras strategically placed throughout the City as well as in some residential neighborhoods. This program was formed by the City in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, Target, and local businesses. This program has proven to be very effective in helping to both prevent crime and assist in the apprehension of criminals. Mark continues to support this vital program and has advocated for necessary enhancements to our Safe City cameras when needed. Mark also supports the expansion of this vital program, as needed, so we can continue to address the evolving public safety needs within the neighborhoods of our City.
Public safety today is about a lot more than the amount of officers and detectives we have serving our City. Innovation, community engagement, technology, and ongoing training are all key components. As a member of the Council Mark is committed to providing our Police Department with the support they need. He is also committed to listening to and understanding the perspective of all of the citizens Mark is so honored to serve so he has better understanding of the changing needs of our City.