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Mayor Announces Safe Place Initiative During Budget Introduction

During the Committee of a Whole Meeting on October 5th, 2020, Mayor Armondo Pavone introduced his budget in a series of meetings that will continue through this month over the city’s 2021-2022 biennial budget. The Mayor began the meeting with his budget introduction citing the many crises the city has had to overcome this year, but, he says, it has risen to the challenge.

“We have committed ourselves to public safety… in a time of unprecedented challenges to our city and community, our police department remains dedicated to their state admission, working together to provide professional and unbiased law enforcement services to our community. Throughout the nation, the expectations of law enforcement is to be transparent, accountable, and fair. I am confident the Renton Police Department will meet those expectations.” Mayor Pavone says (watch here).

He continued, “There are several examples of how Renton Police work in collaboration with the community to provide such outstanding services… Safe Place is an initiative that was born out of need to address low reporting of anti-LGBTQ+ crimes and school bullying incidents. By partnering with local businesses we will provide a safe place for victims to shelter while a crime is reported. We hope to increase the feeling of and opportunity for safety in our community. I would like to thank members of the Inclusion Task Force, and, in particular, Kevin Poole, for bringing the idea to us and supporting our efforts in the program.”

The Safe Space program began under the Seattle Police Department. Businesses and schools who register with it agree to allow a victim to stay at their business until the crime is reported.

SPD Safe Place is a law enforcement sponsored and overseen initiative that was born out of a need to address low reporting of anti-LGBTQ crimes and school bullying incidents by increasing public trust in law enforcement and feelings of safety in the community.  The program was expanded in 2018 to include anyone who may have been a victim of a bias crime. 

– Seattle Police Department Safe Space (History and Mission)

The Mayor stated that the Renton Police Department will start holding forums and discussions for community engagement and education in the near future, hoping to gain community perspective on what policing should look like.

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