Increased Sheriff Patrols, Summer Movie Nights, and creating policy for Heroin Injection Sites

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Councilman Dunn Banner

E Newsletter- Your Update on What's Happening at the King County Council   

Increased Patrols, Funding for Issaquah-Hobart Rd Traffic, and Limiting Heroin Injection Sites

On Monday, I joined my colleagues in approving the mid-year budget, a process that allows us to make changes and revisions to the overall County Budget. I wanted to update you on some of the changes that impact District 9. 

I heard concerns from many of you at my four annual unincorporated Town Hall meetings about speeding on county roads, traffic congestion on Issaquah-Hobart Rd, and concerns about neighborhood crime. To address these concerns, I worked with my colleague Dave Upthegrove to include funding for an additional 1,100 hours of emphasis patrols for the Sheriff for unincorporated King County and set aside $600,000 in the Roads Division's budget to fund improvements to Issaquah-Hobart Rd. 

I also offered an amendment that would have prevented funds set aside for the Heroin and Opiate Task Force recommendations from supporting heroin injection sites. I offered this amendment because I heard a large number of concerns from many of you after the King County Seattle Board of Health endorsed the task force’s recommendations, which include funding sites for supervised heroin consumption.  

One of my many concerns about this policy is the County could be liable should a supervised overdose result in death. Last year the Seattle Times published statistics that show the City of Vancouver’s Insite facility has treated over 5,000 overdoses, since opening. It would take just one deadly overdose and King County tax payers could be picking up the tab for a policy choice we created.

This measure did not pass, but another amendment, created by a majority of the council was approved. Now heroin injections sites will be limited to cities whose elected officials choose to locate them in their communities.

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