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Seattle Police Department

Seattle's proposed ban would apply to people lighting up tobacco products. Washington state law prohibits marijuana smoking in public places.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole says the police department could use help from city lawmakers about how the city should handle tickets for public marijuana use.

It's against state law to consume marijuana in public. And current policy requires officers to respond to complaints when people break that law.

Lauris Bitners, a North Capitol Hill resident who had a sign stolen from in front of his house,  is fighting back using a GoPro camera.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle’s primary election is just weeks away, and campaign signs are sprouting in people’s yards. With so much at stake in this election, you can bet some of those yard signs will get stolen.

That’s what happened to Lauris Bitners. He lives in a fancy neighborhood on North Capitol Hill. It’s not exactly ground zero for the debate on rent control. Bitners jokingly describes his neighborhood as “a bastion of white affluence.”

Neighbors, police and pastors gather at a vigil for Torrence Spillers.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Members of Seattle's black clergy mourned the recent shooting death of a black man in his 30s in Seattle's Central Area. The man, identified by those at the vigil as Torrence Spillers, was killed on Thursday afternoon. 

Andrea Sigler Castro, one of Spillers' teachers, spoke at the vigil. She said Spillers struggled.

Marcie Sillman talks with Jeremy Bradford, an early participant in Seattle's Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program, about his journey from a homeless addict to a small business owner.

Joshua Curtis stands behind a foosball table.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Westlake Park in downtown Seattle has a lot going on. Besides the café tables, the foosball tables and the park rangers, you’ll find free classes almost every day. On Monday at 10 a.m., kids will be building stomp rockets out of paper. Tuesday evening there’s a Yoga class.

But the park is better known for drug dealing than downward dog.

The new activity is part of the city’s efforts to bring more people into downtown public spaces to reclaim them for everybody.

Officer Michelle Vallor and community leader Vung It.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle police officers don’t get involved in immigration issues as a rule – but that doesn’t mean their relationship with refugees is easy.

The city wants to change that by bringing together officers and people who often avoid them – like Officer Michelle Vallor and 19-year-old Vung It.

Kimberly Rodriguez, a new recruit for the Seattle Police Department, on her first day at the police academy. That class of 30 recruits included eight women, which was unusual. Most classes have between one and five female recruits.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The Seattle Police Department’s initiative to put body cameras on all its officers isn’t a simple matter of just buying some hardware and software.

First, says Mike Wagers, the department’s chief operating officer, that’s about 650 cameras. And those cameras will be generating terabytes of video, he told KUOW’s Marcie Sillman.

The Seattle Police Department's "Safe Place" decal.
Seattle Police

David Hyde speaks with officer Jim Ritter, LGBTQ Liaison for the Seattle Police Department, about the new Safe Place program which aims to keep the city's LGBTQ community safe from harassment and violence. 

Lee Townsend with the Metroplitan Improvement District checks his "hotspots" in Belltown for litter...and worse.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Over the past year, street sweepers in downtown Seattle saw a dramatic increase in the number of syringes on the ground. But those numbers have declined since March. They’re a data point in the larger debate over policing and drug use downtown.

Police officers pause next to a sign outside a restaurant as they observe a May Day anti-capitalism march, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Seattle.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle City Council members grilled police officials on Wednesday about their use of force during recent May Day protests. Bruce Harrell, who heads the council’s public safety committee, called some police actions “idiotic" and "not the smartest...or wisest way to go".

He questioned if officers chose the right approach to deescalate the protests on Friday. He said he saw marchers just marching – and then police officers on on bikes ramming them from behind.

William Shatner.
Flickr Photo/Brian Wilkins (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Why is William Shatner coming for our water? Does Seattle need rent control? Can a new policing plan tackle drug dealing downtown? Is tipping on the way out?

David Hyde sits in for Bill Radke to review the week’s news along with Crosscut’s Knute Berger, 'The C is For Crank' blogger Erica C. Barnett and former Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Seattle Police Department patch.
Facebook Photo/Seattle Police Officers Guild

Ross Reynolds talks with Ron Smith, president of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild, about his efforts to balance collaborating with the Seattle Police Department while also representing the interests of the Guild's 1,200 officers and sergeants.

SPD Bust Targets Motel Managers

Apr 1, 2015

Ross Reynolds speaks with Lieutenant Jim Fitzgerald from the Vice and High Risk Victims Unit which carried out a bust on the Orion Motel on Aurora.

The child protection unit in West Midlands, in the U.K.
Flickr Photo/West Midlands Police (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Seattle Police Department Captain Mike Edwards about a legislative proposal to increase funding for investigating and prosecuting child pornography cases. Edwards leads the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

This Week's News Calls For New Leadership

Mar 13, 2015
File Photo: Kathleen O'Toole speaks after being introduced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray as his nominee to be Seattle's new Chief of Police, May 19, 2014.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Is a shakeup of the Seattle Police Department’s top ranks a sign of progress? Should a franchise be considered big business when it comes to Seattle's $15 minimum wage law? And is there hope for Seahawks fans soaked by Super Bowl ticket scammers?

Luke Burbank steps in for KUOW's Bill Radke to make sense of those stories and more of the week's news with Seattle Channel's Joni Balter, Crosscut's Knute Berger and Eli Sanders of The Stranger.

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