Mayors of South King County cities met privately on Friday morning as the first step in addressing the surge of violence affecting the south Puget Sound.
Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell said in a statement that the Dec. 3 meeting was “a positive step and a work in progress.”
The meeting was attended by Ferrell and mayors Dana Ralph of Kent, Nancy Backus of Auburn and Armondo Pavone of Renton.
“We are speaking about important issues impacting our entire region,” Ferrell said. “While we continue to work toward a comprehensive and broad-based set of solutions, I can tell you what we will do locally.”
“This meeting was scheduled to strategize next steps on how we collaborate with police, legislators, prosecutors and judges,” said Kent Mayor Dana Ralph. “We all have a role in how to keep our community safe. In time, we look forward to sharing our plan and accomplishments in conjunction with our partners.”
Ferrell said the coalition will ask their King County partners for a commitment to hold high-impact offenders accountable.
For the upcoming Legislative agenda, Ferrell is recommending the Federal Way City Council seek to re-criminalize controlled substances, and to “fix the pursuits section of HB 1054 to allow police officers to once again utilize ‘reasonable suspicion’ standard in investigative stops.”
The Federal Way Police Department will share information with other agencies to document drug referrals. This way, Ferrell said, police can move more quickly amid the current laws to get to the third interaction with those in possession of hard narcotics, to arrest and prosecute offenders.
Ferrell also said Federal Way is planning to develop a South King County Top 10 list of high-impact offenders (for drugs and guns). The city will also aim to identify a main source of drug production and distribution.
This information and Top 10 list will be shared with regional agencies, he added.