public safety


It’s time to broaden our conversation about guns

BY: and - November 27, 2023

There is a familiar pattern after the mass shootings that have become a well-known feature of American life. The initial shock and grief gives way to demands for greater regulation of gun ownership by Democrats, while Republicans dismiss such measures and blame mental illness instead. But if we actually want to do something about it, […]

Spokane’s mayor-elect on homelessness, public safety and a changing city

BY: - November 16, 2023

Spokane will soon have a new mayor. In January, longtime Democratic state legislator and former Washington Department of Commerce chief Lisa Brown will step into the job.  She  was ahead of incumbent Nadine Woodward in last week’s election by a margin of 51.7% to 47.7% as of Monday.  Brown spent 20 years in the Legislature, […]

Politicians love to cite crime data. It’s often wrong.

BY: - October 28, 2023

When Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his presidential campaign in May, he proudly told the nation that Florida’s crime rate in 2021 had reached a 50-year low. But really, DeSantis couldn’t say for sure. That’s because fewer than 1 in 10 law enforcement agencies in his state had reported their crime statistics to the […]

Prison closure plan stokes wildfire response worries in southwest Washington

BY: - August 29, 2023

There are nearly 80 prisoners at the Larch Corrections Center in southwest Washington who assist the state with wildland firefighting. In recent years, incarcerated people there have been dispatched to dozens of fires annually, with some laboring on hand crews and others assigned to cooking duties.  That’s why Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said it […]

Members of Congress press Inslee on plan to shift dollars away from drug task forces

BY: - August 17, 2023

A bipartisan group of Washington’s congressional delegation has told Gov. Jay Inslee that the state’s plan to divert a sliver of federal funding away from regional crime-fighting and anti-drug task forces “could prove disastrous for Washington.” Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen of Everett sent a letter to the governor earlier this month seeking answers on how […]

Wildfire danger ‘abnormally high’ as Fourth of July approaches

BY: - June 30, 2023

With much of Washington parched after an unusually dry spring, state officials are warning people to think twice before setting off fireworks this Fourth of July weekend. “We urge people to first use alternatives, safe alternatives that don’t involve fireworks,” said state Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz. “But with fireworks involved, please make sure you’re […]

Republican states arm teachers, fortify buildings in another year of school shootings

BY: and - June 11, 2023

As another school year defined by mass shootings ends in America, Republican-led state legislatures passed measures this session to fortify schools, create guidelines for active shooter drills and safety officer responses, and allow teachers to be armed. Firearm restrictions, however, were a nonstarter in red states trying to curb school shootings. The legislation pushed by GOP lawmakers […]

Domestic violence shelters move out of hiding

BY: - May 29, 2023

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Sara Young packed a bag of essentials, gathered her kids, and fled her home to a refuge: an old, green house that blended in with the neighborhood in this southwestern Montana city. Nothing about the house identified it as a domestic violence shelter — it was hidden in plain sight. Young wasn’t […]