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Public Safety

Public safety is not about policing the public. It is rather dependent on how well we can care for the public in a way where every person matters. Burien has become one of the safest cities in King County thanks to what we achieved together during my first term as mayor. What we learned along the way is that making a community safer is not about increased policing or surveillance. Instead, safer neighborhoods in Burien are the result of greater access to community wellness resources. These vital services include Navos Centers for Behavioral and Mental Health, education and counseling assistance provided by Southwest Youth and Family Services, and overall grassroots organizing around criminal justice reform. Bottom line, it’s about people helping people with human dignity and respect.

There is still work to be done and it involves listening. This is because Burien has a distinct and powerful voice that speaks up when members of our community are not being equally and equitably protected. Right now, that collective voice is saying our community’s safety needs more improvement.. How can we each be part of that progress?

Our campaign supports a move away from policing as a first response and cure-all for every social-ill that may arise in our community. In its place, we propose a unified approach to safety. One that continues the beneficial work that has already been done in Burien through active community organizations while also creating opportunities for more local partners to get involved. This, however, must be carried out in tandem with intentional police reforms in the following areas:

  1. More training support for officers in the area of identifying and addressing bias deficits. This can be on a month-by-month basis and in some cases,weekly check-ins in the form of reflections to assess potential bias patterns,
  2. Increased training to fully embrace de-escalation techniques,
  3. Community-informed policing that resets expectations to positive encounters, and
  4. Have at least 30% of on-duty field officers be multilingual, not just community officers

Resources here would be alternatives to 911

  • King County 211: 211 or (800)-621-4636.
    Non-emergency, call for resources to food and community meals, emergency shelter/housing, medical and dental resources, mental health and substance abuse, health insurance, support groups, social services, clothing and more.
  • Crisis Connections: Has support, resources, and training. Formerly known as Crisis Clinic. Numbers listed on their site are also below.

Mental Health

Auto Assistance

Physical/Sexual Abuse

Human Trafficking

Child Abuse

Youth Support and Shelters

  • Teen Link Help Line or call (866) 833-6546 every evening 6-10 pm
  • Teen Link Online Chat: Chats available everyday 6-9:30 pm to connect you with youth crisis specialists. From 1-6 pm (Tues-Sat) you can also chat in to connect with a substance use specialist. On some occasions, it is possible that we may not be able to get to your chat before 10 pm if it is a busy night. If you need to talk to someone urgently, please call in for support

Substance Use/Dependency

  • Washington Recovery Help Line or call (866) 789-1511 // TTY (206) 461-3219
  • Teen Link Help Line or call (866) 833-6546 every evening 6-10 pm
  • Teen Link Online Chat: Chats available everyday 6-9:30 pm to connect you with youth crisis specialists. From 1-6 pm (Tues-Sat) you can also chat in to connect with a substance use specialist. On some occasions, it is possible that we may not be able to get to your chat before 10 pm if it is a busy night. If you need to talk to someone urgently, please call in for support.