EVERETT, Wash. – This is a statement from Mayor Cassie Franklin on the two community safety ordinances that were approved by the Everett City Council tonight: CB 2304-29, which prohibits public consumption of controlled substances, and CB 2304-30, which give the mayor the authority to designate service facility buffer zones around qualified service locations and other high impact areas.
“We are facing some incredible challenges in our community and I’m proud we will have new tools to address these struggles in a way that balances compassion and accountability.
Every day, I hear from community members about what they are witnessing on our streets – open drug use, paraphernalia left on our sidewalks and individuals that are clearly in crisis and in need of help. Now, our officers will be able to intervene earlier and more strongly encourage people to accept the services available. I know that not everyone will be receptive to these offers and unfortunately that will mean they’ll face legal consequences. This isn’t a perfect solution, nor will this solve all of our community’s challenges with public substance use, but it’s a start.
For us to truly address this major issue, we need more treatment options and services here in Everett and throughout the region. But, as we’ve seen time and time again, finding a suitable location for a service provider, whether it’s addiction treatment or a shelter, can be incredibly difficult, partially because the conduct that we’ve seen near certain sites. The new buffer zone ordinance will give the City the ability to ensure safe access to services for individuals seeking care and also mitigate the negative impacts that sometimes occur around these facilities. We want these facilities to be successful and this is one thing we will now be able to do to better support their work.
I’d like to thank everyone who provided public comment on these items. I take your feedback seriously and I hear your concerns. We are doing everything we can keep our community safe and ensure that support is available for those who are struggling.”