I continue to believe that the existing North Precinct police station must be replaced to meet the needs of North Seattle residents and the operational needs of North Precinct officers. However, after reviewing hundreds of pages and hearing from a wide variety of community members, it is clear that we must take a step back from the North Precinct project. This is the only way the City can have a meaningful impact on the design and significantly reduce the cost of a new police precinct. Hitting pause to re-evaluate the costs of this project is the only acceptable path forward if the City is truly committed to using our finite resources responsibly.
We need to explore establishing an Expert Review Panel that would be charged with fiscal oversight of this project. We also need to explore contracting a project manager with deep experience in delivering complex, public safety facilities and public financing models.
Since mid-August, I have continued to hear from a variety of community members who continue to express the need for increased police resources in North Seattle but have concerns regarding the cost, design and scope of this proposed precinct. That input, the cost and my growing concerns about the prior lack of project oversight and public process, has lead me to the conclusion that the only responsible next step is to return to the drawing board.