“WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”
Most of us recognize these words from the preface to our Federal Constitution. Our founders created a government to protect the inalienable rights they spoke of in the Declaration of Independence. These documents are often referred to as our foundational documents.
Fast forward 200+ years to a more recent document. Last November 2014, the FBI released its 2013 Crime Statistics for Washington State. 2013 FBI Crime Stats While there was good news in some parts of our state, the #2 item stands out.
2. The rate of property crime for Washington’s cities increased slightly from 3,658.6 offenses per 100,000 city inhabitants to 3,710.3. Nationally, the estimated rate of property crimes was 2,730.7 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. These rates do not include arson.
Yes, property crime is on the increase in our cities and we are way above the national average.
In case you missed it you need to take a look at King 5’s investigative report on King County’s decision to establish a new program that deals with property crimes. It’s been tagged the “Catch and Release Program” King 5 News “Catch & Release” Thankfully because of King 5 News expose that informed the citizen’s of this plan, the Council has backed away from this program. King 5 News “Reversal on Catch & Release”
This program was not established to lower the statistics of property crimes. It was not established to further justice, insure domestic tranquility, nor to provide for common defense, or promote the general welfare of King County’s residents. It was established to save $2.5 million in another foundational document: King County’s budget.
All budgets start with premises on spending priorities. How we will spend our hard earned monies. These premises tell you what is important or foundational. The question is what has taken a priority over property crimes?
We have all heard the stories of property rights being trampled on by state agencies. Is it any surprise that in our State, a state that no longer values property rights, spending to protect those rights in one the most liberal Counties was targeted to be reduced?
~ Lorraine Newman
For those who enjoy the minutia of budgets:King County Budget City of Seattle Budget