King County launches new safety plan for downtown campus

King County has launched a new plan to create a safe, more welcoming environment around County facilities in downtown Seattle.

The Civic Campus Safety Plan brings new and augmented resources to King County’s downtown Seattle footprint – bordered by 3rd Avenue, Yesler Terrace, James Street, and Sixth Avenue – with the goal of making the central campus a welcoming space where every person can thrive.

Under the plan, expanded security and custodial services include:

  • Additional Sheriff’s Deputies to provide regular patrols on foot and bicycle between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
  • Facilities Management Division (FMD) Security Officers to conduct exterior perimeter patrols of the downtown campus
  • Trash and general clean-up will occur each morning, with pressure washing three times per week. Custodial staff will also be on-call during normal hours to respond to cleaning incidents as needed

In addition, a newly formed City Hall Park Neighborhood Outreach Team has been created to support unsheltered people around City Hall Park with access to shelter and housing, as well as helping people in crisis.

People in the community, including King County employees, often don’t know what to do when they see someone who may be in distress or crisis. The Neighborhood Outreach Team is there to help, and employees are encouraged to speak with a neighborhood outreach team member, or call 206-537-3770, if you see someone in crisis within the service area who might need support.

The eight-person team is based out of the Jefferson Building at 4th Avenue and Jefferson Street and is funded through the Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) within the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS). It provides behavioral health services in an area from Yesler Way to James Street and 2nd Ave to 4th Ave. 

While not located within the Civic Campus Safety Plan boundary, the County has also expanded resources for the King Street Center (KSC). Three security officers are now assigned to KSC, and exterior clean-up will be conducted daily, with pressure washing three times per week.

Green line: Border for Civic Campus Safety Plan
Yellow line: Border for City Hall Park Neighborhood Outreach Team
Yellow Star: Base location for City Hall Park Neighborhood Outreach Team

The County will monitor progress on the plan against a number of measures and make adjustments as needed.

The actions in the Civic Campus Safety Plan are addition to new and enhanced actions the County has already implemented, including:

  • Increasing the number of security personnel onsite in the King County courthouse and other county buildings
  • Installation of employee card reader locks in Courthouse bathrooms
  • Security escort program where, upon request, County employees can request a security escort you for several blocks from downtown buildings to Goat Hill Garage or immediate vicinity bus stops
  • A “Walking Bus” pilot program where employees can join their colleagues and a FMD Security Escort each evening walking to the King Street Station and the Colman Dock from the downtown campus.