One of the City’s largest responsibilities is providing for the health and safety of its residents. Bothell has a proud tradition of providing high-quality public safety services to our community and I am happy to report that we continue that tradition today. Over the last few months, exciting things have been happening with our public safety agencies and it’s my honor to highlight a few of them for you below on behalf of City Council.
Thanks to community support provided through the voter-approved 2018 Safe and Secure Bonds, the City completed full rebuilds of Fire Station 42 (downtown) and Fire Station 45 (Canyon Park). Fire Station 45 was welcomed into service in October and Fire Station 42 was welcomed into service in March, each featuring a community ribbon cutting and open house celebration. These new stations feature the latest equipment to support firefighter health and safety, separate sleeping accommodations to support gender diversity within the department, and space to conduct training for our firefighters and the community. Both stations will support our community for decades, as we continue to scale staffing and services with the expected growth of our City’s population.
Our police department works hard responding to calls for service and proactively preventing crime, but they also earn the trust of our residents through community outreach and collaboration. Earlier this year, Bothell Police welcomed 26 members of the community for its second-ever Community Academy. In this ten-week program, participants gained an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at law enforcement and how our department works to serve, protect, and partner with stakeholders to provide a safe place for all who live, work, or recreate in Bothell. Participants of the academy spent almost thirty hours speaking with officers, touring facilities, and experiencing activities like the latest immersive de-escalation training. At the conclusion of the program, an astounding 100% of participants stated that they would recommend the program to other residents. If you have interest in participating in a future academy, stay tuned for dates of the next session.
In addition to the community academy, Police Chief Ken Seuberlich established the Bothell Police Community Advisory Committee (BPCAC) in January. Recognizing that our City continues to become increasingly diverse, Chief Seuberlich formed this new community advisory committee to provide valuable community perspectives, insights, and recommendations, which will help the department improve their relationship and service. City Council applauds his efforts and looks forward to hearing about the impact of this new initiative over time.
As our world changes, so must we evolve to serve the changing needs of our community. Mental health and crisis response calls to our 911 dispatchers have increased dramatically over the last decade and the type of response required falls in a unique area between police and fire services. Bothell and our neighboring cities of Kirkland, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, and Shoreline have been at the forefront of crisis response for many years, providing service for many of these calls through our joint North Sound RADAR Navigator program. In late 2022, our cities expanded our commitment to mobile crisis response through the creation of the Regional Crisis Response (RCR) Agency, with the goal of offering services on a 24/7 basis. To support this expansion, our cities also worked together to site a new multi-service crisis response center in Kirkland, which will serve behavioral health needs of community members across north King County. The Center will be operated by Connections Health Solutions, a national innovator in behavioral health crisis care, and will be the first of its kind in King County. The center is expected to open in 2024.
I hope this brief update brings encouragement about the work that our City is doing to make, and keep, Bothell a great place to live through public safety services. Our City has a lot to be proud of and we will continue to raise the bar in the years to come. In closing, I’d like to thank all members of our public safety staff, who work hard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to serve Bothell. We appreciate you. I’d also like to thank our community for the trust you have placed in our public safety agencies in the past and for your continued support into the future. You can have confidence knowing that if you call for help in Bothell, you will be served by some of the best professionals in the country.