Help Curb Overdose Deaths By Calling 911

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Written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee

Every day, two people die in Washington from drug overdoses, which are also the number one cause of accidental death in our state.

With a recent increase in deaths caused by heroin overdoses in King County, the Seattle Police Department wants to remind you that Washington has a “911 Good Samaritan Law,” designed to help curb deaths associated with prescription drug and opiate abuse.

The law provides immunity from criminal drug possession charges for you and the person overdosing If you call 911 to report an overdose.

“If you’re with someone and they’re having an overdose, you will not be arrested for providing the person with assistance,” says SPD Narcotics Unit Captain Les Liggins.

If you or someone you know is an opiate drug user, King County health officials can also provide you with a life-saving drug, Narcan, which disrupts the effects of an opiate overdose.

“When a person has had an opiate overdose and you’re trying to prevent them from dying, you administer Narcan,” Captain Liggins says. “Family members, friends of people who are users, even users themselves, please get this drug and let others know you have it. It can save lives.”

Visit Stopoverdose.org for more information on drug overdose death prevention.

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Corner Story: SPD Sgt. Balances Homeless Outreach With City’s Laws

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Written by Andrew Garber on November 5, 2014 12:26 pm
Sergeant Paul Gracy isn’t a landlord. He can’t charge rent, demand security deposits or, generally speaking, evict unwanted tenants.

Yet he still has to figure out what to do with Russell, a seemingly permanent fixture on the sidewalks near Denny Way and Aurora Avenue. “He’s been living there for four years,” Gracy says, walking toward Russell’s abode.

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Russell, wearing a black sleeveless T-shirt with “Sugar Mama needed” scrawled on the front, sees Gracy and waves, a smoldering cigarette in hand. He knows what’s coming next – a request to move. “I’m doing what I can to stay out of trouble,” he tells the sergeant.

It’s the first step of an old dance. Russell and Gracy have all the moves down. If police force Russell from one spot, he just moves to another. Arrests are a last resort because jail time does little. He’ll come straight back. “We got human services out and they put him in a motel. It solved my problem for two weeks,” Gracy says, “until he started having guests. So he’s back.”

Seattle has hundreds of people like Russell living downtown on sidewalks, in parks, and under bridges. Mayor Ed Murray, in his 2015-16 budget, has proposed spending an additional $3 million over the next two years to rapidly rehouse people who end up homeless and create additional capacity at homeless shelters, among other measures.

Gracy and his community police team at the West Precinct mix with the homeless daily, urging them to go to shelters, asking them to move. They prod them to seek help from friends, family, social services and query them about mental health and drug problems.

The team, which has six officers including Gracy, has to balance the needs of a vulnerable population of homeless people downtown with laws that dictate where they can and can’t hang out. The officers also must respond to concerns raised by tourists, businesses and other city residents who fear for their safety.

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Microsoft YouthSpark: Helping young people create and capture opportunity

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Helping young people create and capture opportunity

Today’s youth face an opportunity divide – a gap between those who have access to the skills and training they need to be successful, and those who do not. With more than 75 million unemployed youth around the world, we must work together to close this divide in order to secure the future of our youth, and of our global economy.

In 2012, we announced Microsoft YouthSpark, a company-wide, global initiative to create opportunities for 300 million youth by 2015. Through 30+ programs and partnerships with more than 350 youth-serving nonprofits, at the close of its second year Microsoft YouthSpark has created new opportunities for more than 227 million young people in over 100 countries around the world. Although there is much still to do, we’re inspired by what we’ve seen: young people taking the lead in changing not only their lives but the lives of other around them, making a real impact in their local communities and on the global stage.

Explore this site to see how young people around the world are seizing opportunities to build a better future for themselves and for all of us.
YouthSpark Grants

Microsoft provides cash grants to eligible organizations whose missions and activities support youth development. For more information, see our Nonprofit FAQ.

Microsoft also donates software and services to a broad array of eligible nonprofit organizations. Visit our software donation page for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

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East Precinct Officers Now Testing Bodycams

Written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on December 23, 2014 11:38 am

Officers in the East Precinct have begun testing of a body-worn video cameras. Here’s our first-ever release of thrilling first-person police video, featuring officers responding to a report of disabled vehicle blocking a sidewalk.

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Visit the Washington state Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) website

OLYMPIA — Lest someone take offense at the sight of hundreds of Muslims in the streets Monday, those taking part in Muslim Lobby Day reviewed some scary possibilities before their march to the Capitol.

It was unlikely, Mustafa Mohamedali told those gathered inside The Olympia Center, but necessary to consider: Objects could be thrown, they could be shot at, something could explode.

“If there is anything thrown at us, let us simply call 911,” Mohamedali said to the audience, in town for the event sponsored by the Washington state Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil-rights organization. As he spoke, 911 and the local number for the Olympia Police Department were displayed on a large screen; people punched the Police Department’s number into their phones.

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