Seattle Drug Market Initiative - SPD/SNG partnership

SNG Executive Director speaking at press conferenceSNG is involved in supporting a new initiative focused on eliminating drug markets in the Central Area. The program is led by the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, and SNG partners with the City Attorney and Seattle Police Department in addressing chronic drug dealing in the Central Area. The DMI program offers non-violent, low risk drug dealers a chance at chemical dependency and mental health treatment, job training, and housing support if they will stop dealing drugs.

In June of 2009, SNG and SPD teamed up to distribute 1800 surveys to Central Area residents to assess major safety concerns. Results of the survey indicated that residents were highly concerned about street level drug dealing and drug use. The Central District News offered an informative article describing the DMI startup efforts.

In early August, local drug dealers, social service agencies, City Attorney, and Law Enforcement met to discuss the problem, and outline the project. In early August, the first meeting with service providers, city officials, and drug dealers was held. SNG, SPD, and the City Attorney hosted a press conference after this initial meeting of the Drug Market Initiative. In this video from the press DMI press conference, SNG Executive Director Kay Godefroy speaks about community impacts and service coordination for this program.

For another view of the meeting, you can read two accounts from the Seattle Times, and Seattle P-I.

Seattle Neighborhood Group provides case management for dealers choosing to participate in treatment and training programs, forgoing their roles as drug dealers. Those whoe do not comply with the terms of the diversion will be arrested and prosecuted.

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