(see the MPNA version of this post:
for a detailed Q & A with Ellen about some issues raised here).
Dear Community Members,
For over a year the Seattle Police Department and the King County Prosecutor’s Office have been working together to implement a Stay Out of Drug Area (SODA) program for defendants charged with narcotics trafficking crimes.
As a part of that effort, the Seattle Police precinct commanders have identified geographic locations in their precincts as high narcotics trafficking areas . These areas were identified as such based upon citizen and business complaints, crime statistics and police observations.
King County deputy prosecutors will soon be asking Superior Court judges to order defendants arrested in these SODA zones to stay out of these zones as a condition of their pre-trial release. This order will also authorize the Seattle Police Department to contact and/or arrest defendants who violate the court’s order. (A copy of this order is attached for your review. The East District SODA map, shown above, will become readable if you click on it)
At this point, we need to convince the court that the program is worth the effort and necessary to the public safety. Since the effort to implement this program was driven in large part by residents and businesses it may be helpful for judges to learn what it is like to live and work in areas near open air drug markets and how the issuance of SODA orders might be useful in reducing these problems.
Mark Larson, Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, will soon be meeting with King County Presiding Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer to explain the reasons for the SODA program. If you would like for Mr. Larson to include your comments in his meeting with Judge Hilyer, then please address a letter to the judge and send it to me by April 21, 2008.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
Office of the King County Prosecuting Attorney
King County Courthouse
516 3rd Ave. W554
Seattle, WA. 98104