As Seattle searches for a new police chief, public policy expert Mark A.R. Kleiman of UCLA takes his message to Seattle of using swift and certain punishment – though not necessarily with severity – to deal with criminals, reports the Seattle Times. At the invitation of the Seattle City Council, he will speak publicly tonight and meet with Interim Police Chief John Diaz, who has sought the job; City Attorney Peter Holmes and the two co-chairs of the police-chief search committee.
Kleiman said over the past 25 years, the media, politicians, and public have been unaware of those in law enforcement and criminal justice who had found better ways of dealing with crime. “The problem is practices that work don’t fit the slogans of either side,” Kleiman said. Kleiman focuses on dealing better with offenders who commit everyday crimes such a burglary, assaults and drug offenses – not the most violent and dangerous criminals sent away for long terms – with a special emphasis on upgrading the probation and parole system. When all offenders know there is a viable threat with real consequences, crime and its costs – monetarily and to the social fabric – will drop in the long run, he maintains. Seattle officials prepare to announce the names of six to eight semifinalists for the police-chief job early next week.