Politics

Sheriff Orders Employees To Work From Home Due To Dangers Created By Homeless Camp

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Violence caused by the sprawling homeless encampment near the King County Courthouse has become so extreme that the county sheriff has ordered much of her staff to work entirely from home.

The King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) operates out of the courthouse building, which is located directly next to City Hall Park, KTTH reported.

The park is the site of a massive homeless encampment that has essentially taken over the area.

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Community activists have complained that sweeps are inhumane, so the City of Seattle has thus far refused to disband the tent city, KTTV reported.

Late last week, a homeless man was arrested for allegedly trying to rape a woman in the bathroom of the courthouse, according to the news outlet.

The woman was seven months pregnant.

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The park itself has been the scene of a fatal stabbing, a recent fatal drug overdose, a slew of assaults, and the fatal beating of a senior citizen’s dog, KTTH reported.

Multiple homicides have been linked to the encampment, as well as several random attacks on courthouse employees, according to KOMO.

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Activists have blamed the growing homelessness problem on a lack of affordable housing and COVID, KTTH reported.

King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht issued a memo to her staff on Monday due to concerns about the “unsafe environment” they have been working in at the courthouse.

“The safety and security of our employees is my top priority,” Sheriff Johanknecht wrote. “Effectively immediately, due to the unsafe environment around the courthouse, administration, parking garage and corrections facilities, and concerns from labor unions, we are returning to 100% remote telework for professional staff members who do not routinely interact with the public.”

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