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‘Block the bunker,’ protesters say of proposed North Seattle Police precinct

An artist's rendering of the proposed new North Precinct station for the Seattle Police Department.
City of Seattle
An artist's rendering of the proposed new North Precinct station for the Seattle Police Department.

City council committee meetings are typically uneventful.

Not Wednesday.

Dozens of people showed up to protest a future North Seattle Police Precinct, an increasingly vexed issue.

The protesters at the committee meeting made their voices loud and clear, calling the proposed building an overpriced police bunker and an example of police militarization.

Evana Enabulele from the Seattle Black Book Club said the project is outrageous.

"You guys are sitting there having a $160 million, ballistic-proof and bomb-proof police station, when there's people here that are dying, they're homeless, overdosing on the streets,” she said. “With that money you could build 2,500 homes for people who don't have homes."

City officials say Seattle’s existing North Precinct facility is small and outdated. They have commissioned designs for a new one at Aurora Avenue North and North 130th Street that the Seattle Times has called the country’s "most expensive.”

The proposed building includes a public plaza and space for community meetings, along with a gym, firing range and parking garage. 

There's an online petition against building the precinct, which has gathered 2,500 signatures so far.

Other members of the crowd broke the city council's strict speaking format, by jeering other speakers and interrupting the committee meeting.

That put council member Lorena González to work several times.

"I ask that you all allow us to continue to move through our agenda and finish our business,” she said. “If the disruption continues, we will either have to have people removed, or we will take a recess."

The Seattle Police Department says it needs a new police precinct because it is growing and lacks training space citywide.

The project estimate was reduced by $11 million this week, but councilmember Rob Johnson and others hope it can be cut more.