City Council unanimously supports King County Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) Levy and Marriage Equality

Thursday, September 6, 2012

From the City of Shoreline

At its September 4, 2012, meeting, the City Council unanimously adopted two resolutions supporting two separate ballot measures that will appear on the November 6 general election ballot.

 Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)

AFIS is a valuable public safety tool that allows criminal justice agencies to fingerprint and identify arrested individuals or suspects of crimes. The AFIS program is funded by a voter-approved levy and provides the technical platform for fingerprint identification services throughout the county with links to other state, regional, and federal databases. The program allows the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), its contract cities, the Seattle Police Department, and the suburban police departments within the county access to fingerprint identification information.

From 2007 to 2012, AFIS has been utilized in over 36,000 investigations. In 2011 alone, it assisted detectives in processing 18,959 pieces of evidence for finger and palm prints; identified 732 individuals who gave false names at the time of arrest; and matched 3,930 crime scene fingerprints and 216 palm prints. In Shoreline, AFIS was instrumental in identifying and arresting a suspect in the rape of a 12-year old girl.

If approved, the six-year levy will be at a rate of 5.92 cents per $1,000 assessed value in 2013 and increase annually by the percentage increase in the consumer price index or 1%, whichever is greater, with a maximum increase of 3%, for the five succeeding years. King County voters have approved levies to support AFIS in 1986, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2006.

Council unanimously adopted Resolution 332 supporting the AFIS levy.

Marriage Equality

During the 2012 legislative session, the Washington State Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 relating to marriage equality. On February 13, 2012, Governor Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law, ending discrimination in marriage based on gender and sexual orientation in Washington and allowing all persons in Washington state the freedom to marry on equal terms, while also respecting the religious freedom of clergy and religious institutions to determine for whom to perform marriage ceremonies and to determine which marriages to recognize for religious purposes.

However, immediately after the Governor signed the bill into law, opponents of marriage equality filed notice with the Washington State Secretary of State’s Office that they intended to gather enough signatures to place a referendum on the general election ballot to reject the bill. On June 12, 2012, the Secretary of State certified that enough signatures had been turned-in from Washington voters to place Referendum 74 (R74) on the November 6 general election ballot. R74 asks Washington voters to approve or reject the marriage equality law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. The law has been stayed until the results of the election have been determined.

All seven councilmembers voiced their support for marriage equality and unanimously adopted Resolution 331 supporting approval of R74.


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