STEPHEN DAVIS: Seattle Police Department staffing at 30-year low despite spike in crime and population

Despite massive population growth and spiking crime, Seattle Police Department staffing levels are the lowest seen since the early ’90s.

The city, along with the state of Washington, has continued to experience the aftershocks of the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots, which pushed to defund the Seattle Police Department. TPUSA previously reported that in 2022, Washington State encountered a record-high number of murders, and subsequently celebrated low incarceration levels. “The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) celebrated having ‘one of the lowest incarceration rates in the nation,’ after closing a state prison despite rising crime rates,” TPUSA explained.

Now, Seattle’s Mayor has warned that the city’s police staffing is at the lowest levels seen since 1991, according to a budget proposal obtained by KOMO News.

“The city’s police staffing crisis, now in its third year, has resulted in only 937 police officers available for deployment in the city as of August 31, 2023, the lowest number of in-service officers since 1991 and significantly below per-capita staffing relative to similarly situated jurisdictions,” the 2024 mayoral budget proposal read.

KOMO News reported that Seattle began “offering hiring bonuses of up to $7,500 for new recruits and $30,000 for experienced officers in 2022, but SPD data shows more officers have left than have been hired since last year.”

Last year, Mike Solan, President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, told The Post Millennial that a considerable number of police in the state have resigned due to restrictions on their ability to enforce the law and a lack of support from elected officials.

“Crime is here to stay, unfortunately,” Solan said at the time. “Since 2020, we’ve lost 500 cops and counting, and I think that’s a recipe for disaster, which is the impetus in my view of crime sweeping this city.”

In response to the general public opinion regarding police officers, Seattle became the first city to employ unarmed social workers who will act as “crisis responders” and will be able to respond to 9-1-1 calls.

One Seattle police officer of 23 years went viral online after submitting her brutally candid resignation letter, in which she called the once-great city “a laughingstock.”

“The people of this city deserve leaders who will stand up for what’s right, enforce law and order, prosecute those who break it, and prioritize the safety and well-being of its residents above all else,” the former officer said.

The crime-infested city has also been cited as a hotbed of illicit drug use and frequent fentanyl overdose. Last month, a study concluded that all public transit in the greater Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington areas tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl.

America’s major metropolitan areas have embraced soft-on-crime policies that put law-abiding citizens at risk every day in order to amplify racial and social justice narratives in exchange for protecting American citizens.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.

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