According to a report by Seattle radio station KTTH, the department lost six officers in August 2022. This brought the total number of separations up to 122 for the year alone, and to almost 500 since the city council defunded the SPD in 2020. Aside from this, 350 officers will be eligible for retirement at the end of 2022, a huge fraction that could cripple the department.
Meanwhile, Seattle Times reported that the Emerald City saw 11 homicides in August 2022 – the highest monthly figure since 2008 as per SPD records. SPD Chief Adrian Diaz warned that the city could reach a 25-year-high homicide rate before the year ends.
"There's been a mass exodus of policing. The profession itself is almost on its last breath. And what happens is that criminals fill the void when there's no law enforcement," said Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG).
"When you connect to funding, and then you connect the reform laws that were just absolutely catastrophic to our communities, this is the sad result. And who ends up paying the price? Our communities."
According to Solan, roughly 1,400 to 1,500 police officers are needed to maintain public order in the city. However, the SPD only had 877 deployable officers in the final week of August.
They are also having difficulties recruiting new officers. As per an internal document obtained by KTTH, the SPD has only recruited or re-hired 41 officers to date.
"We can barely get any recruits. I don't want to send a defeatist. I always try to be an optimist. But it's not looking good," Solan said.
Moreover, the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) is likewise not fully staffed. A KCSO spokesperson confirmed that the office had 74 separations this year, leaving the department with just 634 deployable staff and 113 open deputy spots that are not being filled fast enough.
"We're screwed," former Sheriff John Urqhart said. "The sheriff's office is down by 115. How long is it going to take to get them back up to some sort of decent staffing? You know, I hate to be pessimistic, but this is not going to go away."
SPD officers face physical and violent assaults from radical groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the left-leaning city council defunded them. (Related: Seattle police union leader says Seattle will be "lawless wasteland" if police are defunded.)
The city of Seattle has currently reached its 26-year high homicide rate, but the cops are retiring, resigning and a lot had made lateral entries to other government agencies where they got more support. Some are using their sick and vacation leave credits before saying goodbye to the SPD.
And now SPD is suffering a major staffing crisis. And considering the soaring crime rates, the people are left vulnerable.
In an op-ed for Fox News, KTTH host Jason Rantz listed down some reasons why officers are taking an "exodus" from the SPD. He wrote that the city and state took away essential tools and strategies of policing. The council reportedly banned tear gas and removed 911 operations from the police and transferred it to civilian control. They also banned chokeholds, neck restraints and "no-knock" warrants.
The show host also said there is a crusade to investigate cops even without evidence. As per his report, four of every 10 SPD employees had a complaint filed against them last year at rallies and riots in 2020.
"It was part of a public strategy by activists to flood the agency with complaints," he said. "Many were either frivolous, duplicates, based on tweets (not actual "victims" or even witnesses) or didn’t amount to anything serious. It's why, out of 19,000, there were only 15 suspensions."
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Watch this video about the resignation of former SPD Chief Carmen Best after the city council slashed its budget.
This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.