Most of the officers cited an anti-police local weather within the metropolis – together with within the Metropolis Council — and disagreements with police administration of their causes for shifting on, leaving the division with what Police Chief Adrian Diaz known as a “staffing disaster” on Tuesday.
He mentioned 180 law enforcement officials give up final 12 months and one other 66 officers to date this 12 months.
Among the officers retired early whereas others took policing jobs in different cities or moved on to different careers, the officers mentioned in exit interviews, in keeping with KING-TV in Seattle.
Diaz mentioned the variety of officers left with the division is at “report” lows. “I’ve about 1,080 deployable officers,” he advised KING. “That is the bottom I’ve seen our division.”
He mentioned the division is hiring extra group service and crime prevention officers to deal with non-criminal calls however mentioned that doesn’t make up for an absence of front-line officers.
“I’m hoping that it begins to stage off,” he mentioned. “I do see that this 12 months we may have a major quantity of individuals leaving.”
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s workplace mentioned in a press release: “Regardless of an elevated give attention to recruitment and retention, the Seattle Police Division continues to lose sworn officers at a report tempo on account of ongoing funds uncertainty,” an end result which “Defund the Police” advocates see as success.
“Primarily based on exit interviews, we all know the Council’s threats of continued layoffs or cuts are having a direct impression on choices to go away the division,” Durkan’s workplace continued.
The Metropolis Council is contemplating new cuts of $5.four million to the police division’s funds. However Durkan is cautioning towards further cuts with out addressing hiring and retention of officers.
Councilmember Lisa Herbold, chair of the Public Security and Human Providers Committee, mentioned Tuesday that the council has absolutely funded the police division’s hiring plan for 2021, together with cash to rent 114 non-sworn staff who work to handle public questions of safety officers.
“The reductions being thought of are from wage financial savings from officers leaving and don’t cut back the variety of officers SPD can rent,” she mentioned.
Different cities like New York the place anti-police protests have been prevalent have seen the identical pattern of officers leaving in massive numbers.
The Related Press contributed to this report.