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National Review

Record Number of Seattle Police Have Left Department, ‘Morale Is Not Good’

Seattle cops are fleeing the division at a document tempo: At least 249 individuals have left the pressure over the previous yr alone, based on a brand new report. The division noticed a drop from 1,276 uniformed members on the conclusion of February 2020 to 1,027 by the tip of this February, based on a report by Fox News. “Morale is not good, and that’s because we don’t have the political support from our elected officials,” Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan instructed Fox News. “And as we’re seeing officers flee this area, it’s a direct result of that lack of political support.” Solan instructed the outlet that as of final week, 66 officers have left the pressure to date in 2021. The document decline is a steepening continuation of a pre-existing downward pattern within the variety of officers on the pressure within the liberal metropolis. In 2018, the division had 1,367 uniformed officers. Solan mentioned public officers had performed an about-face of their help of the police division after the demise of George Floyd in Minneapolis final yr. While Seattle officers had “publicly applauded” SPD as “the model of reform” previous to Floyd’s demise, “these same politicians couldn’t run away from us faster” within the aftermath he mentioned. “And that’s not saying that we’re devoid of any kind of fault in the riots post-Floyd due to tactics employed by the department,” Solan mentioned, including that there have been “lessons learned.” He famous that as “hundreds” of Seattle cops sustained accidents within the riots, elected officers faulted the officers “for being the instigators,” additional disheartening members of the pressure. “I think that the overall anti-police sentiment has really accelerated the separation aspirations by police officers in this city,” he added, referring to retirements or resignations. Earlier this week, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz mentioned the division is at “record lows” with simply “1,080 deployable officers.” “This is the lowest I’ve seen our department,” Diaz instructed KING5. Meanwhile, crime within the metropolis is on the rise: Diaz issued a public memo in January saying that 50 individuals have been murdered final yr, a 61 p.c enhance from the yr prior and “the highest number of murders in 26 years.” According to SPD statistics, town has already seen 1,047 violent crimes this yr, with seven murders and 614 aggravated assaults. While Solan and different studies have prompt town’s anti-police local weather has contributed to officers’ resolution to depart, the mayor’s workplace has claimed it has been the results of “ongoing budget uncertainty.” Mayor Jenny Durkan’s workplace instructed Fox News in an announcement that the division has employed “an increased focus on recruitment and retention” however “continues to lose sworn officers at a record pace due to ongoing budget uncertainty.” “Community safety means that we have officers able to respond to 911 calls with more civilian responses, more crisis responses, and more alternatives,” the assertion continued. “Based on exit interviews, we know the Council’s threats of continued layoffs or cuts are having a direct impact on decisions to leave the department. Mayor Durkan continues to caution City Council against making additional one-time cuts without addressing hiring and retention of officers, especially diverse officers, to respond to the highest priority calls.”

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