SPD attrition

Blue Flu as a Negotiation Tactic

Seattle News:

There’s been a lot of speculation this week about a potential wave of Blue Flu that hit SPD last weekend, when several big events, including Taylor Swift concerts, Capitol Hill Block Party, and a Mariners game took place. The President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) took to his podcast to say that on Saturday night, about half of patrol operations didn’t show up to work and 40% didn’t show for special events. He went on to say 600 cops have left in three years in Seattle because of the “defunding nonsense.” He is lobbying in DC right now and says that a couple other unions he’s with have similar attrition numbers. 

In response to this podcast, Divest SPD tweeted, “SPOG is telegraphing that it’s did an illegal labor action while denying that it did an illegal labor action. It wants to communicate the power of its membership and intent of the clearly coordinated action without accepting the legal responsibility.”

At this week’s Public Safety and Human Services committee meeting, the Seattle Community Responses to Domestic Violence Workgroup delivered their recommendations to expand community response to domestic violence. CM Herbold said data from the City Attorney’s Office shows domestic violence referrals have higher decline rates than anything else the office does–a 65% decline rate–and that many of these declines are related to the victim’s wishes. 

As an alternate path to addressing domestic violence and providing accountability, the work group recommends establishing durable public funding streams for community response that reach people who are being abusive, independent from the criminal legal system, to start with a 3-year pilot. These community efforts would work to prevent violence before it escalates, provide pathways for healing and accountable relationships, and motivate personal and social transformation.

Other recent Seattle news of note:

  • Publicola received video from the body-worn camera of Officer Dave, who struck and killed student Jaahnavi Kandula earlier this year. The video shows Officer Dave accelerated from 4 to 74mph in just 12 seconds and briefly chirping his siren a few times but not running it consistently.
  • SPD released the video from when they shot a man downtown last week, which appears to show the deployment of the new Bolawrap tool, which makes a sharp gunshot type sound, followed immediately by two shots fired by a different officer, who made no warning that he was going to shoot.
  • Last December, SPD officers took 23 minutes to respond to a shooting that was only a mile away from where they were hanging out at the SPOG office. An investigation is underway into the delayed response and to the possibility the officers tried to cover it up. Evidence also indicates the officers might have driven at dangerously high speeds when they finally did decide to respond. Two of the three officers involved made $211k and $315k in 2022.

Recent Headlines:

Blue Flu as a Negotiation Tactic Read More »

“Stealth Jail Expansion”: The Fight Over the SCORE Jail Contract Continues

Let’s take a moment to celebrate that the Washington State Supreme Court upheld the capital gains tax!

Seattle News

On Tuesday the City of Seattle and the Department of Justice filed a request to replace the 2012 Consent Decree with a new “Agreement on Sustained Compliance” that would focus on SPD’s use of force particularly related to crowd control and accountability. Among other measures, SPD would need to adopt a revised crowd management policy, and the City would need to hire a consultant to make recommendations about the accountability system. In addition, Mike Carter reports the city also acknowledges that it must address racial disparities that have shown up in reviews of both police use of force and investigative stops.” 

Mayor Harrell’s office has calculated the consent decree, lasting 11 years thus far, has cost the city $200m. The motion asks Judge Robart to find the SPD has reached “substantial compliance” with most of the original consent decree requirements. As Erica C. Barnett reports, ongoing labor negotiations with SPOG, including whether important accountability advances agreed upon in the recent SPMA contract are included in the next SPOG contract, play an important role as to whether the city will be able to be found in compliance with the accountability piece of either the original consent decree or any new agreement.

This new “agreement on sustained compliance” would be anticipated to be completed in about a year, and unlike the original consent decree, it wouldn’t require a two-year sustainment period before exit, which would give Mayor Harrell his coveted exit before the end of his term. The next step in this process is for Judge Robart to schedule a hearing.

Advocates in Seatle have often had mixed feelings about the consent decree in recent years. In the last three years in particular, it has often been seen as a barrier to more systemic change and a way to potentially apply a veneer of respectability to the SPD while maintaining the status quo. The SPD’s budget has grown substantially from when Seattle entered into the consent decree, from $252.2m in 2012 to its present size of $374.3m. 

Seattle’s Public Safety and Human Services committee meeting on Tuesday had a surprise addition to the agenda: a project update on SPD’s recruitment and retention. While the council members received a memo on March 14 detailing current progress with the hiring incentives passed last year, none of this information was presented at the meeting, with Senior Deputy Mayor Monisha Harrell saying “it’s too early to draw a definitive conclusion.” 

In 2021 SPD hired one officer for every 12 applicants; these figures aren’t yet available for 2022. In spite of all its new hiring, recruiting, and retention efforts, the department is still struggling to maintain its size: as of 3/16, SPD’s hiring numbers are at -6, a number that was amusingly omitted from the presentation. SPD has hired 19 officers and experienced 25 separations since the beginning of the year. 

No mention was made at the meeting of the difficulties of retention given the recent suit filed by Cookie Bouldin alleging racial and gender discrimination or last year’s lawsuit in which an SPD officer was awarded $1.325m in damages due to getting carbon monoxide poisoning on the job.

The team presenting to the CMs announced their goal of 30% of officers being female by 2030 with no mention of the Bouldin lawsuit. CM Nelson also stated the importance of “having a positive place to work at” without addressing the implications of these suits.

When considering SPD’s attrition rate, it’s important to remember some people leave the department because they’re under investigation for less than savory reasons. For example, the OPA released a report last week about the case of Officer Cleades Robinson. As DivestSPD reported: “OPA found there was more than enough evidence to show that Robinson committed at least two gross misdemeanors: patronizing a prostitute and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.” Robinson resigned before final discipline was handed down in January. Another SPD Captain was arrested in November 2019 for trying to buy sex and retired before the investigation was completed. 

Once Mayor Harrell took the helm of the city at the beginning of 2022, sweeps of homeless people substantially increased, Guy Oron reports. The City of Seattle performed 943 sweeps in 2022, which means sweeps were happening on average twice or more every day. Of these sweeps, 771 sweeps–almost 82%–were obstruction sweeps, meaning the City wasn’t required to give notice to those being swept. To get an idea of how much sweeps have increased, there were 158 sweeps in 2022 where notice was given, whereas in 2021 there were 53 sweeps done with notice, meaning the rate of sweeps with notice has TRIPLED. Many locations were swept multiple times, including 66 sweeps in Occidental Park, 53 sweeps near the Ballard Library, and 18 sweeps at the Ballard Commons.

By comparison, there were 1,192 sweeps in 2019, meaning we’re seeing the return of an old status quo that was interrupted by the pandemic and a temporary acknowledgement due to the George Floyd protests that just maybe we should treat people more humanely.

Matthew Mitnick, currently running for Seattle CM for District 4, has been accused by former supporters of breaking child labor laws, wage theft, and creating a toxic work environment

King County News

The King County Council postponed their vote on the SCORE jail contract for the second time this Tuesday. They are working on a variety of amendments (discussed last week) that would limit the size and scope of the transfers from the King County Jail and require various reporting and Council approvals. Unfortunately, none of these amendments would stop the SCORE contract outright; this contract would cause what opponents are calling a stealth expansion of King County’s system of incarceration. 

The sense of urgency around this SCORE contract is interesting given it’s been almost three years since Executive Constantine said he wanted to eventually shut down the “decrepit” King County Jail. In the intervening time, the death and suicide rates in the jail have gone up and the staffing numbers have been in continuous decline, not to mention it was without potable water for a month last fall. However, it’s only since the ACLU of Washington filed a suit against the County due to the appalling conditions within the jail that the County’s message has shifted to sudden action without the necessary time to build a good plan that would not expand incarceration in the County.

To weigh in on the SCORE contract, you can email or call your King County CMs and/or give public comment at the next King County Council meeting on Tuesday, April 4 at 1:30pm. Talking points will be updated at tinyurl.com/TellKCC.

In addition, sources say the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD) is planning to move 50 additional people from the King County Jail to the Maleng Regional Justice Center (MRJC) in Kent this weekend (April 1-2). The DAJD already moved 50 people from the KJC the weekend of March 11-12, a move that has resulted in consequences: those 50 inmates are being double-bunked in cells in which the toilets can only be flushed twice an hour, resulting in unsanitary conditions. And Erica C. Barnett reports on another problem as well:

“Folk says the jail guards’ union has filed a demand to bargain over the decision to move 50 people to the RJC, noting that the 1:104 ratio of guards to inmates is far below the usual “direct supervision” standard of one guard for every residents. Haglund told PubliCola previously that although 1:104 isn’t ideal, the unit will be safe with just one guard because no more than 64 people will be out in the unit’s common area at one time. Folk disagrees, telling PubliCola, “The staffing ratio for this is just not safe.””

Meanwhile, King County reported that as of last week there have been 296 King County residents who have died due to drug or alcohol poisoning since the beginning of the year, a number that exceeds the total number of overdose deaths in 2012. 

Recent Headlines

“Stealth Jail Expansion”: The Fight Over the SCORE Jail Contract Continues Read More »

SPD swings back at #DefendtheDefund; and more state bills to support!

We have a lot to cover today, so let’s dive right in, shall we?

First up, state legislature news.

HB1054, a Tactics Bill for Limiting Deadly Force, has a public hearing tomorrow, March 11th, and you can weigh in!

SB5051, the decertification bill to increase police accountability, also has a public hearing tomorrow.

  • You can sign in to register your support. (This takes less than a minute.)
  • You can submit written comments in support of the bill.
  • You can sign up to testify live at the hearing tomorrow.

    You can read my livetweets of this week’s Seattle Council Briefing. Of particular note, CM Herbold said the consent decree monitor and the DoJ have reviewed the less lethal weapon draft bill passed out of the Public Safety committee, and they have questions. She will meet with them sometime this week along with counsel and CP González.

    At this week’s Public Safety and Human Services committee meeting, the committee discussed HSD’s spending plan for awarding the $12m in community safety capacity building and voted to lift the proviso on these funds. This legislation will move forward to a full Council vote next Monday. The RFP applications are now available and are due April 9 by noon; the resulting contracts will be in effect from 7/1/21-12/31/22.

    The SPD also presented at this meeting, declaring they are in a staffing crisis and that the instability of the 2021 budget is causing general instability in the department. This is SPD’s attempt to retain the $5.4m the Council has been talking about cutting from this year’s SPD budget, an issue you might remember from the #DefundtheDefend hashtag.

    The SPD had a much increased rate of attrition in 2020. As Kevin Schofield points out, attrition “steadily rose from 2011 through 2019. 2011 was when the DOJ investigation into biased policing by SPD began, and the Consent Decree was signed in 2012.” The SPD would like to use the $5.4m to mitigate their high attrition rates through further investments in civilian hiring, technology upgrades and solutions, officer wellness, lateral hires, separation and family leave pay. If the money is cut from the budget, it would be added to the amount currently allocated to the participatory budgeting process.

    At present, the Council seems more sympathetic to the SPD’s case than they have often been in the past nine months. This legislation is likely to receive a committee vote at their next meeting on Tuesday, March 23 at 9:30am before moving to a full Council vote. If you would like to see this cut go through, now is the time to contact your CMs, and you can also make public comment at the March 23 meeting.

In election news, Nikkita Oliver has announced their candidacy for position 9 of the Seattle City Council (the seat being vacated by CP González). They are a community organizer, lawyer, and activist who came in third in Seattle’s 2017 mayoral race. They have been a key player in the movement to defund the SPD by 50%.

There has been some reporting on the Black Brilliance Research Project’s final report and presentation. It is both striking and illuminating what a different tone the article in The South Seattle Emerald (a Black-led publication) takes compared to other articles on the same topic. I am going to quote that article extensively, and I suggest both supporting The South Seattle Emerald and going to read the entire piece:

But despite the setback, BBRP moved forward to complete its critical work. Glaze and Severe said that misleading news reporting on the BBRP and subsequent City Councilmembers’ decisions to create additional requirements in response to that reporting slowed down the research progress.

“We had a couple of examples where there were a few reporters who have put out stories talking about the report that we put together and have said things like ‘it doesn’t contain details,’ or ‘it’s too vague or not detailed enough.’ Meanwhile, it’s like are you kidding me? We have produced something that is orders of magnitude more detailed than is typically required of literally any research consultant who has ever done research for the City,” said Glaze.

Glaze and Severe also said that they faced double standards which Black people and People of Color often face in professional settings. “As a Person of Color, as a Black person, I’m very used to what happens when people move the goalpost. They’ll say, ‘Alright, you just have to do this and you’re good.’ And so you not only do that, but you go a little bit farther above and beyond, so you’re definitely good, and then they’ll move the goalpost again,” said Glaze. Glaze and Severe say this repeated addition of new requirements caused a lot of frustration for the research team. “Honestly, the goalpost was moved no less than four times in the beginning,” said Severe.

Severe said that these added obstacles were also a result of the political context of the research project. “The project was very politicized from the beginning,” said Severe, “coming out of the uprising in defence of Black lives and a call for defunding the police, having folks in the streets.”

It sounds like CM Morales isn’t sure the participatory budgeting process will hit the projected timeline, but in an article at SCC Insight she said, “We might be pushing it to actually get money out the door in the fall, but I still have faith that we’ll be able to get money out the door before the end of the year.” The above article also lists details about the participatory budgeting process that still need to be decided. We should receive further updates on the participatory budgeting process at CM Morales’s next committee meeting on March 16.

In a last few tidbits of news, Mayor Durkan’s office has asked the state auditor to expand the scope of its audit of the contract between Seattle’s legislative department and the Freedom Project for their $3M research project. CP González mentions the Mayor’s office has itself engaged in no-bid contract processes, which makes her office’s letter smack of hypocrisy. CP González also had this to say:

González, who is running for mayor (Durkan will not seek reelection), called the letter a “distraction” from the issues Durkan could be addressing in the final months of her term. “I’m just confused about why the Durkan administration is spending time, energy, and resources on this letter… instead of on the real problems facing the city in the remainder of her term,” González said. “This audit was already happening, and it’s going to go through its natural course, and I don’t understand how this letter helps advance our city.”

Meanwhile, Seattle’s Director of Labor Relations, Jana Sangy, has announced she is leaving in June. Apparently the city doesn’t anticipate this affecting the timeline for the upcoming SPOG contract negotiations. However, this resignation could indicate problems:

But Peter Nguyen, who represented the Labor Relations unit during the last round of bargaining with SPOG in 2018, thinks that Sangy’s departure ahead of one of her unit’s most crucial performances is a sign of a struggling unit. “The resignation of the city’s Labor Relations Director is troubling,” said Nguyen. “There is not a very deep well of stability to fall back on during this transition to yet another interim director. It begs the question why this mayor has had such difficulty retaining solid talent in such a critical role.”

And with that, I’ll leave you to enjoy this lovely sunny Wednesday afternoon!

SPD swings back at #DefendtheDefund; and more state bills to support! Read More »

State Bills to Support and preliminary SPD budget discussions

First off, a few bills you can advocate for on the state level if you have time:

  • SB 5226, the bill decriminalizing driving without a license, is currently in the Rules Committee. You can send a short (two sentence) email to the Vice Chair Karen Keiser at karen.keiser@leg.wa.gov to ask her to pull this bill. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can email all the members of the Rules committee to make the same ask. Sample script: “My name is <your name> and I am writing to you as a concerned citizen to let you know that I support SB 5226 and want to see the bill scheduled and passed out of the Rules Committee. Pick one reason why you care about this bill and include it here in 1-2 brief sentences [i.e. Debt-based license suspension disproportionately affects poor, rural, and drivers of color while simultaneously failing to make our roads safer and costing Washington tax payers an exorbitant amount. It is time that Washington take a stand and stop the criminalization of poverty.].”
  • HB 1310, the bill determining appropriate use of force by officers, is currently in the Rules Committee. You can send a short (two sentence) email to Chair Laurie Jinkins at laurie.jinkins@leg.wa.gov asking her to pull this bill. You can also email all the members of the House Rules Committee to make the same ask. Sample script: “Chair Jinkins, please pull HB 1310. These days the use of deadly force seems to be the first response by police officers, rather than the last resort. If we’re to even have a chance to redefine public safety, ensure all communities have trust in law enforcement, and decrease/eliminate police killings of unarmed citizens, 1310 needs to be pulled to the floor for a vote. Thanks for reading my comments.”
  • (Both of these scripts are provided by hard-working volunteers who are making a giant effort to stay on top of these bills as they progress through the legislature.)

Today at the Seattle Public Safety and Human Resources committee meeting, the legislation to remove $5.4m from SPD’s 2021 budget to reflect their overspend from last year was finally discussed, and is scheduled for further discussion at upcoming meetings. SPD will attend the next meeting to present on uses they have for this money.

The final numbers for SPD officers who left in 2020 are in: 186 officers separated during the course of the year. This is much higher than usual and should result in a salary savings of about $7.7m for 2021. However, the SPD is asking to retain the $5.4m being discussed in order to pay for separation pay for 2021, new civilian hires such as CSOs and violence prevention experts, and technology upgrades. CM Herbold is also interested in addressing the issue of evidence storage, possibly with these dollars.

If we’re simply talking about separation pay, the math doesn’t currently quite line up with the SPD’s request, since the difference between the amount the Council is considering cutting ($5.4m) and the amount estimated to be saved due to 2020 attrition ($7.7m) is $2.3m, which is more than enough to cover the $1.1-1.8m in separation pay SPD says they will need. But we’ll learn more of the details of their proposal in two weeks’ time. Meanwhile, you can read the memo about today’s presentation here.

The Community Economic Development Committee will be meeting this Friday 2/26 at 9:30am. During this meeting the Black Brilliance Project will be presenting their final report on their research. CM Morales has said her office will meet with the Executive’s office this week to begin discussion about implementation of participatory budgeting and to begin creating a spending plan. The Council will also need to pass an ordinance to lift the proviso and release the participatory budgeting funds, and she hopes to be able to move that forward at her committee’s March meeting. So it seems we might be getting at least some preliminary answers to questions about how the participatory budgeting process will move forward in the next month or so.

That’s all for now. Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

State Bills to Support and preliminary SPD budget discussions Read More »

The Council passed the 2021 budget.

In a budget season that seemed last to last forever in a year in which time has lost all meaning, I’m happy to inform you that today the Seattle City Council adopted a new 2021 budget. Further, Mayor Durkan has announced she does not intend to veto the budget this time around. The last few budget-related amendments were discussed this morning, and the budget and related legislation were all passed at this afternoon’s full council meeting. Live Twitter threads can be found here and here.

The bulk of this morning’s meetings consisted of heated debate on one last minute amendment proffered by CM Mosqueda. Based on the receipt of new data received from the SPD on Friday that their attrition was higher than expected in 2020 and might also be in 2021, the amendment sought to reclaim a further $2m of anticipated payroll savings via proviso to go toward participatory budgeting. The Mayor did not want this amendment passed, saying the SPD might be able to hire more than the anticipated 114 new hires and further that the SPD would need this money for overtime to potentially backfill patrol positions and for separation pay. There was concern this amendment might be seen as a hiring freeze, which it is not, or a fulfillment of the demand of #NoNewCops, which it also is not, but ultimately it was passed as being in keeping with previous budget actions, with only CM Pedersen voting against it.

The Council went on to pass the main budget bill with all CMs voting in favor except for CM Sawant’s protest vote against what she calls a harsh austerity budget. According to CM Sawant, this budget represents an 8.2% decrease in the police budget, not including the transfer of units outside the department. It represents about a 20% cut including those transfers. You can read more about the details in my previous post.

Neither extreme of the political spectrum will be pleased with this budget and how it shrinks the SPD. The Right will be upset because they want ever-increasing investments in the police force in order to perpetuate this country’s racist policing and incarceral system and to defund social investments in things like housing, transportation, and education. The Left thinks this budget falls far short of earlier promises to defund the SPD by 50% (or abolishing the police altogether) and was hoping to institute a hiring freeze at the very least.

Instead this budget represents a compromise that should mollify the more moderate among us. It acknowledges the racism inherent in policing and the criminal justice system and takes measured steps to begin addressing this through increased investment in community-led alternatives while giving these alternatives time to scale up and begin to take on some of the work now being done by police. It doesn’t drastically reduce the size of the force—which would result in widespread media hysteria, if nothing else—while suggesting ongoing work to ultimately right-size it.

The importance of this work is undeniable. Seattle is one of the only cities in the country still pursuing the project of reimagining the police at this scale (I believe the other city to check out is Austin, Texas). A 20% cut, while not the size that activists hoped for, is still significant. If the work does continue, Seattle could become a model for the nation of what divestment and reinvestment looks like. But opponents will be looking for any chance to place barriers in the way and declare the efforts to be a failure, thus nullifying the entire experiment.

In the months to come, it will be critical to remain informed about the Seattle City Council’s continued actions in this matter and to create a bulwark against the inevitable backsliding, which we’ve already seen this last month in CM Pedersen’s statements. The SPOG contract negotiation will inform what is possible, as will any legislation passed by the Washington State legislature in its upcoming session. A potential expanded role for Seattle’s parking enforcement officers could be negotiated, and a new 911 dispatch system will be stood up. The participatory budgeting process will direct the investment of millions of dollars into community-led alternatives to policing, while other investments into those alternatives will begin to be dispersed early next year.

If there is one thing this last five months have taught me, it is the importance of local awareness and action. We have the chance here in Seattle to lead a better way forward: to create increased equity and more safety for our BIPOC neighbors and to continue the work of decriminalizing poverty, divesting in racist policing, and reinvesting in community services that will lead to better outcomes for everybody. The decrease of 20% from the police department’s budget shows us concretely that our engagement with these issues does matter. I hope we can all take heart, dig in, and prepare to continue the work.

Until next time, friends.

The Council passed the 2021 budget. Read More »

Budget balancing conundrums and SPD attrition

Ready for some budget talk? Twitter went down during the budget meeting yesterday, so instead of a Twitter thread you can read my notes. You can also look at the slide deck for the General Fund Balancing Analysis presentation and read the memo.

Key points from the meeting:

  • The Mayor didn’t execute the interfund loan authorized by Council to pay for community investments in public safety. When preparing the 2021 proposed budget, it also appears she guessed the Council would sustain her veto regarding not making these investments. As a result, the budget she submitted is already out of balance by $13.1m, an issue that must be addressed.
  • The Mayor cut the $30m Strategic Investment fund in the 2020 Q3 Supplemental. This money, raised by the sale of the Mercer Mega Block, was supposed to be allocated for equitable development and affordable housing. Instead the Mayor used it to balance the 2020 budget. There is concern about erasing this $30m equitable investment fund, with a plan and team in place to allocate it, only to replace it with the Mayor’s $100m investment into BIPOC communities with a different plan, team, and process in place to allocate it. There were references to the Mayor “playing a shell game” and worries that once more this money wouldn’t actually be invested in the community.
  • The Mayor’s 2021 proposed budget involves draining the emergency and rainy day funds from $78.9m down to $6.1m. Ironically, CM Pedersen and CM Morales flipped from the arguments they were making about these same funds a few short months ago; now CM Pedersen thinks this is the time to spend those funds and CM Morales is worried it is reckless. It is hard not to see both these stances as more political maneuvering than anything else, but regardless, the fact remains that Seattle would have very little emergency money left over if this budget is adopted as presented.
  • For those wondering where the $100m to BIPOC communities promised by the Mayor is coming from, this presentation showed that, while it’s hard to pin down since the General Fund is all one big pot of money, it basically comes from the new JumpStart tax and the emergency funds.

In other news, at CM Juarez’s town hall, she said she couldn’t commit to having an outside observer at SPOG negotiations:

Twitter avatar for @TheUrbanAce

Ace the Architect is Voting for Sherae For State @TheUrbanAce
Ok now questions! First – is the CM Juarez committed to having an Outside Observer during the SPOG negotiations? CM is now explaining the current process, which requires that the negotiations are closed as they are collective bargaining. She can’t commit to it b/c of state law.

This is one of MANY reasons why the state legislative representatives you elect is critically important. Remember, you can use the the 2020 ACLU People Power Washington Voter Guide to help you.

Meanwhile the SPD is reporting record levels of attrition, with 39 officers and officers-in-training leaving in September alone, and 110 officers leaving during 2020. This reduces active SPD officers to 1203, much fewer than the 1400 Chief Diaz said the department needed to fulfill their core functions. It also raises the question of compliance with the consent decree, which requires a certain level of staffing in various units and to fulfill audits and use of force reviews. On the other hand, this increased level of attrition means the department is shrinking without active layoffs and bargaining with SPOG. The City Council will have to decide through the budget it passes whether to allow SPD to lift the current hiring freeze in 2021, although even if they do, it takes time to find and train new recruits. As Paul Kiefer says in the article:

If the mayor’s hiring freeze continues through the end of 2020, SPD and the Budget Office project that the department will fall short of the 1,400 officer threshold well into 2022, by between 20 and 50 officers. If the freeze is extended through the end of next year, their estimates project that the department could shrink to 1,260 sworn officers by January 2022.

The ACLU Washington has begun a blog series exploring the divestment/reinvestment approach to policing through a specific Seattle lens. You can read the introduction to the series now.

Next week, the budget issue identification meetings continue. The SPD will be covered on Tuesday afternoon at 2pm, and Community Safety will be covered on Wednesday morning at 9:30am. (Tuesday morning will be Parks and SDOT, while Wednesday afternoon will be HSD/homelessness/COVID response.) There will be chances for public comment at the beginning of the Council meeting on Monday at 2pm, and both Tuesday and Wednesday at 9:30am.

Have a good weekend, and I’ll see you next week!

Budget balancing conundrums and SPD attrition Read More »