They’re still not listening
November 19, 2021
When your City Council has to choose between more public safety or less, which should they choose?
That was put to the test last night when the Council voted on a budget amendment that interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said would potentially cut positions for 101 police officers.
“In a city with more than 163,000 people than 10 years ago, we cannot have fewer officers than we had in 2012. More cuts mean longer 911 response times, no staffing to adequately investigate violent crime, support large scale events, and if there is a natural disaster or major crisis, we cannot offer support to our local, state, and federal partners.”
The amendment failed on a 5-4 vote.
This is what change looks like. A city council that just a couple years ago was considering cutting the police department by 50% just balked at a plan that could cut 100 officers.
The problem is we still have just a bare majority of support for NOT cutting public safety. Voters have been clear: we need to restore public safety in Seattle, starting downtown.
SPD is projected to be down to 1,223 officers at the end of 2022, 201 officers less than our 2017 totals, in a city that has grown by 68,000 people since then. Not cutting is not enough. We need to restore strength and rebuild the trust people that have lost with their city.
We can’t do that with 4 votes against what the voters have been explicitly clear about. These councilmembers still aren’t listening.
We have to keep making noise.