Dozens more police officers flee the Seattle Police Department as defunding spreads and violence explodes

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SEATTLE, WA – Since the death of George Floyd in police custody in May of this year, the Seattle Police Department has been attacked from Antifa, Black Lives Matter, the City Council and the Mayor. 

As a result of pressure from outside groups, the City Council vowed to significantly reduce funding to the agency. 

This, among other things, have caused an increase in the number of officers that are fleeing the agency.  In the last thirty days or so, the agency has lost 33 police officers.

The number of officers leaving from November through the beginning of December was reported by the Jason Rantz show on KTTH. 

The number of officers leaving each month are starting to cause concern with members of the Command Staff within the agency.  They are concerned that the agency will get into a position in which they have little resources to utilize in order to keep the city of Seattle safe. 

People point to the significant low morale of the department in the agency is partly to blame for the police officers leaving the agency. 

One of the things that has affected the agency’s morale is that they seem to be constantly under attack from all fronts.  On top of morale being an issue, the feeling that their city does not support them no doubt is helping to cause the officers to leave the agency.

According to the Rantz show, it is expected that the number of officers who have left the agency since May until the end of the year may well reach 200 in total. 

With an agency that is already behind on what they should have for their ranks, dropping the manning another 200 will force the agency to reduce specialty units in order to staff patrol.

That means less SWAT members, less detectives, less dispatchers to answer 911 calls coming in from residents.  It means a significant increase in response times for all calls for service, not just the not in progress reports of crime. 

That also means that officers that had worked their careers to become a detective will become disenfranchised which may cause them to retire early.

The issue began when members of the Seattle City Council took the sides of Antifa as well as Black Lives Matter early on after Floyd’s death.  There was no reasoning, there was no negotiation, there was not simply trying to sit down and talk. 

Instead, the Seattle Council vowed to defund the agency by millions of dollars and then attempted to bar them from protecting themselves with chemical agents against those who riot. 

Add in that officers were also under physical attack members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter during the almost nightly riots, there was little left to motivate an officer to stay.

City Council, in their efforts to defund the agency at the whim of Antifa and Black Lives Matter, apparently did not consider the rising violence that was occurring in the city, including homicides.  If they had, they might not have defunded the agency by 18%.

Seattle Police Officer’s Guild President, Mike Solan, warns that the growing deficit of officers and the increase of slicing funds from the agency will lead to further increases in violent crime.  Solan told Rantz:

“The council, who rule to that nonsensical activist base, are not changing their rhetoric and sadly, as a result, excellent officers are still fleeing SPD for other agencies due to this hostile climate. 

“Sadly, it’s Seattle’s reasonable citizen that will bear this weight as crime will tip over a dangerous cliff.  Seattle is a shell of what it once was.  Thanks city council for ruining Seattle but more importantly crushing a great police department.  This is on you.  What a shame.”

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Report: Four Philadelphia city council members push for police budget cuts – despite city violence and looting

November 4, 2020

PHILADELPHIA, PA- On Friday, October 30th, four first-term City Council members vowed during an online call with political activists, to continue pushing for budget cuts to the Philadelphia police department.

 

The council members, Isaiah Thomas, Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Jamie Gauthier, and Kendra Brooks pledged their support during a week that saw more than 200 stores looted in reaction to the recent officer-involved fatal shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.

 

According to reports, the same group of council members pushed for significant cuts in June, but were unsuccessful. The initial article, which was reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that Gauthier said:

“Every councilmember on this call was on board for a higher level of cut to the police than we had. We couldn’t get enough to get the votes that we needed. I think we have to figure out where we’re cutting from and also what we’re investing in. I think we have to be very clear about that.”

 

In June, shortly after George Floyd’s death in Minnesota, the Philadelphia City Council nixed a $19 million budget increase for the police, and moved $14 million in existing funds away from the police budget. Police union leader John McNesby urged city leaders to show greater support for the city’s police department.

 

Proposing budget cuts to the police department was not the only method councilmembers used in an effort to limit the police department’s ability to maintain order. On October 29th, the City Council, in a 14-3 vote, approved a ban on police use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper spray against demonstrators. 

 

The proposal’s sponsor, councilwoman Helen Gym, said that residents had complained of having tear gas and rubber bullets used against them without warning during protests in May and June. Gym claimed that the alleged actions by police during those protests “undid years of collaboration and work” between police and local communities in building trust.

Republican Councilmembers David Oh and Brian J. O’Neill, along with Democrat Bobby Henon voted against the proposal. The virtual council meeting grew tense when Oh suggested that tear gas is appropriate for protesters who block traffic or refuse to disperse, even if it gets inside the homes of residents who are not involved.

He said:

“Better their homes have tear gas than be set on fire.”

 

This legislation has been sent to Mayor Jim Kenney, whose administration supports the intent of the bill. If Kenney signs the bill, the police department would have to write a policy defining what would be classified as protected actions.

Reportedly, the legislation is not an “all-inclusive” on the use of less-than-lethal devices, but would bar the use on “any individuals engaging in First Amendment activities.”

In a recent officer-involved fatal shooting, two officers shot Wallace after he charged at them while brandishing a knife. Authorities said that neither officer had a taser as they have been working to get more funding so that all officers can be properly suited with the tools to do their job.

McNesby said:

“We’re calling on the city leadership to release the facts of this case. It’s not hard. It’s cut-and-dry. Release what you have. Support your officers, back your officers and let’s get a handle on this thing.”

 

Reportedly, city leaders said that police body camera footage and 911 recordings linked to the Wallace shooting would be made public on Wednesday, November 4th per an arrangement approved by them and by the members of the Wallace family. 

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