Report: Even if Seattle fired every officer this week, that still wouldn’t defund the SPD by 50% this year

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SEATTLE, WA – As Law Enforcement Today has previously reported, the Seattle City Council is considering moving forward with actually defunding the police by 50% of the annual budget. However, it looks like it would be essentially impossible to slash the remaining 2020 budget in half even if they fired every single police officer.

In order to cut the Seattle Police Department’s remaining 2020 budget by 50%, there would have to be around $85 million taken from the department. Yet even City Council members have crunched the numbers and realized that it’s something just not feasible with regard to the 2020 budget.

Due to current labor agreements, even if all the police officers on the force were handed their termination slips this very week, those police officers would still be on the payroll until at least the first week of November. Thus, the only savings that would occur would be the last two months of the calendar year.

Even if 180 police officers were laid-off this week, that would only calculate to about $3 million dollars saved. That’s quite a far cry from $85 million. With approximately 1,400 sworn officers with the SPD, it’s easy to see how there’s no real way to get that coveted 50% funding reduction for 2020.

With little surprise, councilmember Kshama Sawant is having a bit of a tantrum with this revelation:

“I’m not sure what you all council members thought you were promising when you said you were going to defund the police by 50 percent. This is exactly what people want, they want a smaller police department and yes, that means laying off officers.”

But is this really what the “people” want?

Realistically, no it isn’t.

Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan dove into the rising numbers of people voicing out against defunding the police. A recently circulated petition also hammers home that point by Solan:

“They’re finally hearing the ignored majority’s voice. We have over 130,000 signatures in six days that are saying ‘no more’ to your unreasonable activism, because the council wasn’t listening to their constituents when they started this process.”

Furthermore, recent polls conducted in Washington seem to further back up the notions presented by Solan.

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Despite the idea of defunding the Seattle Police Department by 50% of its funding, a recent poll shows that Seattle residents do not trust the City Council’s approach of defunding the SPD by 50%.

In fact, in a recent poll of likely voters in Seattle – only 32% of respondents agreed with the City Council approach.

Turns out that about 43% of those polled prefer Mayor Jenny Durkan and SPD Chief Carmen Best’s approach of a more balanced approach to redirecting less funds over a spanned period of time and 21% respondents didn’t want any defunding of the department at all.

This isn’t the only survey conducted in the state of Washington that revealed that “defunding the police” is not a popular concept with voters.  

A recent polling of 675 Washington residents posed the following question:

“Do you support or oppose proposals to defund police departments?”

In response, 53% of respondents either opposed or strongly opposed the idea. Only 34% were among Washington voters in that poll that supported the “defunding” of police departments.

While residents within the state aren’t opposed to the idea of reallocating some police funding – the 50% business is not exactly popular.

Furthermore, data also shows that Seattle residents actually trust Chief Best more than the City Council when it comes to reshaping the SPD – which it should be noted that Chief Best has not been among the fans of a 50% drop in funding either:

“I think the word plan is rather loose here. [The City Council] haven’t got a plan. All they have shown us that they want to reduce the budget by 50%. I haven’t seen any real planning in that.

And the real tragedy of doing that is that we will lose 1,100 employees. That’s 50% of our total workforce because most of our budget is made up of our personnel costs and it would be a tragedy.”

And of course, you’ve got City Council members like Teresa Mosqueda who are pretending like all the protests in Seattle are peaceful (while attending one) – and there’s a person actively standing behind her telling police to kill themselves with a megaphone and follows up with:

“Save us the trouble of tearing you apart – and fucking kill yourselves.”

Oh, and then Mosqueda even stated that the man’s comments were “justified”.

Such wonderful leadership.

It’s becoming painfully obvious that the City Council isn’t listening to the majority of the voters, and thus the will of the people.

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