Seattle police facing mass exodus over lack of support from city officials: ‘This is just beginning’

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SEATTLE, WA- As in many large cities across the country, where politicians have abandoned the police department and thrown down with the radicals, Seattle is achieving exactly what it is looking for without even trying.

Police officers have had enough with the nonsense and are leaving the department, or giving up police work altogether.

KOMO News reported that since the beginning of June, 41 police officers have left the department. Sources within the Seattle PD say that many others are also looking to leave, after a summer of sometimes violent protests, as well as a total lack of support from the city council, where members recently eviscerated the police budget.  

The budget cuts, as well as lack of support from the city’s administration led Chief Carmen Best, an African American woman, to file her retirement papers. Aside from Best, many other officers are also in the process of reevaluating their careers with the Seattle PD.

One officer who has considered pulling the plug, but who is hanging in there for now is Officer Adam Fowler.

He said:

“When the Seattle council made the decision to start cutting money from the police department, it would be silly for me not to sit down with my wife and talk about where do we take our family,” 

Fowler said that he sustained a black eye when he was hit by fireworks during yet another riot outside the Seattle Police Officers Guild headquarters on Sunday night, August 16th.

Lauren Truscott, department spokeswoman said that since the riots started at the end of May, 144 Seattle police officers have been injured.

Officer Ellie Khalife, who sustained a torn meniscus during a protest outside the East Precinct in July said:

“It just feels so unfair that people are hating Seattle Police so much,” 

Fowler is not concerned about being able to recover from his injury, however he said the current low morale among officers will not be as easily overcome, saying:

“Morale is not super great right now,”

He continued:

“It’s pretty low, and a lot of people feel the same way I feel and are very frustrated.”

Ironically, it isn’t necessarily the riots that have impacted the moral of officers, but more so the total lack of support from city officials.

Fowler said:

“And that’s a daunting feeling and a heavy weight and a heavy burden to carry, when you just feel alone in it,” 

As of Wednesday, August 19th, the department had yet to make any layoffs based on the 2020 budget, Truscott said. However, police officers started bailing out of Seattle prior to the city council’s gutting of the department’s budget, joining other police departments across the region.

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KOMO News reported that numerous police agencies across the Puget Sound area have received interest from Seattle officers, with many reporting that Seattle officers had applied for jobs there.

  • The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department has made job offers to five Seattle police officers and are reviewing the applications of 25 other individuals connected to Seattle PD, according to Detective Ed Troyer of that agency.
  • In King’s County, the sheriff’s office there said that since June 5, 36 Seattle officers have applied for employment there.
  • Everett police said that around 30 Seattle officers have filled out lateral applications with that agency, with many more expressing interest.
  • A spokesperson for the Kent Police Department said: “Since June 23 have had 21 SPD officers apply. Two have been provided conditional offers of employment and are in the latter stages of our hiring process.”
  • Tukwila police said that between 15 and 20 Seattle officers have applied there.
  • In Bellevue, they say they have received 35 applications from Seattle police officers for two open positions.

The rioters in Seattle have demanded the city reduce the size of the police department there, saying that is necessary “to achieve fundamental policing reform.”

And like good little sheep, the Seattle city council is going along with them. Truscott said that it is unknown if the department can address the layoffs mandated by the city council only through attrition.

Fowler says that he is committed to his role in protecting public safety and public property while the protests (riots) continue in Seattle, but remains hopeful that the city’s elected politicians will be more supportive of police officers.

He said:

“My feelings towards the rioters is not wearing on me,”

Fowler continued:

“I will always have time for people who want to cause destruction and harm to people living in the city. What is wearing is the current political climate in Seattle. I feel isolated. I feel like the police department is on its own in the city.”

Jason Rantz, a radio talk show host in Seattle, reported on the issue last month, and drew similarities between what is now occurring in the city with another such situation two years ago.

He said that in July of that year, he reported on a similar mass exodus of Seattle PD officers, leaving because they grew exhausted of being mistreated by city leadership. In June of that year, some 58 officers had “separated” from the department. That term includes retirements, resignations, and firings.

By the end of 2018, 109 officers had separated from the department.

Rantz said that ironically, last October, two city council candidates, Dan Strauss and Andrew Lewis had advocated for more officers on the streets of the city. Now, bending to the mob, they are pushing to layoff over 700 officers.

The president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, Mike Solan, told Rantz that the exodus of officers is not surprising, given the lack of support by city officials.

Solan said

“The mass exodus continues, and can you blame officers?”

He continued:

“This comes at a time when we are already well below minimum safe staffing levels on almost every patrol shift. This is a reflection that there is only so much a human being can take when elected officials clearly do not publicly support the professional men and women of the Seattle Police officers Guild that serve our great city.”

One police officer wrote a public letter which expressed the hurt, anger, and frustration felt by city officers. Solan summarized what officers are feeling:

“When criminals won’t get prosecuted for their crimes, when our reasonable majority of community members are being held hostage by unreasonable activism, officers will look elsewhere for employment where they do feel supported,

“I dislike losing quality people and I feel sorry for the ignored majority of our city that will feel the repercussions of less police staffing. Less staffing will lead to an increase in crime and a profound reduction in the quality of life for us all.”

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