Seattle police officers leave in masses, blame city and their politics – “I refuse to work for this socialist city council”

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SEATTLE, WA – Ever since the death of George Floyd while in police custody in May, the city of Seattle has been under siege nightly with protests and riots. 

Instead of putting an end to the violence, political leaders seemingly condone it and have constantly attacked their own police department. They are in the midst of defunding the agency.

Now, almost 200 pages of exit interviews have been released from officers leaving the department, and the vast majority blame their exit on leaders of the city.

Over 100 Seattle officers have left the agency and KIRO-7 has obtained pages of their exit interviews, in which officers have given their reasons for leaving the agency. 

Over 175 pages of exit interviews have been reviewed by the news outlet and they found one glaring thing in common: they all are concerned with city leaders.

One of the departing officers wrote:

“I refuse to work for this socialist City Council and their political agenda.  It ultimately will destroy the fabric of this once fine city.”

Another said:

“An unwinnable battle with the City Council.  It will be the downfall of the city of Seattle.”

Still, one more said:

“The city’s morals do not match my own.”

According to KIRO 7, 39 officers left the Seattle Police Department either by quitting or retiring in September alone. Overall, the city has lost 110 officers, an amount which the city has not seen since 2012.

Democratic Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said:

“We are losing an unprecedented number of officers, which makes it even more critical that we recruit and retain officers committed to reform and community policing that reflect the diversity and values of our city.”

The mayor’s mentioning the need to recruit officers is questionable, considering the city council recently forced a dramatic shift in funding and the elimination of positions.

Officers who have left gave the impression that they weren’t interested in working for a city that seemingly has no intention of restoring law and order, as they continue to battle Antifa and Black Lives Matter protests and riots on a nightly basis.

The President of the Seattle Police Guild, Mike Solan, commented:

“I’m seeing what (we) still believe is a great department being torn apart by politics.  You’ve got major politicians still pushing false narratives of the job of policing. 

“Because facts don’t matter anymore, truth doesn’t matter anymore.  And it all depends upon how you feel that day, and that’s why officers are leaving this city in droves.”

Seattle Public Safety Chair Lisa Herbold doesn’t seem too concerned about the number of officers fleeing the city and noted that the 110 departures were only 11 more than the city anticipated for the year. She was quick to note that a months worth of information does not mean they will continue to see the same number of officers leaving every month. 

Herbold is the same council member who actively pushed to get the agency reduced by 50 percent. 

When she was told by former Police Chief Carmen Best that the move would mean that all the minority officers who did not have seniority would be laid off, she responded that those officers should be left in place and the white officers should be fired. 

She tweeted:

“In the case layoffs are necessary, one threat is firing BIPOC officers first.  Chief can request the Public Safety Civil Service Commission ED for permission to lay off ‘out of order’ when doing so is in ‘the interest of efficient operations of his or her department.’

“This means Chief doesn’t have to fire the newest hired first. Chief says firing BIPOC members of the SPD would be harmful & I agree. I know she can argue just as convincingly that maintaining the employment of BIPOC officers is in the interest of the efficient operations of the SPD.”

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Mass exodus: At least 118 police officers have left the Seattle Police Department this year (and counting)

October 16, 2020

SEATTLE, WA – Thus far in 2020, there’s been at least 118 police officers that have left the Seattle Police Department.

Some might call it a surge in separations, others a mass exodus. But, whatever series of adjectives are used to describe it – it is undoubtedly concerning.

The various separations from the SPD have been an amalgamation of retirements, moves to different departments or agencies, and of course, just flat-out resignations.

In September alone, there were reportedly 39 sworn officers that departed the SPD, which happens to follow the recent approval of the Seattle City Council to start cutting the police budget.

To illustrate how sizable this year’s trend of departures is for the SPD, the month of September on any given year only sees about 5 to 7 separations, versus 39 this year.

Reports show that the current size of the SPD now rests at around 1,200 sworn officers, marking the lowest police force in the department in a decade.

But, according to Jason Rantz, even that number might be a little “misleading” based upon other circumstances transpiring.

He explained:

“Many officers are using their accrued sick time as they begin their escape to other agencies or wait for retirement.”

It is with little surprise that the massive uptick in separations started in May.

According to Rantz:

“The mass exodus of officers started in May with 10 separations, followed by 16 in June, 10 in July, and 14 in August. In September, that number jumped to 39. So far in October, there have been eight separations according to a source, though this is not in the mayor’s report.”

In a mere five-month period, at least 89 police officers decided to leave the SPD. These numbers do more than illustrate a trend, they betray a sense of morale being depleted within the department.

Seattle Police Officer Guild President Mike Solan commented on the debilitating effects this trend could present in the coming months, saying that emergency calls could be deeply impacted. 

He said:

“Your 911 call for help will go unanswered for a significant amount of time.”

But there’s more to take into consideration than just a decreased staff size within the police department. One also has to take into account growth in the population and increases in crime.

Rantz examined the numbers when it pertains to the current police force and adversities that surround the force size.

Rantz noted:

“With just about 1,200 officers in service, Seattle is staffed at lower levels than they were in 1990. The population has increased by 44% since then. And crime is surging, with a reportedly 60% year-over-year increase in homicides.”

And yet the City Council is determined to dismiss at least another 70 police officers on the force.

According to the mayor’s office, with the City Council’s vote to fire 70 officers in concurrence with officer departure trends and a continued hiring freeze, the SPD could see the force drop to 1,072 officers.

Solan claims this entire situation is “fixable” if local leadership gets their act together and stops “pandering” to the mobs rioting in the streets.

Solan insists:

“This is fixable if our elected leaders start supporting police, instead of pandering to a large activist crowd that’s dividing us when we need unity. False narratives about good people doing policing, pushed by the defund movement, is making our public safety efforts devolve further.”

The SPD Interim Police Chief, Adrian Diaz, commented on the dwindling department size, saying:

“As I have said before – I know these are incredibly hard times. I also have said I will do everything I can to keep this department whole. Each of you is needed.

“More people in this city want you doing your job than don’t. We are pursuing multiple ways to improve your day-to-day experience – I can only ask that you give us time to see if they are successful.”

 

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