FOLLOWUP: Police contract approved in 8-1 City Council vote

4:53 PM: 24 hours after the mayor and police chief came to West Seattle to in essence campaign for council approval of the Seattle Police contract, the vote has just happened at City Hall downtown. The contract required seven council “yes” votes to pass and got eight, with Councilmember Kshama Sawant the lone “no” vote. West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold voted yes despite a number of concerns, explaining that – among other reasons – she has told constituents that she supports police staffing to address public-safety concerns, and didn’t see how that would reconcile with a “no” vote given the expectation that contract rejection would make SPD hiring even more difficult than it’s been lately. M

ADDED 9:31 PM: The Seattle Channel video from this afternoon’s meeting is available now, and we’ve embedded it at the top of this story. Also, we talked briefly with Councilmember Herbold after an unrelated community meeting we covered tonight. Asked to comment on her voting decision, she reiterated what she had said during the meeting – both that she felt she had to be consistent with her three years of telling constituents she supported increased police staffing, and also that she knew she let some people down, too. She said that when alternatives she was exploring turned out to be unworkable, she felt she had to vote “yes.”

22 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Police contract approved in 8-1 City Council vote"

  • Brenda November 13, 2018 (5:47 pm)


  • flimflam November 13, 2018 (6:10 pm)

    so the council is finally worried about being re-elected….yay!

    • 98126res November 13, 2018 (7:15 pm)

      Yep! They are a predictable bunch.

  • Question Authority November 13, 2018 (6:26 pm)

    Yay !  Without a content, well compensated and fully supported Police force anarchy will take place in Seattle as the rule of law will mean nothing.  Crime will pay if you don’t pay the police to stick around and protect us.

    • brian November 14, 2018 (11:36 am)

      Hell yeah. I already have my spot in line to lick some boots!

  • Sgoicj November 13, 2018 (6:30 pm)

    “with Councilmember Kshama Sawant the lone “no” vote”Surprise, surprise.  Why does this councilperson hate Seattle so much?

    • WW Resident November 13, 2018 (7:32 pm)

      Whenever the police oversee a protest or an event in which said event goes smoothly or the police handle protests that had potential to go sideways, professionally, there is usually a letter of thanks sent via email to the police department. It is signed by city council members except for one without fail… Sawant

      • Seattlegove November 14, 2018 (1:17 pm)

        This woman depends on the same police for protection, not her protestors. 

    • WS native November 14, 2018 (12:22 pm)

      Unfortunately I bet we get Sawant again…. and. Unless someone steps up I bet the council next election goes farther left. It was evident in the 34 th district senate race.two socialists with exact ideals almost to the  T

  • Nolan November 13, 2018 (7:35 pm)

    Voting yes and expecting the contract to (correctly) fail judicial review. I see what the council is angling for, and these comments explain exactly why they’re doing this spineless maneuver, but it’s a shame that they’re too cowardly to reject the contract while that flagrantly illegal preemption clause is in it.

    • Peter November 14, 2018 (7:45 am)

      Ditto. This contract doesn’t do nearly enough to protect the people of Seattle from police abuses. 

      • WW Resident November 15, 2018 (4:45 am)


        • CAM November 15, 2018 (9:20 am)

          The Community Police Commission’s concerns with the contract are written about in detail here:

          • WW Resident November 15, 2018 (3:50 pm)

            I don’t think the CPC will be satisfied until the police are simply watchers and reporters.For example, in the last 18 months there were over 15,000 crisis calls and less than 2% resulted in any use of force. The police can have all the CIT (crisis intervention training, which they already have) that people want but at the end of the day, the person in crisis is still autonomous and still capable of decision making, no matter how bad the decision is. De escalation still needs some type of cooperation on some levelThe police respond to approx. a quarter million for service calls annually and yet the media continually replays the same handful of high profile cases from the past few years (which would be a fraction  of a percent in literally millions of calls) over and over and over again

          • CAM November 15, 2018 (7:01 pm)

            How does that apply to the police union and the city (in contradiction to previously passed legislation) making it harder for a police officer to be disciplined for inappropriate or illegal behavior? This isn’t about the use of crisis intervention. This is about unnecessary use of force and other kinds of abusive behavior by people who we as citizens grant a great deal of power. “Excessive use of force” does not imply that no force should be used. It is about how much force is necessary to achieve the goal of public safety. Police across the country have proven time and again that they are bad judges of that distinction. See the security officer in Chicago who was detaining a person who came into a bar and started randomly firing a gun and was fatally shot by police when they arrived on scene despite multiple bystanders yelling that he was in fact not the perpetrator. The list of incidents like that could run a mile and Seattle isn’t immune. Citizen oversight is a good thing just the same way as it being a good thing that citizens get to vote for who they want to represent them in government. All the CPC is arguing is that the police be held to the standard that has been previously set. Those changes were made because it was far to difficult to discipline or prosecute an officer who engaged in any level of inappropriate behavior. How would you feel about any other union getting this kind of protection or agreement? And you don’t even give those other union members access to deadly weapons. 

          • WW Resident November 15, 2018 (8:37 pm)

            OK, out of the literally millions of for service calls in the past few years of the Seattle police tell me all the evils. You’ve given anecdotal examples and are trying to prove that as the norm. If annually, Seattle deals with a quarter million for service calls and that’s only one city and then you think of all the other for service calls of all the other major cities of this country and then the smaller cities etc. You’re looking at tens of millions of for service calls annually around the nation and yet the same handful of names are being regurgitated for the past few years now. I tell you what and any other armchair critic. SPD is hiring. Apply and make the difference you seek

          • CAM November 16, 2018 (1:57 am)

            You’re arguing against something I never said. I never said it was the norm. I said that when it does happen that the system needs to be able to hold the police officer accountable. CPC’s criticisms of the new contract are that rather than implementing the legislative changes that have been put in place since the time of the last contract that the new contract instead walks back those advancements to make it harder to hold police officers who do bad things accountable. Good police officers should want the system to hold bad officers accountable. It is the few bad officers who make life more difficult for police. Imagine if the citizens were able to have greater confidence in police and the systems that govern their behavior. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing for the average police officer? This contract isn’t the way to achieve that. Besides all of this, a judge has already signalled that the contract may be ruled invalid because it is not in line with current legislation. The reason the judge gave for not taking action was that the contract had not yet been voted on by the city council and thus it was premature to take any corrective action which may not have been necessary. I haven’t heard a single person argue against the monetary benefits of this contract. This is solely about oversight, accountability, and the need for the contract to be consistent with reforms that were already in place prior to the contract being proposed. 

          • WW Resident November 16, 2018 (7:57 pm)

            Tell me about all the bad Seattle Police Officers. Examples by name and reason

  • Thomas Wood November 13, 2018 (8:01 pm)

    It’s time to take are city back from the criminal element.Time to shut down these illegal encampments and all these RVs parked everywhere.I’m done offering these people help only to have them spit in our faces. 

    • Brian November 14, 2018 (11:37 am)

      Yeah but what does that have to do with anything going on in this story? It’s time to take are medication I think.

  • TM7302 November 13, 2018 (11:18 pm)

    Oh Kshama.  Don’t go away mad, just go away…

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