FOLLOWUP: Mayor, police chief lash out at council’s support for halving police budget, while suggesting cuts for next year

10:36 PM: Last Friday night, we reported on Police Chief Carmen Best‘s letter to Mayor Jenny Durkan, saying that closing the Southwest Precinct would be a likely effect if the SPD budget were halved. The letter followed news of a majority of City Councilmembers voicing support for cutting this year’s SPD budget, though no specific legislation is out yet.

(Added: Seattle Channel video)
This morning, the mayor and chief have just wrapped up a media briefing with their counterproposals: They say they can cut $76 million from the department’s $400 mlllion budget – next year. The mayor decried the council’s voiced support for an immediate 50 percent cut as “irresponsible.” She also criticized councilmembers for taking the stand without talking to the chief or to constituents. Durkan said next year’s cuts could be accomplished via moving the 911 call center out of SPD, moving parking enforcement from SPD to SDOT, and moving the Office of Emergency Management and Office of Professional Accountability out of SPD. Those, she said, would save $56 million, while another $20 million could be cut via a hiring freeze and overtime reductions. In followup Q&A, the mayor said her intention for OPA would be to make it a standalone independent agency. The mayor also voiced hope that some councilmembers will relent.

Meantime, the Southwest Precinct’s new commander, Capt. Kevin Grossman, posted an introductory message to social media today, including this:

I also want to address the initiative making its way through City Council to defund the Seattle Police Department by 50%. Last week, Chief Best communicated to the Council–and to the public–the reality of what those cuts would look like, including the elimination of half of our workforce and the Southwest Precinct itself. When I started with SPD, my training included rotations through three different precincts, including the South Precinct. At that time, officers from that facility had to commute across the Duwamish to respond to calls for service in West Seattle. Just the drive alone resulted in long response times–sometimes exacerbated by boat or train traffic. I can only imagine what response times would be today from the Rainier Valley with the West Seattle Bridge closed. Further, in my humble opinion, it is simply unconscionable for a city of over 700,000 people to be staffed by a police department with only 630 employees.

There was no further discussion in this morning’s mayor/chief briefing, by the way, of the chief’s suggestions such as possibly closing the precinct. And again, from the council’s side, there’s no formal proposal yet, but the council meets again on Wednesday as the Select Budget Committee (the basic agenda has just appeared online) and that’s one place a proposal might emerge. We have had a request for comment out since Friday to District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold; as of now, still no reply.

3:51 PM: Just watched the Seattle Channel recording of the council’s “morning briefing” meeting, which overlapped with the mayor/chief briefing. Most councilmembers repeated their support for dramatic change in the SPD, including Herbold, whose turn comes at 1 hour, 17 minutes in, with her turning to the SPD topic after four minutes.

She noted that action is not imminent, saying the council is “in the beginning stages of developing proposals.” She also took issue with a couple points of what the chief’s letter to the mayor said would likely be necessary if a 50 percent cut were to be implemented immediately. For one, she contended that the chief would have an option other than to lay off newer officers first, via the “out of order” process (though the chief said earlier that it’s “complicated”). Regarding the chief’s suggestion that the Southwest Precinct could be closed, Herbold noted only that the city charter requires “adequate police protection for all areas.”

117 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Mayor, police chief lash out at council's support for halving police budget, while suggesting cuts for next year"

  • West Seatte July 13, 2020 (10:41 am)

    Secede from the city, best reply so far. How about West Seattle takes care of West Seattle and leave the nonsense to the east. 

    • WSJ July 13, 2020 (5:10 pm)

      Because that “nonsense” pays your taxes. 

    • Eric1 July 13, 2020 (6:01 pm)

      I am not sure if West Seattle has the tax base that would generate enough income in order to be its own city.  It would take a careful study to see if the mostly residential West Seattle is sufficiently large to maintain city services.  Perhaps it would be OK if we didn’t have support the bloated downtown area and the massive Seattle government. This was the news when I first moved here in the 90’s.  West Seattle tried to secede before with a really cool guy (Charlie Chong) leading the charge. Even local politicians (Mike Heavey) tried to change the laws to make it easier for West Seattle to secede.  Too bad it failed…  but there isn’t a reason we couldn’t try again today.

      • Morgan July 13, 2020 (9:11 pm)

        If Normandy park can be a city….think west seattle could pull it off.Still, none of this is realistic or constructive.

        • Eric1 July 13, 2020 (11:24 pm)

          True about Normandy park.  But we have two high/middle schools and a bunch of elementary schools. We might need a large commercial tax base.  Ideally, we should convince Amazon to help West Seattle secede. If successful, they could put in a new corporate office south of the Water Taxi. They would avoid the stupid Amazon tax  and we would gain a large employer tax base all while maintaining somewhat easy access to downtown.  The city of Seattle seems to think that employees making 150K+ a year are bad.  West Seattle would encourage high paying jobs and with work from home becoming the norm, Amazon wouldn’t need a giant footprint. Amazon would probably save millions by helping form a new city.   And if we draw the lines right, we could make sure the cracks in the WSB are on the Seattle side, sticking them with the repair bill.  LOL… 

      • Terry July 14, 2020 (1:11 pm)

        i loved Charlie Chong.  i remember he tried to get the Council to buy 3- Snow Plows and the rest of the Council debated it forever…   (i remember we had a big SNOWMAGEDDON event i think it was  96-97)It didn’t take Bellevue any time at all to buy them from under us. 

    • Dunno July 13, 2020 (9:39 pm)

      Reduce all the council people’s budgets voting  for a cut in policing in their districts. If Lisa does it,  let’s please remember at election time!  I can see a small cut, but not 50%.

  • Plf July 13, 2020 (10:54 am)

    Come on Lisa tell us what you think, respond to WSB, we have a right to know your perspective taking away the sw precinct is just crazy for our community,  think about this issue, especially in light of the bridge issue,  stand up for the community you were elected to serve

    • AdmiralBridge July 13, 2020 (11:40 am)

      Lisa?  Anybody?  Bueller?   Bueller….?

    • ws4life July 13, 2020 (11:58 am)

      I think we can all agree that Lisa needs to go in the next election. We really need some who can get things done for WS. Right now we’re just an afterthought.

      • Luke July 13, 2020 (1:36 pm)

        We just tried that in this last election, but Lisa had the majority. As dissatisfied as I was, I had to accept defeat when the results came in. 

      • Recall Lisa Herbold July 13, 2020 (3:19 pm)

        Why wait, we can remove her now.  Recall Lisa Herbold NOW!

        • Terry July 14, 2020 (1:13 pm)

          You got my Signature to recall Herbold!

  • sgs July 13, 2020 (11:18 am)

    This would be a drastic move that hurts more than it helps solve the problems we’ve all been protesting.  It’s arbitrary and reactionary.  I’m with the mayor and police chief on this one.  The alternative uses of those funds have not been well thought out, strategized, communicated (in other than generalities) or budgeted. 

  • anonyme July 13, 2020 (11:25 am)

    I don’t like Durkan, but these are reasonable proposals.  My only question is how the money will be moved, as I suspect we’ll just be taxed more.  Of course, these budget transfers do absolutely nothing to address issues related to policing or systemic racism within the police department.  Nor is racism the only issue involved in reform.  Our system is pretty effed up, and the police are only one symptom of that.  I do also agree with the Mayor that it is outrageous that Herbold and the council came up with this knee-jerk plan without taking it to the voters, or even really allowing time for constituents to provide input.  Reminds me of the recent Supreme Court ruling in regard to faithless electors.

  • John July 13, 2020 (11:37 am)

    I too, plead for our Councilperson Lisa Herbold to respond. I wrote her supporting doing the obvious ethical humane thing to do: drastically shift funds to a Housing First, mental health and affordable housing focus.  Social Justice starts with basic human needs being met.  Our long term systematic abandonment of humans in our midst and unwillingness to address them has resulted in the police being horribly scapegoated.  Lisa Herbold seems intent on (inadvertently?) sacrificing  West Seattle constituents for a protest slogan.   She is aware of  West Seattle policing issues.  I am disappointed she got caught up in the hysteria of the moment.  I hope time, her realization of necessities and our collective emails  convince Lisa Herbold to perform her job responsibly.

  • Jennie July 13, 2020 (11:38 am)

    What is the plan for fewer deaths of BIPOC in our city? Shifting around dollars and departments doesn’t yet sound like a plan to decrease deaths if everyone is just doing the same thing but under a different line item in a budget.

    • Gene July 13, 2020 (3:54 pm)

      Do you have statistics for such deaths? I can’t imagine the numbers warrant this type of knee jerk reaction.

      • LO July 13, 2020 (4:39 pm)

        Gene, it’s really easy to do a Google search and find this information.

        • Gene July 13, 2020 (9:17 pm)

          Citing nationwide numbers doesn’t really make the case for Seattle. 

      • WW Resident July 14, 2020 (2:03 am)

        @Gene, even at the national level it doesn’t warrant this knee jerk reaction. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article in 2019 police shot and killed 1,004 people. 245 of them were black, the vast majority of the remaining 755 were white. 9 of the black men who were shot were unarmed, with 19 white men unarmed. University of Washington did a study that showed police were 3x more hesitant to shoot a black person rather than a white person. Black economist, Roland Fryer from Harvard did a study and found that though use of force is used more often on black men, there was not a higher rate of shootings. He himself said he was surprised at the findings due to the rhetoric. 

        • Question Mark July 14, 2020 (11:56 am)

          The fact is that there are demonstrably more ways to kill a black person than shooting. And I’d be surprised if the records for police shootings are comprehensive in the details being cited. Turns out that police self-reports are highly biased.

          • WW Resident July 14, 2020 (12:27 pm)

            Wow, question mark, thank you for that vague abstract opinion

  • quiz July 13, 2020 (11:39 am)

    A lot of folks would agree with re-directing SPD resources to other departments to help properly handle some of their calls, but picking an arbitrary # (like 50%) without any real plan is just silly and overly reactionary. 

  • Seattle_Native July 13, 2020 (11:44 am)

    Shame on the City Council and especially on Lisa Herbold for throwing out such drastic measures without a concrete plan or community input! We have to write and call Lisa, the mayor, the rest of the council and the media every day until they agree on a more rational, workable plan. Virtue signaling and hyperbole are not good foundations for such drastic changes.

  • skeeter July 13, 2020 (11:46 am)

    Let me summarize how this will go:

    Lisa Herbold:  “We’ve
    heard the people.  The City Council will
    defund SPD by 50%.”

    SPD:  “If you defund
    SPD by 50% we’ll be closing the Southwest Precinct.”

    Lisa Herbold:  “Err.  Nevermind.”

  • Jane July 13, 2020 (11:54 am)

    If Mayor Durkan and Chief Best think that letting go of parking enforcement, emergency management, and the SW Precinct are the best ways to deal with the issue of police violence, then they aren’t paying attention at all to what’s being asked for.  This is very disappointing. 

    • wscommuter July 13, 2020 (7:21 pm)

      If  you think that “police violence” is solved by cutting SPD’s budget  in half, I’d love for  you to explain the cause/effect of how that works.   I’ll be waiting for your detailed explanation.  

  • Pat Davis July 13, 2020 (11:54 am)

    RIDICULOUS   that we would reduce funding for our police dept!   It is a miracle than anyone even wants to do law enforcement given the ‘task at hand’  that Seattle dishes out them.  Personally: I appreciate they are there and  THANK  YOU  POLICE  OFFICERS  FOR  PROTECTING  OUR  COMMUNITY.  (Note;   Yes, the loser mentally sick ass who killed George Floyd: I hope you get the death penalty. But you don’t destroy the good people over a few low life losers.  Every profession – yes even something like the clergy has people in their midst that are mentally sick. )   Again: Thank you Seattle police for enduring a tough job and for risking your life again and again. I appreciate you. Funding should be the same – or more !

    • MJ July 13, 2020 (1:12 pm)

      Greg – Could not agree more, thank you!

    • mok4315 July 13, 2020 (2:25 pm)

      Well said, Pat. Sounds like there’s also going to be a march for SPD/protest of the council starting at 9am on Wednesday, at City Hall. 

  • Seafam July 13, 2020 (11:56 am)

    Ms. Herbold, just tell us your plan.  From the 250+ comments on the last thread and sure to be dozens on this one, the overall sentiment seems to support the SPD but agrees that it needs reform.  However, a 50% haircut with zero planning on what that might look like is reckless and dangerous.  Maybe if you submitted a plan or had some dialogue (with your constituents and city leaders) you’d get more buy in? Doesn’t sound like anyone is opposed to some sort of change but base major decisions on data and careful planning, ya know- the Seattle way.  Also, you probably dont want this to go to a vote of the people..get in there, get your hands dirty, and hammer out a plan.      

  • Mr K July 13, 2020 (11:57 am)

    The Mayor and Chief are trying to create a panic in West Seattle, it’s a sick political tactic to force Lisa to change her vote. They are not closing the SW Precinct. I honestly doubt the Police can do that without council approval. SPD leadership needs a real change and constructive talks with the council on how we can move SPD funds to civilian organizations to help the city and free the Police up to handle other issues. We don’t need more police, we need to take three decades worth of responsibilities away from them. 

    • D Del Rio July 13, 2020 (12:46 pm)

      Before the election, Lisa was in favor of hiring more police officers. I am pretty sure if she said she wanted to slash 50% of Seattle’s police budget, she would have not been voted back in. I used to live in West Seattle when there was not a police precinct . With the population boom, and bridge closure it would be a very grim situation. I am definitely in favor of getting rid of the bad cops, but this is not how to go about it.  

    • Will July 13, 2020 (5:15 pm)

      Wrong Mr K.  You’re wrong. 

      • Mr K July 13, 2020 (10:27 pm)

        Agree to disagree. 

    • Meow July 13, 2020 (10:46 pm)

      No true. She is telling folks the facts of what will happen is Lisa and Sawant have their way. Sorry if the facts did not feed into unrealistic and uneducated ideas of what a 50% defunding of the police department would look like. Next time maybe folks will get the facts before allowing some soothsayer to lead them around by the nose. 

  • Peter July 13, 2020 (12:13 pm)

    The threats to close the SW precinct are a scare tactic being used to manipulate the city through fear. It is a completely false narrative. Do not believe Best’s lies. Do not believe Durkan’s lies. Do not believe SPOG’s lies. Do not believe police supporters’ lies. They’re attempting terrorist tactics against the people of Seattle to keep the money flowing in. Carmen Best  and all police leadership need to be fired and replaced with civilian oversight. Police need to be put on salary so they have to stop robbing the taxpayers with bogus “overtime” pay. The police need to be banned from purchasing, using, or possessing “crowd control” equipment that is really used to terrorize the people of Seattle. The police need to be banned from purchasing, using, or possessing military style weapons and vehicles. The police need to take a huge across the board pay cut to mitigate the excessive pay they’ve been receiving for years. We can easily cut far more than 50% of their funding with zero impact in real law enforcement. 

    • Greg Sprinkles July 13, 2020 (12:36 pm)

      It’s impossible to definitively say that this is a scare tactic. An immediate 50% budget cut with zero time to prepare is almost assuredly going to have serious ramifications. I support a rational defunding of police done in a collaborative approach with the community. This is an overly reactionary, irresponsible approach that the council is taking. It’s objectively poor governance.

    • Seafam July 13, 2020 (12:51 pm)

      Peter! Fact #1 The police ARE salaried employees. Fact #2 I support the police and am not a terrorist nor support terrorist tactics. Ask yourself if your side engages in questionable tactics.  Fact #3 They operated for years without a contract. Those inflated SALARIES are the result of massive backpay. If you worked more hours for your employer, would you expect more pay at some point? End of year review or something like that? Most city employees have an OT option. That’s a result of union negotiated contracts with the city. Your pro defundSPD candidates are also pro labor union.  Ya see the flaw in your logic? Your other points are more than valid in my opinion. 

      • Barton July 13, 2020 (6:00 pm)

        Peter knows all of that but it doesn’t fit his narrative.

    • Mel July 13, 2020 (12:56 pm)

      Peter- are you aware of how overtime works? If someone calls in sick or takes vacation, as a 24/7 service they have to pay someone overtime to cover the shift. What is your plan if our precinct has a required minimum of 6 officers on at a time, and 1 is on vacation and 2 are out sick? We need 3 more officers to cover the shift. You think people will volunteer for free? You can’t be that shortsighted.

    • Apotheosis July 13, 2020 (2:02 pm)

      Apologies for the paternalistic tone but I miss the childlike naivety  and idealism evidenced by your comment. I would probably have espoused something similar in my younger years. In some cases, such a point a view is welcome but the grownups really do need to step in and actually govern this city – that means making compromises to address the needs of all stakeholders, not just a vocal few. This country used to be known for its reality-based pragmatism – now we seem to only have extremists calling each other names and putting forth one delusional demand after another. I agree with the Mayor and our Police Chief – the city council needs to come back to reality.

    • Kram July 13, 2020 (3:32 pm)

      Haha, wow. Overtime is a function of being understaffed.

      • HappyCamper July 13, 2020 (5:44 pm)

        Some city departments purposefully run understaffed and supplement with overtime. It’s cheaper in the long run than more FTE’s especially as many worker’s retirement pay is not tied to OT but only base pay. 

    • K. Davis July 13, 2020 (7:31 pm)

      @Peter- The breadth of your ignorance is remarkable.  I don’t even know how to respond to the abject foolishness of your rant; I can only draw comfort from the fact that you represent a tiny minority of thought.  I think my favorite line of your glib stupidity is the one about cutting the pay for police officers.  Where do people like you come from?  I thought it was just the Trump people, the  white supremacists and neo-Nazis who’d been  hiding under rocks all these years.  But now, on the far left, we have your type to deal  with … “all cops are bad and should work for less and should still deliver the same level of service when my stuff gets stolen or I get  assaulted”.   Really impressively dumb.    

    • alkiobserver July 16, 2020 (10:03 am)

      Peter, the foolish, ignorance of your post is shocking…. The notion that banning police from military style weapons and vehicles” demonstrates shear idiocy.. It conveniently overlooks the terrorists and criminals in our midst that daily engage with explosives and automatic weapons and body armor. No doubt, folks like the San Bernardino terrorist couple will respect police armed with non-lethal equipment backing up a squad of social workers. 

  • WW Resident July 13, 2020 (12:15 pm)

    The silent majority needs to go to the city council meeting and demand that the council stop living in lollipop-unicorn land and make actual rational adult decisions. CHOP was a glimpse of what you get when you make the police department impotent and practice “community policing”. You get within a very, very short period of time attempted rape, assaults, intimidation, robberies, arson, shootings, and murder, all within a 6 square block radius. That was a social experiment of utter failure.  It’s enough Larping, it’s time for the adults to step in. 

  • GXNX July 13, 2020 (12:17 pm)

    Reminds of Trump trying to get rid of ObamaCare but he does not have a backup plan.The city Clown-cil

  • Alan July 13, 2020 (12:25 pm)

    I’ve lived in West Seattle since 1972. For years I have believed that living in our tiny corner of Seattle has gotten better and better. In terms of resources and support from the city, I now feel that things are unfortunately moving the other way.

  • rb July 13, 2020 (12:32 pm)

    i wish i could take money away from the city council luxurious pay to give it to the Police dept.

  • Native July 13, 2020 (12:33 pm)

    Many of us sat in the preelection forums. We heard Lisa H talk of support for SPD and the news for more officers and budget. ;We heard her talk of making West seattle more business friendly and supporting the community transportation needs.So what have we done in electing her?Start with the bridge. Phil Talmadge’s op ed in the Times recently laid it out…… Council irresponsibility in seeking state and federal funding and moving to a solution based action over a endless unproductive ;“consultant “ and costly action instead of moving to solution based action and now defunding ? This council representative is a socially irresponsible representative and has demonstrated it over and over! She is a anarchist like Sawant and will do whatever her ideology dictates at the cost and loss to West Seattle.We voted and for what?A deplorable set of actions destroying West Seattle.Recall the Mayor…. how about recalling Herbold?Be sure to e mail and call her office.and demand response ….she has abandoned West Seattle for her own radical unrealistic ideology!

  • Greg Sprinkles July 13, 2020 (12:34 pm)

    I suggest everyone who is opposed to this ridiculous approach of an immediate 50% cut with zero community input contact Lisa Herbold immediately through both email and phone. I’ve already done so and will continue to do so.

    I have had very poor engagement from her in the past when attempting to contact her, either being ignored or receiving an incredibly condescending reply. However, she needs to know how her constituents feel about potentially losing the SW Precinct over this. It’s important to let her know if you disapprove.

    • Mel July 13, 2020 (12:57 pm)

      I have emailed her twice, sent every other council member an email ( goes to all of them) and called. Please also email other council members. This is not just a West Seattle issue.

  • Alex July 13, 2020 (12:42 pm)

    What is the end goal here?   Moving Parking and 911 out of SPD does what?  Is it for City Leaders to be able to say they appeased some  requests for SPD to be defunded?   There is no money being saved, just accounting gimmicks.   As an aside, did they analyze whether moving 911 will have an impact on response rates for fire, police and medics?   

  • Really July 13, 2020 (12:45 pm)

    I’ll be voting for Republicans all the way down the ballot from now on. The democrats have had my vote since I was participating in mock elections in elementary school, but they’ve gone off the rails as of late and have lost my faith. Anyone who saw what a republican mayor did for NYC in the early 90s knows that’s what we need here. As Jack Nicholson once said “go sell crazy somewhere else, we’re all stocked up here.”

    • I’m with you July 13, 2020 (6:18 pm)

      Yep! I’m with you. Democrat voter since I turned 18 in 91. Not this next round! Had it with extremist left. No better than Orange Cheeto. 

      • mok4315 July 13, 2020 (9:12 pm)

        And I’m with both of you. I will probably never vote Democrat in local elections again, as “democrat” has become far left socialist. Where are the moderate democrats and republicans with common sense?

        • Heartless? July 14, 2020 (2:29 pm)

          Most DEMS seem to have forgotten how to be moderate. Big problem here in Seattle!

          The word “progressive” is wayyy over-rated, and has gone to people’s heads.

  • MW July 13, 2020 (12:48 pm)

    Typical Herbold- no response to WSB or to constituent communications (not even an automated “Message received” response.)  Totally ignoring her constituents – so much for the “benefits” of district council seats!  Where can I sign a “Recall Herbold” petition?

  • dsa July 13, 2020 (12:49 pm)

    This defunding by 50% could happen.  There is a recall out on the mayor.  If successful the council will have the opportunity to appoint a mayor of their own choosing.  Remember Mayor Murray when he resigned?

  • Too Much July 13, 2020 (1:16 pm)

    Has anyone considered recalling Seattle city council member

    I am not suggesting it but I am wondering if others have thought about of this.

    Below is copy and paste from Wash legislative page

    “ Initiating proceedings—Statement—Contents—Verification—Definitions.

    Whenever any legal voter of the state or of any political subdivision thereof, either individually or on behalf of an organization, desires to demand the recall and discharge of any elective public officer of the state or of such political subdivision, as the case may be, under the provisions of sections 33 and 34 of Article 1 of the Constitution, the voter shall prepare a typewritten charge, reciting that such officer, naming him or her and giving the title of the office, has committed an act or acts of malfeasance, or an act or acts of misfeasance while in office, or has violated the oath of office, or has been guilty of any two or more of the acts specified in the Constitution as grounds for recall. The charge shall state the act or acts complained of in concise language, give a detailed description including the approximate date, location, and nature of each act complained of, be signed by the person or persons making the charge, give their respective post office addresses, and be verified under oath that the person or persons believe the charge or charges to be true and have knowledge of the alleged facts upon which the stated grounds for recall are based.For the purposes of this chapter:(1) “Misfeasance” or “malfeasance” in office means any wrongful conduct that affects, interrupts, or interferes with the performance of official duty;(a) Additionally, “misfeasance” in office means the performance of a duty in an improper manner; and(b) Additionally, “malfeasance” in office means the commission of an unlawful act;(2) “Violation of the oath of office” means the neglect or knowing failure by an elective public officer to perform faithfully a duty imposed by law.”

  • Alki resident 1972 July 13, 2020 (1:38 pm)

    So I’m not sure what reducing a budget by reorganizing parking enforcement from SPD to SDOT actually does.  Are SDOT employees cheaper?  Are they going to fire parking enforcement officers or transfer them?   Surely it would simply increase the SDOT budget, and nothing would be different for Seattle citizens.i feel like moving law enforcement functions to departments like Fire and SDOT just creates a diffusion of responsibility and reduces accountability.

    • Apotheosis July 13, 2020 (3:02 pm)

      The thinking goes something like this I believe:1) Police are racist oppressors of the “people” because they have “power”2) Taking resources away from the police will result in less oppression of the “people”3) SDOT is staffed by civilians with less enforcement power so I guess they are considered  less “oppressive” and “racist”

      • ScubaFrog July 13, 2020 (8:25 pm)

        The ramblings of the privileged @ apeothosis’ toxic smatterings.

        • Apotheosis July 14, 2020 (2:32 pm)

          Hi Scubafrog. Ah yes – “privilege.” Forgot to include that term. In addition to relying on privilege, I’d suggest it’s easy to also dismiss anyone you disagree with as having false consciousness or internalized dominance. Perhaps you could even say it’s white fragility. Or a lack of lived experience to understand the epistemic oppression that’s the scourge of our society. You could also claim I don’t even understand my implicit bias or my position / complicity in maintaining the power dynamics of white supremacy to marginalize BIPOC.So many options for dismissing those who disagree with you instead of engaging in actual dialogue… that’s what’s toxic – the cult-like atmosphere in evidence by those experiencing a moral panic due to being force-fed delusional dogma from the far left.For anyone interested on an intelligent conversation on the current moment:

    • Mel July 13, 2020 (3:24 pm)

      It doesn’t do anything. It’s moving peas around on a plate. But that is exactly the same thing the city council is proposing. They wont be reinvesting that money in “social programs” because at the end of the day you still need parking enforcement and 911 dispatchers. That’s why I don’t know why our city leaders are giving into the few loudest voices.

  • Gotta go July 13, 2020 (2:11 pm)

    Out!  City 🤡 cil, Durkan and Constantine!

  • MM July 13, 2020 (2:18 pm)

    We need new Leadership!!! Seattle is dying in many ways, the homeless problem, drugs, crime, high taxes, no bridge and now wanting to defund the SPD by 50%!  We need to DEFEND our great Seattle Police Department and let them do their job so we can get our vibrant city back and live in a safe community. If the small group of loud violent protesting left keep controlling the councils stupid decisions Seattle will no longer be a great place to live or visit.  

  • Heartless? July 13, 2020 (2:18 pm)

     Lisa has not heard from the people. She has heard from the activists.  Squeaky wheel gets the grease, and who on the council would not be intimidated by the activist voices they’ve been hearing. But the worm will eventually turn….Enough with all the social justice initiatives, FIX THE DAMN BRIDGE! 

  • J July 13, 2020 (2:28 pm)

    Absolute fear mongering suggesting the SW precinct be closed. Using the residents of west Seattle as leverage for your political intentions. Seems convenient they would suggest closing the precinct in the neighborhood with the largest population that also just so happens to have recently been cut off from the rest of the city from a commuting perspective. Need to tell Best to shove it with the fear tactics and lies associated with our neighborhood, and that goes for everyone, no matter how you feel about the push to defund.

    • Jim July 13, 2020 (6:35 pm)

      The threat to close the SW precinct is not an idle threat. You are foolish to even suggest that. Do you think the pols are going to tell the wealthy Madison Park folks they’ll get fewer police ? Queen Anne?  Of course not, it’ll be the very diverse and poorer areas of West Seattle. Defunding police will be a terrible price paid by the communities of minorities. 

  • JeffK July 13, 2020 (3:14 pm)

    Maybe the police will figure out how to stop the overtime game police officers are playing.  One patrol officer was paid $414,543 in FY2019.  Source:  June 23, 2020 article on Forbes.

    • Meow July 13, 2020 (10:53 pm)

      Sigh…those numbers are inflated because they received retro pay for 3 or 4 years of back pay owed to them once the contract was settle. 

  • Lisa July 13, 2020 (3:22 pm)

    There isn’t enough popcorn for this s&*t show…

  • Mel July 13, 2020 (3:28 pm)

    JEFFK- are you not understanding how that’s accomplished? First of all, those numbers are outliers not your average officer. Second, in 2019 SPD was paid backpay for 3 YEARS (!!!) because they were out of contract. So factor in someone who works a lot of OT regularly and then add in 3 years of backpay to their 2019 total income.  Do you understand that police are  a 24/7 service? That means someone always has to fill a spot if someone calls out sick or goes on vacation. And that’s 24 hours/day.

    • Kerry July 13, 2020 (10:11 pm)

      It was actually 4.5 years of back pay if you can believe it – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and I believe the first half of 2019 until the city finally approved it. SPD officers don’t get enough credit for waiting over four years for a pay raise. They were out of contract for an absurdly long time. I’m a union employee who was out of contract for only 11 months and my retro pay just for the negotiated COLA increase ended up being almost an entire paycheck (It was an awesome payday). It’s just awful that these 2019 numbers are getting taken so completely out of context. Thank you for highlighting this oversight by a lot of people.

  • Thistlemist July 13, 2020 (3:55 pm)

    I wish that the council would quit the generalizing “cut the budget” and actually pinpoint the exact organizations and bureaucratic mechanisms that would immediately be able to take the place of addressing the many social issues that our police force currently respond to. What exact groups will receive funding to address suicide crises, domestic crises, drug induced breakdowns, mental health breakdowns, and all the other assorted non-crime health issues that the police are called out to each and every day. If the budget is cut and 911 operators are now not supposed to call the police when someone is in crisis, then who exactly will be called? What criteria will they use to ensure these alternative groups offer broad, inclusive services that do not just repeat the same racism, use of force, and disenfranchisement issues that currently plague the quite frankly overworked and under prepared (from a social crises standpoint) police force. If the council wants more drug addiction counseling, what style of treatment are they willing to give our former police funds to? There is a whole lot of controversy and argument within the treatment world as to what programs are and are not successful, not to mention the thorny issue that a lot of non-profit drug counseling centers have some sort of religious funding in their budgets (though many are very legitimate organizations that DO NOT proselytize); would the council be willing to partner with a successful treatment group if they have religious funding (I ask this because the non-profit domestic crisis shelter that I volunteer at has had to address these very same points when contracting services for our clients – if we have to think through this then the city will too)

    The issues being brought up regarding use of force and racism are real and I feel it would be a great step in the right direction to take a lot of the current social work off of the police forces shoulders. However, creating a successful alternative community response program takes a hell of a lot of time, grit, and luck. Programs like Cahoots in Eugene, Oregon ( are amazing (their not perfect but are truly sincere in their willingness to continue to improve) and an example of what could be done but it took YEARS to get off the ground and it works due in large part to some very particular set of circumstances that are very unique to the area (I volunteered as part of my concealer studies many, many years ago with this group and still have family in Eugene). I want to understand what the council thinks the answer is before just cutting off the one response system that we currently have in place. And if that answer does not work, what is their backup plan?

    • mok4315 July 13, 2020 (9:30 pm)

      Great, well thought out response, Thistlemist. It just doesn’t seem like the council had the same thought process as you, which is a thought process every single damn logical person should have. 

  • MJ July 13, 2020 (4:01 pm)

    The only savings is hiring freeze and reduction of OT.  The other spending simply shifts to other beaucratic departments.  Cutting the SPD by 50% is too extreme.  

  • Meeeee July 13, 2020 (4:48 pm)

    Have tried several times to call CM Herbold’s office only to get the “voice mail box full” and a reroute to the City Council main line with a message saying no attendant is available.  Maybe Herbold’s staff could clear out the voice mail so I can leave a message expressing my displeasure with her short-sighted decision to defund SPD by 50% before there is a plan in place on how to do that in a thoughtful and not knee jerk manner.  Yes there needs to be reform, but this hatchet job doesn’t advance the cause in the least.

  • APM July 13, 2020 (4:53 pm)

    LOL just tried calling her office and the voice mail box is full. Glad to see people are calling in…and glad to see our councilwoman’s staff is taking our comments seriously and listening to and clearing out that voicemail. (Sarcasm)

    Herbold is putting on a clinic in “how to ensure you get recalled”.

    1. Blindside your constituency in a Friday afternoon news dump that with no community outreach, you are reversing a platform you campaigned on, and now support defunding the police by 50% (effective immediately)

    2. Disappear

    West Seattle deserves better!

    • Meow July 14, 2020 (2:23 pm)

      This should tell you a lot. She does not care about us. I say we show up at City Hall and demand she gives us an answer and demand that she does not support defunding SPD if it is going to cost us the Southwest Precinct and quality police services. 

      • WSB July 14, 2020 (4:06 pm)

        Please note that anyone thinking they’re going to find the council at City Hall is wrong. They like just about everyone else, government and private, continue to meet online.

  • WS Resident July 13, 2020 (4:56 pm)

    The City Council is beholden to special interest groups, ie; non-profit activists.   With the Justice Department consent decree SPD was required to build in oversight such as OPA and the Office of the Inspector General.  If an officer uses any force, it is analyzed by the Force Review Board and officers are held accountable.  This system is unique to Seattle and is working.  It took a decade to develop with community involvement.  Now the City Council wants to have non-profit “community” agencies with zero oversight respond to 9-1-1 calls.  The City would then divert funds to these non-profit “community” groups.  It’s not a coincidence that all of the council is beholden to them, and not the voters.  Corruption is corruption whether it’s the Republicans beholden to big business or the Seattle City Council beholden to activist organizations. We should all be frightened about what is happening.

  • Kk July 13, 2020 (5:02 pm)

    Just remember if you get these cuts and need to call 911. The response will be our thoughts and prayers are with you. Good luck 

  • Mongo July 13, 2020 (5:04 pm)

    Here’s how this would work in a city with rational political leadership.  First, they would sit down and put together the list of specific activities that SPD would no longer be performing.  And they would agree on that specific list.

    Then, they would use that list to identify the related costs that are associated with those activities.  And that is the amount of budget they would consider reducing.Then, they would determine where those activities were going to be performed other than by SPD.  And they’d go out and ensure they had organizations/resources identified that were competent to take over those activities.  And they’d roll out the transition in an orderly, well-planned way to ensure successful transition.

    And here’s what they would likely find by doing that.  The list of activities that they all agreed upon would be smaller than what everyone thought going in.  And the related budget reduction amounts would be much smaller than what they are discussing now.  And then, if they wanted to increase the amount of the budget reductions, they would need to identify the additional specific activities to be removed.  And that discussion would probably come up with little else.The reality is that budget reductions on the order being proposed – say 50% – are likely to have a massive impact on the core activities for that institution.  And I can’t imagine a major institution that could implement that level of reduction without closure of core facilities

    But, really, lets be honest, this entire exercise has absolutely nothing to do with really figuring out a rational solution to the issues being discussed.  It’s about raw emotion and retribution.  Those involved should stop pretending otherwise.

    • Canton July 13, 2020 (11:13 pm)

      Spot on.

    • Lorne July 14, 2020 (5:42 am)

      Well said Mongo! Very pragmatic, but I fear the current city council is not interested in real problem solving work. If CM Herbold is unwilling to step up and do the work, instead simply align herself with the vocal socialist left, then we taxpayers must step up. First initiate a recall of CM Herbold, and second petition W Sea on seceding from Seattle (possibly incorporating with Burien and White Center). But first “invite” those we pay to do the work, and if they choose not to, then we taxpayers step up with recall and petition.

    • Glenda July 14, 2020 (2:53 pm)

      Mongo, this comment is 100% correct. To everyone on this thread who is pro Defund (it doesn’t look like too many TBH) if your goal is that you actually want real, lasting change to the way policing is done in this country, the way Council is going about it is going to doom that very laudable intent to failure. This needs to be a well thought out transition and budgetary process to be successful. What is happening now is not that.

  • Derrick July 13, 2020 (5:42 pm)

    Selecting a random number to “defund the police” does nothing to address the underlying issues that these protests are about in the first place – the relationship between law enforcement and BIPOC. Any reduction in funding will leave a smaller force in place with the same issues.

    A 50% reduction is an action without a goal, and is working backwards to solve the problems that we currently face. Perhaps it would be more fruitful to start a conversation by deciding what the end goals are that we hope to achieve, and then putting a plan in place to achieve those goals. Here are a few ideas.

    1. Black lives matter. Acknowledge and recognize the root cause of this movement and the role police misconduct has played. Listen to leaders of the protests to put in place formal systems of accountability for law enforcement. 

    2. Crafting a long term plan to respond to homelessness, mental health crisis, and other social work emergencies will require careful study and solutions other than continuing police response to these situations. 

    3. Funding #2 above MAY be accomplished in part by demilitarizing our police forces.

    4. Demilitarize the police force. 

    5. Analyze the composition of our current police force and work to ensure that there is representation from the BIPOC communities on the police force. This may require INCREASED recruitment efforts – and maybe a table for recruiting should be set up at the next protest! 

    6. Review and create strong civilian oversight boards protocols for reviewing police conduct and empower these boards to take action.  

    7. Increase training around cultural competence, implicit bias, mental health, deescalation for our current force.

    8. Before ANY dramatic plan implementation or votes, allow the community to hear the proposals and weigh in.These are just a few starting points.

    We all agree that change has to take place, let’s not just start changing without a plan though!

    • Mel July 13, 2020 (7:01 pm)

      What system of accountability would you like changed? I’m genuinely curious. Are you aware of SPDs use of force policies as well as how they’re held accountable? It’s pretty incredible really. They have higher standards set for them than any agency in the country. Oversight? You do realize OPA has quite a few citizens on it right? As for hiring POC, SPD has had initiatives the past few years and they’ve been working hard to become more diverse. I believe it was last year their new hires were 40% POC. It seems a lot of people want to throw ideas out there without actually knowing what’s already taking place in the dept.

      • Derrick July 13, 2020 (7:45 pm)

        Mel – You make some good points. First, I am NOT aware of the details of the policies that are in place, and concede that my off-the-cuff ideas are places to start a conversation, not end one. The responsibility of demonstrating successes in the process of accountability sits with the Department however, and if I am not aware of their success, they have an opportunity to improve in their PR.Clearly, based on recent public demonstrations, there is a significant percent of our community who has grievance with our department. What would your proposed solutions be to address that and to improve our police department?

        • Mel July 14, 2020 (7:42 am)

          Derrick- I agree having conversations is great. I guess I would ask if you’ve done any research outside of watching King 5 or reading headlines as to what took place during the “demonstrations”. I have the the privilege of knowing multiple SPD officers and have had an insiders look as to what took place during these protests. Unfortunately, it only takes a few people in a large group to start throwing bottles or other projectiles at the police for them to have reason to defend themselves. Maybe I am in the minority here, but these protests were not peaceful when the police acted. Maybe I was raised differently, but I was taught to respect ALL people. The idea of throwing things at police officers is something I cannot comprehend. I know officers who had teeth knocked out from things thrown at them and one who had an injury to his hand that required surgery- these are just people I personally know.  I think there is a ridiculous amount of misinformation out there (that the media perpetuates) about what is happening with our police. SPD is one of, if not the best, trained police force in the country. They do so much training on implicit bias and deescalation. It really has become a bandwagon that everyone has jumped on, and the police have become the scapegoat in all of this. That’s not to say EVERY police officer is good. There are 700k sworn law enforcement officers in this country, and not all people are good so obviously you’re bound to have people not fit for the job. I really think if people took the time to do their own research outside of what the media is pushing, they’d realize SPD has made huge strides over the past 10 years.

        • Apotheosis July 14, 2020 (8:29 am)

          Clearly, based on recent public demonstrations, there is a significant percent of our community who has grievance with our department.I’m not sure how significant a portion of the population it is – seems like a pretty small minority that are full of grievances about just about everything. Sawant and her minions are case in point – on the list are police, successful companies that bring good jobs to our city, the mayor, all landlords, anyone who owns a Single Family Home, and capitalism itself.

    • HappyCamper July 13, 2020 (8:22 pm)

      Re: #4. the challenge with that is we are an armed society. Citizens are allowed to carry military style assault rifles. The police have to be equipped to deal with that if someone goes off the rails.They also have to assume that they could encounter an active shooter, bomber or whatever else at any time. The police are currently expected to respond to “man in crisis” calls as well as terrorist attacks. It’s definitely too broad of an area of responsibility but when there’s a sniper in Las Vegas or a bomber in Boston the militarization pays off. Super complicated problem for sure.

      • Peter S. July 14, 2020 (8:18 am)

        As evidenced by what tragically happened in Bothell last night.  

  • CO July 13, 2020 (5:58 pm)

    Two unintended consequences I see resulting from this are more citizens are going to arm themselves with guns to protect property and community ( family , neighbours) and criminals seeking opportunity are going to flock to Seattle. Scary times ahead.

    • 2A convert July 13, 2020 (8:00 pm)

      Just bought my first handgun last week. The precedent for abandoning parts of the city and letting it fall into lawlessness is there.  I’m trained, and will continue to train in safe firearm use and I hope to God it never sees the outside of the safe, except for range practice.  Government at every level has failed the community and country in multiple ways by politicizing every issue it could, so it was time to take some personal responsibility for my family’s safety.

      • Sad July 14, 2020 (8:24 am)

        I don’t like guns but I bought a shotgun last year for home defense and now also plan on purchasing a handgun. The core responsibility of government is to provide for public safety and order – the city seems to be abdicating this responsibility. I also predict we will have more citizens taking the initiative to arm themselves. 

  • wseaturtle July 13, 2020 (6:43 pm)

    Would a 50% cut equate to a 50% reduction in police abuse and killings?  If yes, then go for it. If it doesn’t work, try something else.

  • Jim July 13, 2020 (6:45 pm)

    I watched the video, and somehow didn’t throw my phone into the garbage disposal. Lisa Herbold is a disgrace and a coward. Of course the SW precinct will close. They will not tell Madison Park or Queen Anne people they can have police protection. No, it’s easier to screw a minority area like West  Seattle and let us die. I particularly laughed at her proposal to toss out the police union contract to fire more seasoned officers for young minorities. I wonder if she is willing to propose the same for teachers unions? As I said, Lisa is a coward. 

    • WW Resident July 14, 2020 (11:45 am)

      @Jim, isn’t that incredible? Herbold demonstrating blatant racism. Fire the older white officers because of their race and watch the class action lawsuits for racism and age-ism against the city come pouring in

  • Allen Bower July 13, 2020 (6:46 pm)

    Ladies and Gentleman,i want to call your attention to two budget meetings by the Seattle council taking place this Wednesday July 15th one at 1000 am one at 200 pm. There will be public comments during these events and I want to impress upon you the seriousness of this situation. The chief and mayor are not using a scare tactic when they say a precinct will not be staffed it is perfectly within the realm of possibility due to the dangerous low staffing. I also want you to understand that if the council cuts 50% officers that make the cut will leave in droves. Why would they stay and work for a city that does not support them and cut half of their brothers and sisters that have worked so hard by their side. This is a complete possible abolition of the SPD and this is not a scare tactic this is real life folks. If we value our neighborhoods, our businesses and our community we have one last chance to straighten this ship. Join me to save SPD I am pleading with all of you that believe this action is reckless and irresponsible. 

  • Noodle July 13, 2020 (6:52 pm)

    So! Ms. Herbold stated on her Twitter feed (she really did), that Chief Best incorrectly assumed she would have to fire BIPOC recent hires first.  Herbold stated that it is the Chief’s discretion via the PSCSC to lay off (terminate) ‘out of order’ in the interest of ‘efficient operations’.  So not lay off on seniority but on race, isn’t that..racist? oh, and illegal.  

  • Cratewasher July 14, 2020 (5:08 am)

    The first part of defunding should be purging any serially abusive cops from their jobs. Next, the highly paid upper Brass who allowed this culture of abuse to fester. Also, impeach this extortionist Mayor. 

    • Me July 14, 2020 (7:29 am)

      Cratewasher- I’d love to see the data on all of the serial abusive cops. Seems like you’ve been reading headlines and not doing your research.

      • WW Resident July 14, 2020 (2:37 pm)

        Their research is Twitter and Facebook

  • Allen July 14, 2020 (7:49 am)

    Two budget meetings tomorrow one at 10 am and one at 2 pm. Last chance to have our voices heard that we are against this recklessness by the council.  Can sign up an hour before the meetings and they are all virtual via the Seattle city council page. There was a shooting in Kent and shooting in Renton and two officers shot, one killed in Bothell on a traffic stop! This is not the time to be an activist council member giving in to demands from the CHOP and it’s inhabitants. I want to impress upon you the idea that we may lose more than 50% of officers as ones that make the cut may also leave feeling unsupported this could be an abolition of the police not a scare tactic here just providing a realistic outcome to this mess. 

    • WSB July 14, 2020 (10:12 am)

      The council does meet tomorrow at 10 am and 2 pm but public-comment registration starts TWO hours before the meeting – instructions are on the agenda:

      Important to note, this is NOT the “last chance” to speak up on this. There is not even legislation proposed yet and nothing will be finalized tomorrow. That said, whatever your sentiment, procrastinating is seldom a good thing.

  • Jim Errickson July 14, 2020 (9:22 am)

    Support SPD group gathering at city hall tomorrow from 9 am until 5 pm if you have time and support SPD probably a good thing to at least show a little for! 

  • AR July 14, 2020 (1:12 pm)

    Called and left a message for Lisa. Her voicemail is no longer full as of 1pm, 7/14/20.  Please do the same if you’re against defunding.

  • WTF July 14, 2020 (7:40 pm)

    None of this has to do with changing the systemic racism that exists everywhere, let alone among law enforcement! This is a kneejerk reaction to those who screamed the loudest, and it’s pathetic. Are there issues within this agency, yes. But, systemic issues (race, gender, age) exist inside the walls of Seattle city government; the council needs to look to itself. The media churn, dismal city council (out for themselves) are blaming LE because it’s easy news, not based on hard data, facts and figures that are related to SEATTLE. I would bet that few if any city council has done a ride-along with LE, yet they seem to know how policing works. No matter how hard you want LE to change, you cannot decimate the agency and call it a victory–you are sadly fooling yourself. You can’t (as much as you want to, no matter how many signs you carry, how many protests or peaceful rallies you hold, or how loud you yell at police) run a major city with what the council and people with no plan are “demanding”. Stop trying to abate your white guilt and do the right thing on behalf of all citizens here. Start by looking to yourself for change and understanding. Hold media accountable for churning-up anger and discontentment with their very well-choreographed news. Hold yourself accountable for learning real facts and figures about SEATTLE police and stop looking outside our community to prove what ills our own! Open your eyes and ears, and you may be surprised at what non-emotional learning can teach you.

  • BG July 15, 2020 (8:03 am)

    I agree with Mongo’s comment 100%.  When I see the level of research and planning by Lisa Herbold that went into her decision to support this measure, I have to wonder about the attention to detail she has applied to her positions on the Homeless Crisis, Upzoning, firing  Wells Fargo, etc.

  • Roxann Malley July 15, 2020 (2:30 pm)

    There were 2 smash and grabs this week alone.  Closing the precinct will just increase this sort of thing and too bad if its a real emergency since it will take 30 minutes to get here. Seems that since Capitol Hill doesn’t want a precinct, which was made clear for days and days, that is the precinct that should close.  Capitol hill neighborhood has access to 2 police facilities already, and medical services.  West Seattle has no medical services, limited access due to bridge(s) failures and will now have limited police.  Everyone can forget about property values in West Seattle, since values will plummet.  Hopefully some of the real estate developers will tell the city council to straighten up, since citizens don’t matter.

Sorry, comment time is over.