Southwest Precinct could close if Seattle Police budget is halved, chief tells mayor

(WSB photo, Southwest Precinct sign at Delridge/Webster)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If the Seattle Police Department‘s budget is cut in half immediately, closing the Southwest Precinct would be one way to save money.

So says SPD Chief Carmen Best in a letter to Mayor Jenny Durkan, shared with WSB by the mayor’s office late today as the battle heats up over cuts the City Council might consider this month. Here’s the chief’s letter:

From the letter:

With little to no engagement with SPD, Council has articulated a plan to cut SPD’s 2020 budget by 50%. The SPD is fully committed to assisting the City in meeting its budget needs for the remainder of 2020, as well as engaging in a broad community-led discussion around re-envisioning community safety. Truly transforming policing into a system that meets communities’ needs, particularly communities of color, should only be done with a solid plan, not through a budget cut. These 2020 cut scenarios by the Council are political gestures, however, not realistic or rational solutions. SPD is absolutely committed to transforming the department and has already started the process. But if we are asked to cut 50% of our department overnight, we will be forced into decisions that do not serve our shared long-term goal of re-envisioning community safety. …

Overall Impact
The proposed $50 to $80 million additional council budget cuts, together with the identified $20 million cut, represents a 100 percent cut in the total budget for the fourth quarter. The only way we can achieve that level of cut within the last four months of the year is to terminate or transfer approximately 1,100 employees – or over 50 percent of our total workforce. This would leave us with about 630 deployable sworn members in the department.

Patrol Operations Impact

Currently, there are approximately 775 sworn members in the Patrol Operations Bureau. Even at that
staffing level, we often are stretched to respond to emergency calls in our target response time of seven
minutes. Under the proposed budget cuts, my only option that does not sacrifice public safety would be to do all that we can to maintain the staffing in Patrol. Given the potential reductions would have the entire department function with less personnel than are currently in Patrol, we would have to take drastic action to maintain patrol capacity. It also is important to remember that through labor rules, our newest, most broadly diverse officers are in patrol, and they will be the first we are forced to terminate.

• Close the Southwest Precinct

o The Southwest Precinct was opened in 2003, and previously the West Seattle area was served by the South Precinct. Currently, the Southwest Precinct is staffed by 100 sworn employees. Re-distributing these 100 employees to the remaining four precincts would help offset some of the impact of the cuts. …

The Southwest Precinct covers South Park as well as West Seattle, so theoretically both areas would be dispatched from the South Precinct – which is at 3001 S. Myrtle (map) – if this precinct were closed.

Now, some backstory:

The budget-halving idea stemmed from the “defund the police” advocacy that arose around the country during recent demonstrations against racism and injustice. The council and mayor wouldn’t usually be talking budget at this time of year, but the coronavirus crisis has led to a big loss in city revenue and meetings of the council, as the Select Budget Committee, were already under way to figure out how to deal with that. (Here, by the way, is the SPD budget summary. It lists $19 million for the Southwest Precinct.)

We have had a message out for a few hours to District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold – who chairs the committee in charge of public safety – asking where she stands. No reply yet, but in her weekly newsletter earlier today, she included this:

The Council’s Budget Committee met on July 8 to consider revisions to the 2020 budget to address the more than $300 million revenue shortfall because of COVID19 and its impact on our economy.

The Budget Committee began with a panel presentation from Decriminalize Seattle, King County Equity Now, and the Participatory Budget Project. It’s important that we listen to community voices moving forward in reimagining what policing and public safety look like. The panel proposes that the City Council cut 50% from the SPD budget and earmark those funds for reinvestment in community-led health and safety initiatives. They suggest cuts might come from:

-Freezing hiring
-Reduction in patrol staffing, prioritize for reduction those officers with highest number of complaints
-Remove the Office of Collaborative Policing, including Navigation Team
-End contracts with private firms that defend SPD and the City against police misconduct
-Cut SPD’s recruitment and retention budget
-Cut SPD’s public relations budget
-Cut SPD’s spending on Homeland Security
-Cut SPD’s training budget
-End overtime pay for police officers
-Replace current 911 operations with a civilian-led system …

The Budget Committee will meet again next Wednesday to hear Central Staff issue identification memos, including issued identified by Councilmember for potential cuts and additions to the 2020 rebalancing budget package.

There is no specific legislation yet in the city system actually proposing a 50 percent cut; the agenda for next Wednesday’s meeting has not yet been published (it’ll appear here).

But here’s the agenda from last Wednesday’s meeting, including the slide decks from the presentations mentioned in Herbold’s post, as well as one for a presentation she requested from city staff, with a breakdown of what types of 911 calls SPD receives and answers. The Seattle Times reported that Herbold and a majority of other councilmembers voiced support for the “roadmap” in the presentations, and for halving the SPD budget.

The mayor, meantime, has proposed a five percent cut as part of her plan to deal with the coronavirus-caused budget crunch.

If you didn’t read the chief’s letter above – it’s also viewable here in PDF – the Southwest Precinct is far fromthe only major cut she says she’d have to make if the budget were halved. One of the many others would also likely have a serious West Seattle impact, given that we’re surrounded by water:

(WSB file photo, SPD boat off Alki)

• Harbor Unit – The Harbor Unit responds to criminal and other emergency events in all of Seattle’s immediate waterways. We would have to leave this responsibility to the Seattle Fire Department.The SFD does not currently have immediate access to Lake Union or Lake Washington.

We’ll be watching for the specific documents that are likely to emerge in the city files early next week. You can also expect to see a lot of high-profile politicking over this, too, in the days ahead, as the mayor has long since said she is for reform but against a major cut. (We’ve asked her office what specifically she supports, and are still awaiting that answer too.)

FEEDBACK? Contact info for both the mayor and the council can be found here.

264 Replies to "Southwest Precinct could close if Seattle Police budget is halved, chief tells mayor"

  • Ryan Packer July 10, 2020 (7:35 pm)

    Seven percent of the department budget is overtime, in case you’re taking Chief Best’s proposal at face value. It’s very disingenuous.

    • WSB July 10, 2020 (7:45 pm)

      That reminded me that I forgot to put a link to the SPD budget doc in the story, there now for anyone who wants to take a look. ( https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/FinanceDepartment/20adoptedbudget/SPD.pdf )

    • Jim July 11, 2020 (12:01 am)

      And who replaces those hours of service? SPD has had enough trouble attracting officers with the way the council treats them 

    • Alki July 11, 2020 (9:13 am)

      It doesn’t really matter where the hours come from they need the hours to police correctly. So they need more officers as what I’m hearing you say. Like any business you don’t typically staff for the peak your staff for more of an average and then you allow people to work overtime otherwise you’re going to overspend. So what is your suggestion here?

    • Capitolhiil July 11, 2020 (1:47 pm)

      It’s not disingenuous. The agency is already understaffed. That’s why the OT is there …….it’s cheaper to pay the OT than it is to being it to proper staffing levels. 

      • D July 12, 2020 (1:29 pm)

        Isn’t most of the overtime pay for special events, sports games and parades?  10 million in overtime pay.  From police friends I’ve asked who live in different cities they wouldn’t consider working here because the city council demonizes the police.  We have the most liberal police force for the upper left quadrant of the US.  Yes things can always improve, and excessive spending can be evaluated without losing part of our diverse compassionate west seattle police force.https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CityAuditor/auditreports/SpecialEventsFinalReport121317.pdf

        • Mel July 12, 2020 (4:13 pm)

          Special event OT does not come from the city budget. For example, any OT at Seahawks games comes from the Seahawks or century link. The OT the city pays out is because they’re already understaffed and have patrol minimums that need to be met. Also, anytime an officer goes to court to testify in a previous case on their days off they get overtime as well. SPD does a great job with no support from this city. It’s a miracle more of them haven’t quit yet. 

          • DeNourulle July 13, 2020 (8:24 pm)

            Special event overtime is reimbursed to the city by the organizers but only at a percentage not in its entirety.  The big driver of overtime costs is Seattle’s love of protests.  Free speech events like Hempfest and city sponsored festivals are all on the city’s dime as well.  

    • Dunno July 12, 2020 (6:24 am)

      Give us all the chance to vote on this in November.   If this is the will of the people of Seattle, then I know it’s time to get out of here!

    • Joe July 12, 2020 (4:15 pm)

      I think its the council that needs a budget cut.  Hell, lets replace all government with private industry.  Why not? What could possibly go wrong??? Do the citizens get a vote on this???

  • Doug July 10, 2020 (7:42 pm)

    Neighbors, Lisa Herbold supports this plan. Let her know we need our precinct and the services it provides: lisa.herbold@seattle.gov 

    • Matt July 10, 2020 (8:27 pm)

      Done.  I sent her a note and forwarded it to everyone on our street. 

    • Eric1 July 10, 2020 (9:20 pm)

      I think that if a council member thinks that SPD should suffer a 50% budget cut, then their district should be the first to give up its police as a contribution to the solution. So if council member Herbold is for this, then by all means, take the precinct out and take the officers too.  To pass, the council needs 5 votes (>50%) and strangely that is just about the reduction they want.  The “yes” council districts should start with zero police services and council members who vote against the proposal can keep their police in their district.  If enough members vote yes, then they can spread around the excess resources to restore things up to 50%. Look, I agree that certain neighborhoods would be better served with additional resource and not more police. However, we should be adding those needed resources and not taking away resources from other neighborhoods  who actually appreciate the presence of police officers. I loved the poetic justice of the complaints of poor police response times in Sawant’s district with the east precinct closed.  I think we should suffer the same fate if our council member thinks we can deal with <<50% of the officers and resources in West Seattle.

    • Barb July 10, 2020 (10:28 pm)

      I have sent 2 letters with. O reply.😣

    • AlohaAlki July 11, 2020 (6:26 am)

      Everyone concerned should Emal all the City council members. Doug provides Lisa Herbal’s email address, do we have other council members contact info? lisa.herbold@seattle.gov 

    • LO July 11, 2020 (9:27 am)

      I wrote and thanked Councilmember Herbold for supporting the plan to reduce the SPD budget. That funding is better invested in our community.

      • John M McAlpine July 11, 2020 (11:37 am)

        @Lo,     I hope you never have to call 911 in a life saving emergency.    The SPD won’t arrive if your wish comes true.

        • ColumbiaChris July 11, 2020 (7:46 pm)

          A tiny fraction of the calls SPD responds to could be classified as “life-saving emergencies”. The vast majority do not involve any sort of violent crime. This is disingenuous at best.

      • Rob July 11, 2020 (4:27 pm)

        Our communities are underserved.   They deserve more money.   Our police have been abusive.  We demand better, more honest policing with integrity.  But it’s not a nice world out there.  Do you really want to be on your own?   I believe in the peaceful BLM movement.   But the police are necessary to a civil society.  Unless you want to defend yourself agains the whims of neighbors or people from outside of the community who do not subscribe to the same social norms as you, then you too should support the police.

  • Mr K July 10, 2020 (7:44 pm)

    The fear baiting by SPD is disturbing and bordering on bullying. Whipping the citizens into a frenzy with these statements. Their Twitter account is just as bad. Maybe we’ll see the Chief on Fox News tomorrow for more fear baiting. 

    • Doug July 10, 2020 (7:57 pm)

      Think about a mass casualty emergency here with the WS Bridge closed. Officers being dispatched from the South precinct. Unacceptable.

      • andrew July 10, 2020 (9:42 pm)

        you’re more right than you know.  in fact, even the southwest precinct is unacceptable.  we should build precincts every other block no matter the cost!Only stop when the response time is <2 minutes everywhere.

      • Hammer in Hand July 11, 2020 (3:22 pm)

        When seconds count in a police response they are currently minutes awaySW Pre. Must stay!! With the bridge outaNd only 3 arterial to get into west seattle proper crime will have a hay day

      • ColumbiaChris July 11, 2020 (7:48 pm)

        My understanding is that officers are almost universally dispatched from patrol, not from a precinct. Closing a precinct would have minimal, if any, effect on response times.

        • WSB July 11, 2020 (8:37 pm)

          They are dispatched via 911 but they have to be based *somewhere* – so there’s roll call at shift change, say they’re all out of the South Precinct, so they start the day/night on the other side of the bridge, and are as likely to be over there when dispatched to a WS/SP incidentas over here (while you’d assume officers would still be assigned to sectors, that doesn’t mean they work exclusively in that sector – in WS, William (west) units wind up on Frank (east) sector calls and vice versa (source: sitting by the scanner all day and night). About the only “efficiency” I can think of is the fact that South and SW Precincts still share a main radio frequency (East, West, North Precincts each havve their own respective frequencies). I worked in regional news pre-SW Precinct so I don’t know how things worked, or didn’t, back then. – TR

    • B.W. July 10, 2020 (8:01 pm)

      Just like the city council that is blaming on what happened in Minneapolis, on Seattle PD. But hey, you go ahead and defund the police,  I’m sure the security that was put into place at the Chaz would be happy to pick up the slack here in West Seattle. So the same fear baiting you speak of is the reason we are at this crossroad.

    • Mr Henry July 10, 2020 (8:16 pm)

      Show me the facts and data to support your statement.  SPD needs more funding not less.

      • Lee Bui July 12, 2020 (10:29 am)

        @Mr. HENRY. I agree with you. More funding for SPD. Keep SW Precinct.

    • Dr. No July 10, 2020 (8:24 pm)

      Are you prepared for the fallout if she is correct? 

    • wscommuter July 10, 2020 (9:31 pm)

      “Fear baiting”?!  Cutting SPD’s budget by 50% is nothing more than an arbitrary, feel-good knee-jerk reaction based, quite literally, in ignorance.  I fully support BLM and its purpose.  I fully support police accountability.  But unless someone can tell me precisely which parts of the SPD budget and its services we’re arbitrarily eliminating because we don’t need those services, this proposal is a recklessly stupid stunt that will only come back to burn our city.  Lisa Herbold will need to be held accountable for this act of cowardly surrender to the mob.  

      • Will July 10, 2020 (10:34 pm)

        Wscommuter you are absolutely spot on.  This is ridiculous and dangerous. 

      • Graciano July 11, 2020 (4:57 am)

        All this bickering back and forth on who’s right and who is wrong, police or no police makes me think of this Twilight Zone episodehttps://youtu.be/oPOoEQ2vx7w

      • Tomas July 11, 2020 (9:28 am)

        Finally a voice of reason in these comments.  I agree completely 

    • Bradley July 10, 2020 (11:38 pm)

      So, you’d prefer residents with rifles and shotguns patrolling your neighborhood to SPD officers? Because that’s what you’ll get with 50% defunding. Seattle already has less than 50% of the officers we need for 750,000 residents. If you think hardworking West Seattle residents are going to sit back and let violent criminals prey on their families, you couldn’t be more wrong.

      • Tsurly July 11, 2020 (12:00 pm)

        Bradley I cannot think of a single time where I’ve agreed with you on this blog, but I think you are absolutely correct on this one. If this Is implemented and results in a decrease in police presence, I guarantee more people will start carrying.

        • Bradley July 11, 2020 (4:34 pm)

          Yeah, I think we’re going to all need to work together on this one. If this becomes reality, innocent lives WILL be lost, as they were in CHOP. 

    • Jim July 11, 2020 (12:06 am)

      “Fear baiting”?  Sorry, but time for a reality check. We saw what lack of policing did in Chaz, just a few blocks, with no police. No thanks. Defunding the police will lead to the deaths of many, mostly minority citizens. That is the simple reality. 

    • Alki July 11, 2020 (9:16 am)

      Fear baiting? Have you ever had to use the police? Do you want to wait 15 minutes to 20 minutes for an officer to show up? I have had to use the police and I don’t want to wait an additional 10 minutes for an officer to arrive. It’s not fear mongering it’s actual math.

  • Dona May July 10, 2020 (7:52 pm)

    Without any community discussion outside of the angry mob that supports Sawant’s idea of dismantling SPD – Herbold will go along because she is too frightened to speak up. Wait till West Seattle starts to look like the CHAZZ CHOP and will see how much love Lisa gets for going along without consulting her constituents. 

    • Seattle_Native July 12, 2020 (9:46 am)

      @Dona May you are right.  Sawant has a reputation of not working with the mayor, other council members or anyone in the community not openly supportive of her movement. She can be quite the bully too. Lisa may be in over her head, and intimidated by Sawant and the extremely vocal few who support her.  The rest of us need to stop being the silent majority and speak up.

  • Thegreateaglespirit July 10, 2020 (7:57 pm)

    The only frenzy I’ve seen lately was rioting and looting, then the takeover of 6 city blocks. Perhaps nobody actually realizes that cutting our already understaffed SPD in 1/2 will hurt poor communities the most. I guess those lives don’t matter so much after all. Hope you have your sign out though.

    • Alki July 11, 2020 (9:17 am)

      Great comment

    • Lee B July 11, 2020 (1:08 pm)

      Perhaps you don’t realize that the police have never protected the poor. They are responsible for helping to perpetuate the cycle of criminalized poverty and the reallocation of funds is meant to directly help support our poor disenfranchised society members. This rhetoric from the chief is meant to stir up division and I guarantee that the precinct will remain after the budget cut. The police are scared for their jobs, not for the community. Don’t let them scare or bully us anymore with baseless fear mongering. There’s so many claims too that they will have to lay off police, to which I say, how much are we paying them in the first place? Did you know that our officers, even the rookies, make between 80k to 100k+ per year. Did you know that when an officer conducts a false arrest, the victims compensation is paid for by the us, the tax payers and not the responding officers or police union. Defunding the Seattle police department is the best thing we can do to support our working poor and minority groups here in Seattle. 

      • Me July 11, 2020 (2:33 pm)

        Do you live in a poor neighborhood? Are you a POC? If not, go to a poorer area where crime runs rampant and ask them if they’d like to see less of a police presence. Right now you’re only hearing from a fringe group, most of whom are younger. People who are established in these poorer neighborhoods often want more police.

        There are MANY people who work for the city who sit behind a desk all day making over $100k. And they aren’t putting their lives on the line. You need to go on a ride along and live a day in the life. Maybe then you wouldn’t think they’re overpaid.

        • Yes July 11, 2020 (7:50 pm)

          100% agree. Reducing police is going to harm poor, POC areas the most. It’s outrageous ppl behind this movement claim to want to help when they are likely bringing distaster to these populations. 

  • K Sweeney July 10, 2020 (7:59 pm)

    We don’t have a decent road into our community, all traffic has been rerouted to secondary arterials  which is an absolute nightmare to get through.  Now they want to close the SW Precinct. Why should we remain in the city of Seattle and continue to pay outrageous taxes for what?  No decent access into our community and now the proposal for no police precinct. Lisa Herbold you should not support this. West Seattle should have a precinct that responds to the needs of the citizens of West Seattle and South Park. Also this West Seattle Bridge debacle needs emergency repairs immediately!!! What is going on is beyond ridiculous and beyond the pale. Closing a police precinct is not the answer to systematic racism in this country. 

    • Lagartija Nick July 11, 2020 (8:16 am)

      There is no proposal to eliminate the SW Precinct. Chief Best is making the disingenuous claim that that will be the outcome IF SPD is refunded.

    • Lorne July 11, 2020 (11:34 pm)

      Agree completely! Time to consider seceding from Seattle? The city is not respecting our transit, roadway, policing or representation needs. Shall we drop the Seattle moniker and taxes, join with White Center and Burien to better serve our residents?

      • Cascadia-curious July 13, 2020 (6:42 am)

        I’m intrigued, but also worried that this won’t work if put to the same popular vote that elected Lisa Herbold as our council rep. . . .

    • Seattle_Native July 12, 2020 (9:48 am)

      Interesting idea. How would we go about doing this?

  • Mark July 10, 2020 (8:02 pm)

    If the 50% cut goes through, there will almost certainly be some hiccups and changes that need adjustment. BUT, remember that the current system is not producing safe and equitable outcomes for all our community members. An imperfect system that  doesn’t discriminate is infinitely better than a system that only provides safety for certain people.

    • kram July 10, 2020 (9:56 pm)

      Yes, because logically if you cut the spd budget by 50% you now will have an imperfect but equitable system /s

      • Brian July 11, 2020 (1:44 am)

        If those funds are redirected to programs that aid the community (instead of murder them) then that’s exactly what will happen. It’s not like the request is “cut funding by half and just keep the money for fun”.

        • Mel July 11, 2020 (11:52 am)

          Is SPD murdering many of our community members? Wow that’s news to me. 

          • Michael July 11, 2020 (2:05 pm)

            Yes, SPD is absolutely murdering members of our community.  They’re literally under a federal consent decree.  This has been the case for nearly a decade, with no end in sight.https://www.king5.com/mobile/article/news/what-the-federal-consent-decree-means-for-seattle-police-department/281-1c410cb9-206c-4ff3-b6b9-e085ffb88648

          • Me July 11, 2020 (4:56 pm)

            Then why was the consent decree about to be lifted prior to this uproar? Many changes have been made in SPD. You need to look at current facts. I follow all the stats both locally and nationally. And with 700k sworn law enforcement officers in this country, I do not believe the narrative that police are out there hurting/killing people on a regular basis. They make hundreds of millions of contacts with citizens each year, and how many of those even end in a use of force? A very low amount. Do your research. Don’t watch the news and see some video clips and assume all officers are out there killing innocent people. There are bad people in every role (maybe you missed the teacher who recently raped a student?) but to say it as a generalization is misguided.

          • WW Resident July 11, 2020 (5:49 pm)

            @Michael, your hyperbole is nauseating. The SPD deals with approximately 800,000 contacts with civilians annually. Last year there were 17,000 in crisis contacts that resulted in less than 1% of any type of use of force (which can be handcuffs, restraints, etc.) Out of all the years the DOJ have been here, you can only name a handful of “murders” as you call them out of literally millions of contacts with police. Get a grip

          • Brian July 11, 2020 (4:35 pm)

            Yeah. You could try reading the news sometime if you don’t want to get it from some dingus in a comments section. 

        • Thomas Wood July 12, 2020 (7:35 pm)

          Really Brian the Council is doing such a bang up job with the over 100 million they get for the homeless.And you want to give them more without oversight!Take a look each council member has 3 to 5 legislative aids.We have 2 city wide council members who have no district .What do we need them for?We had an election last fall that was approved by the voters.That included more officers.Now the Council wants to overturn the will of the people .With no input,that’s absurd.

    • CR July 11, 2020 (2:19 am)

      This is a false narrative and I have no idea why white people keep repeating it. As a minority in a higher crime area, I can tell you that it absolutely provides safe and equal outcomes, and in fact, cutting SPD will disproportionately hurt minorities.This marxist chaz nonsense needs to stop now. The kids had their fun and it’s time to show some maturity. I am deeply ashamed that Herbold is aligning herself with Sawant and even considering this. Blood will be on her hands. This is a tragedy.

      • WW Resident July 11, 2020 (2:56 pm)

        I don’t know why white people keep repeating this narrative CR. Maybe that’s one reason Malcolm X said that the black man’s biggest enemy is the white liberal?I have literally seen a “white savior” argue with a black person on what the black person’s experience is supposed to be and be more outraged that the black person isn’t as outraged as they are. Every POC I know, including my wife are completely against this idiotic idea

  • Gashuffer July 10, 2020 (8:09 pm)

    Coverage area considered, closing the East location makes more sense. Also leaves the Leschi area a bit more exposed to the realities of police services cut. We here in the SW area are constantly impacted by the city’s decisions. Whether we build a N/S tunnel or decide to put on the slow track fixing an unusable E/W bridge. Yet we pay the same in taxes as the people living on the mainland E/W corridor. 

    • Seattle_Native July 12, 2020 (9:53 am)

      @gashuffer Agreed. District 3 voted for Sawant. Seems fair for the east precinct to close as this is what they wanted.

  • Js July 10, 2020 (8:10 pm)

    Tons of overtime and another scam is off duty traffic control for construction work.they take a union job and make bank on these. They are cash kings.

    • Me, Ed July 10, 2020 (9:13 pm)

      Off Duty employment, like traffic control for construction zones are privately paid for by those companies doing the work.  It’s not paid through the city.  The overtime they’re talking about is overtime patrol shifts – which is a byproduct of low staffing.  Think about it, if our officer minimums for SW precinct at any is say 6 officers, and 1 calls out sick, you need someone to work on overtime to bring you back to 6 at minimum staffing levels.  Really when you are a 24/7 service, someone has to work and therefore overtime will always be a reality.

      • HappyOnAlki July 10, 2020 (10:13 pm)

        They shouldn’t be working other jobs on the side to begin with — don’t you want your police to be alert and ready to help, instead of tired from their side hustle?

        • Me, Ed July 11, 2020 (6:27 am)

          It’s like mowing lawns on your day off, it’s their prerogative if they want to, plus most road projects require an officer per law for traffic control.  Someone has to do it.  If you don’t want officers tired, hire more so we have a full healthy staff that aren’t over worked in the first place.

        • Matt July 11, 2020 (8:52 am)

          If it’s a side job, why do they wear uniforms when they do it.  Taco Bell sure wouldn’t want me wearing my uniform while I’m out working my side job.  

        • Will S. July 11, 2020 (3:51 pm)

          “Side hustle” is generous–this practice is a straight-up racket. I remember when Chief O’Toole reported it to the FBI because she was so alarmed at the way Seattle’s off-duty police use pressure to drum up money. Private traffic control services can be (and in many other places are) capably performed by civilian personnel.

        • ltfd July 11, 2020 (5:07 pm)

          So you’re saying that SPD Officers shouldn’t have the right to pursue their own work when they are off-duty? Wrong.

  • john July 10, 2020 (8:14 pm)

    Agreed, but there is fear bating on both sides of the ‘defund the police’ issue.  These veiled threats are draped in politics  with the Mayor not pleased with Lisa’s activism.  This after the mayor got no support from the council for the recent actions of Kshama Sawant. Seattle Process is attempting a makeover, will it be successful?

    • WTF July 10, 2020 (8:34 pm)

      Ha. Really?!Best is neither new nor naïve. 

  • Aero July 10, 2020 (8:18 pm)

    Wake up people. You can agree that we need funding for other programs, as do I, but is cutting the police budget 50% really the answer? And why is no one questioning that the city council is trying to push this through ASAP? Don’t the citizens of the city get a say in something that directly impacts us? Has anyone asked social workers if they want to go on all of these mental health calls everyone is suggesting? There are programs now where they ride with SPD and the feedback has been that they don’t feel comfortable going into most situations alone because it isn’t safe. If the plan is really to defund the police and move the money to other programs, it needs to be a well thought out and planned solution. It can’t be rushed through to take effect the back half of 2020. 

    • Dr. No July 10, 2020 (8:30 pm)

      I think you’re spot on

    • K July 10, 2020 (9:28 pm)

      I completely agree with you Aero. I think many of us agree that change is needed, but it must be well thought out first. When I hear the word defund, I instantly perceive it as a word chosen merely for immediate shock value and not a commitment to planning for long term changes.  I fear that the defund movement is going to lead to rash decisions, ultimately leaving us worse off from where we stand today. There are many, many more questions that need to be asked and addressed before such a drastic step takes place. 

    • Tony July 10, 2020 (9:56 pm)

      Well said! We should have a say in these major decisions that will impact our daily lives in such a way. The council is not being responsible whatsoever. Very frustrating, I hope everyone starts voting in a way that will actually benefit this city as opposed to enabling more homelessness and crime. 

    • mark July 11, 2020 (8:00 am)

      That is an incredibly intelligent and well thought out response.  Unfortunately, we have Lisa Herbold and the rest of the moronic and self serving city council making incredibly stupid and dangerous decisions that will have long term effect on the safety of the citizens of Seattle.  When someone is killed because a lack of police response, I hope they sue the entire city council (PERSONALLY – so they can not use taxpayer money) in a “wrongful death” suit.  

  • Lisa July 10, 2020 (8:25 pm)

    Lisa Herbold had closed door sessions during the week of June 15th with the Seattle Human Rights Commission on defunding SPD by 50%. I doubt she has West Seattle on her mind. Additionally, if we have to rely on the South Precinct for first responders with the bridge down, imagine our response time. It’s time to take action West Seattle.

  • TJ July 10, 2020 (8:31 pm)

    We reap what we sow unfortunately. If you voted for Herbold then you have no right to complain about this. Remember that less than a year ago she went into election season approving of signing bonuses to hire more police officers. To those that think this will make for a safer city I hope you at least have it in you to also tell any officers you see how much you despise them. And you go first in having a social worker respond to a situation.

    • john July 11, 2020 (7:05 am)

      We reap what we sow and I voted for Herbold.  But  I do have the right and responsibility to contact Council Member Herbold when they act like they have.  Please do the same.

  • Kim July 10, 2020 (8:31 pm)

    Why does it feel like only a few (and the loudest voices) are being heard right now? It’s time for those of us who don’t agree with this to stand up and say something. I’ve already emailed Herbold. I hope others will as well. 

  • WTF July 10, 2020 (8:32 pm)

    You get what you vote for. Have you not figured this out, yet? You can not run a major metropolitan city with hugs and latte laden get togethers. Are you serious?! Apparently the “citizen core” doesn’t remember what WS & the SW area was like prior to 2003. The impact will be great and not in a good way.Herbold…I just can’t even go there. 🤬

  • Matt July 10, 2020 (8:32 pm)

    This is insane. Booming population, terrible roads, a closed bridge, increased property taxes, and now removing the police presence in our community?! 

    • Andrew July 10, 2020 (9:48 pm)

      W Seattle is a comparatively safe part of seattle.  The kinds of problems we have here don’t need to be solved by armed officers.  We need people who are connected to the community and devoted to solving non-violent issues in a way which doesn’t escalate.Which, coincidentally, is just what the defend the police movement is advocating for: defending the police so we can invest those funds in community enrichment and community based protections.

      • Doug July 10, 2020 (10:13 pm)

        Great Andrew. Then good luck with the social worker who shows up when you actually need the police. 

      • Me, Ed July 10, 2020 (10:15 pm)

        When you say “armed officers.”  Is it that you think they’re not capable of doing the job, answering 911 calls?  Or is this a deeper narrative of people just not liking guns?  I hear that term a lot, it’s like people don’t like that they’re armed?  We just had two suitcases with dead bodies show up…We’ve had shootings and stabbing a here in WS.  Just because it doesn’t happen everyday doesn’t mean you do away with the police so when it does happen no one can respond.This is a knee jerk reaction and people aren’t thinking about the consequences.  2 months ago the city and city attorney wanted the DOJ decree to be lifted because SPD was in full compliance and a model department for the country.  Now they are apparently these oppressors that ruin everyone life they come into contact with?  I feel like I’m in the twilight zone.

        • Gwen July 10, 2020 (10:58 pm)

          I’ve had Seattle police refer to me as “it” and joke about what I have between my legs (I’m transgender). This was within the past year. Real exemplary force, I’ll tell you what.

          • Me, Ed July 11, 2020 (6:37 am)

            Was it the entire force?  One Officer?  Two?  Did you file a complaint? What was the outcome?  That’s unprofessional if that happened and should not have happened, but I don’t think that means that you paint the entire profession or department as that one particular officer(s).  I think that’s a huge problem that we have today, people paint every police officer as the worst of the worst and they’re all the same.  Every one wants to be treated fairly, but apparently when it comes to our police we automatically say they are this oppressive force and aren’t human themselves, we act like they don’t live in our communities as well, raising their families next door to you.  Get tough on cops that don’t do the job correctly, but don’t throw out the good ones out of anger.

        • Lagartija Nick July 11, 2020 (8:29 am)

          Armed officers weren’t necessary to respond to the bodies in the suitcase. The ME and detectives are more than equipped to deal with that. Armed officers didn’t prevent the few shootings/stabbings that have happened in West Seattle. And again, detectives would be a better response to those types of scenarios.

          • Me July 11, 2020 (12:48 pm)

            You do realize detectives are armed as well right? So it’s an armed patrol officer vs an armed detective….your logic doesn’t make sense

          • Lagartija Nick July 11, 2020 (5:58 pm)

            @Me, I am well aware detectives are armed. But they aren’t the officers responsible for murdering civilians, armed patrol officers are. My point is that we could do with less patrol officers (who in no way prevent crime and are the primary instigators of police brutality) and more investment in a multitude of community resources that would actually help keep our communities safer.

          • Me July 11, 2020 (7:13 pm)

            The logic still doesn’t make sense. The vast majority of patrol officers have never fired their weapons. To paint such a broad brush is irresponsible and is exactly how this narrative began. The facts just aren’t there stating that we have a serious problem with police brutality. Look at how many contacts they make each year and how often force is used. 700k sworn officers across the country and hundreds of millions of contacts with citizens. Most of them end very peacefully. 

      • Laura July 11, 2020 (9:16 am)

        Andrew – how long have you lived in West Seattle?  The SW Precinct and the officers who work here are one of the major reasons this section of Seattle is the comparatively safe you speak of. They are also one of the major reasons it stays that way. Criminals are not stupid and they can read. Make no mistake, they are following this topic as closely as the rest of us. Prior to that precinct opening and many years leading up to it, Delridge, Westwood, HighPoint…we’re dangerous. Not uncomfortable, but dangerous. Does policing in the city need to change and try new approaches, YES. But, it’s a complete failure to eliminate or cut budgets In half because you don’t like the way things are. It’s bad business. Use the budget differently within the agency. Do you think your tax structure will change because of this? No. These (so called) city leaders will be standing at your door with their hand out! They make reactionary decisions often, and the citizens pay the price every single time. This city is no longer an idyllic  waterfront town. It’s a fast growing metro that needs real leadership and smart decision-making. Enough is enough. 

      • Tomas July 11, 2020 (9:36 am)

        I know it seems outright blasphemy to many here but I think a low crime rate is something to be proud of and try to emulate, not use as an excuse to defund what is clearly working in WS.  Crime is lower in WS because we have a precinct here not in spite of it

  • WI transplant July 10, 2020 (8:32 pm)

    Maybe if seattle pd would focus less on arresting journalists and having us citizens pay their lawyer fees they could find a way to maintain current levels of service

    • Gwen July 10, 2020 (10:06 pm)

      Bingo. Also add “refusing to allow people into their apartment buildings” and “providing out of town fascists an escort through Capitol Hill while arresting community members.” A lot of folks on the West Seattle Blog have never had a police experience make them feel unsafe and it shows.

      • Beth July 11, 2020 (9:18 am)

        Do you honestly think those decisions were made by SPD? Don’t get the Mayor’s Office confused with SPD.

  • Stop the Madness July 10, 2020 (8:36 pm)

    3rd generation Seattlite,  Lived in West Seattle my entire life. I love my neighbors and can’t see any of them supporting this. The rest of my large family have moved out of here so the only reason for me being here is my job. Time for me to divest in this community. I wish you all the best of luck but I don’t think you’ll get any true support from the elected officials because they don’t have public safety in mind. As a community this place is solid, as a city, it has turned into a cesspool insanity.

    • MacJ July 10, 2020 (9:24 pm)

      Funny, I’m also a 3rd generation West Seattleite and have lived here my whole life. I support this direction by the council and so do my neighbors and extended family that live here.

      • Anne July 10, 2020 (10:01 pm)

        Funny I’m a 5th generation West Seattleite & have lived here my whole life & vehemently disagree with this plan -as do my neighbors & extended family that live here.

        • Bill (my Mom was born and raised in West Seattle) July 11, 2020 (10:46 am)

          Unless you’re family has kids at the age of 16 all the time, a so-called fifth generation would take you back to the 1880’s. Have you ever seen a picture of Seattle in the 1880’s? Don’t really believe you’re a “fifth generation West Seattlite”. You’re just making stuff up. 

          • Tired of the sniping in West Seattle July 11, 2020 (4:52 pm)

            Bill, I don’t know Anne, nor her age or family connections, but FWIW it is possible to be a 5th generation West Seattle resident without having kids at the age of 16. My great grandparents came to the US before 1900. I’m not sure when they settled in West Seattle, but it was before my grandmother (the 2nd generation) was born here in 1907. She had my mom in 1949 (the 3rd generation), when she was definitely way past the age of 16. I was born 20 years later (the 4th generation) and then had my two kids (5th generation) now in their 20s, when I was in my late 20s.  So, it is entirely possible to be an adult 5th generation West Seattle resident.  I’m not even sure why, in a comment section that is already pushing all my buttons with the rhetoric on all sides, I’m choosing to respond to your post, but something just rubbed me the wrong way about your making an assumption about someone else’s family situation. We can debate and engage each other on the merits of this council decision or even on the emotions we feel around it, but nothing is served from sniping at each other and making assumptions about who we all are in real life away from these mostly anonymous postings.  I don’t think it matters much how long any of us or our families have been in West Seattle. Those who are current residents here need to try to work as a community to solve the issues confronting all of us.

  • WSRes July 10, 2020 (8:42 pm)

    I work as a first responder for a municipality on the Eastside, and a longtime WS resident. I help develop the budget for my department and I can tell you a funding cut even at 25% would devastate the Seattle Police. These statements are not fear mongering. Emergency response would be unrecognizable if this is our future. Even the Seattle Fire responses would be negatively impacted, as they rely on SPD to ensure scenes like domestic violence are safe to enter. I’d strongly encourage everyone to contact Lisa Herbold and speak your mind in opposition to this. lisa.herbold@seattle.gov

    • Will S. July 11, 2020 (4:32 pm)

      I’m inclined to see some truth in what you’re saying, but I don’t see Chief Best’s memo as a good-faith attempt to sketch out her department’s capabilities with a dramatically reduced budget. She could have, but mostly did not, identify functions that SPD currently performs which could be performed instead by other agencies. For example, a lot of advocates have identified the 911 call center in particular as a significant SPD cost center that could be more appropriately performed elsewhere (and, I would add, with much greater efficiency in a combined 911/311/city-utility call center in accordance with a model that has been successfully deployed in other cities over the past 20 years). More generally, it’s a little bit amazing to me that Chief Best’s memo doesn’t actually estimate the savings from any of her proposals. Like, how much money would be really saved by closing the Southwest Precinct facility and basing all of the same officers out of a different facility? You save one building’s utilities, but still have to pay for all the gas it takes officers to drive from South to Southwest, and unless you’re demoting the Southwest command staff it doesn’t seem like there’s any change in personnel costs (to the contrary, overtime might increase). So it seems pretty fear-mongery to me, but I’m interested in your thoughts.

  • Stop the Madness July 10, 2020 (8:49 pm)

    Nice Friday dump!

  • A July 10, 2020 (8:49 pm)

    Email Lisa Herbold! Voice your opinions. 

  • PigeonRidgeBen July 10, 2020 (8:50 pm)

    It may become necessary to disband the Seattle Police Department entirely and create something better. The mandate being given the leadership in this and many other cities is NOT to have the Officers’ Guild continue to clumsily figure out how to protect its old boys’ club after being given less cash and clout. We all need to be giving thought to, and researching ways that we can reduce our reliance on the current police apparatus and increase our resource investments into less policed neighborhoods and community. What have been instances in the past that you’ve called the police and you were satisfied with the outcome? What were times when you weren’t and why? The creature you feed the most becomes the most powerful. Don’t let the police scare you into preserving a status quo that has such a poor return on investment. 

    • Mertlez July 10, 2020 (9:32 pm)

      Hear, hear!

    • Me, Ed July 10, 2020 (9:41 pm)

      This is a common misconception and narrative that is very loosely used.  Guilds can’t protect an officer who commits a crime and is charged with a crime.  If you are alleged to commit a policy violation or receive a complaint, a guild member is there to simply make sure an officer is aware of their rights and responsibilities of cooperating with an investigation, a lot like hiring a lawyer or having one appointed for you in court.  Otherwise, guilds bargain contracts with the city for wage and benefits.  And remember, the city and city council approved their contract.  Guilds can’t say pay us X, Y, or Z and it shall be done.  It doesn’t work that way.

    • wscommuter July 10, 2020 (9:51 pm)

      Your comment is the kind of absurd nothingness that is so scary just now.  “Necessary to disband the Seattle Police Department entirely and create something better”?  I’m all ears … let’s hear your brilliance as to what “something better” might be.  Please explain how you’ll deal with the domestic violence call when a drunken husband is beating his wife.  Please tell me how you’ll handle the situation when a strong-arm robber hurts someone for their cell phone.  Or what to do when the drunk driver is weaving through traffic.  Just to name a few of the tasks that police perform daily.  Waiting for your “something better”.  Crickets … 

      • PigeonRidgeBen July 10, 2020 (10:23 pm)

        Leadership in this city and many others is under a mandate to take corrective action and change the way our neighborhoods and communities are made safe. The corrective actions being called for in this city by organized citizens include:

        • Freezing hiring
        • Reduction in patrol staffing, prioritize for reduction those officers with highest number of complaints
        • Remove the Office of Collaborative Policing, including Navigation Team
        • End contracts with private firms that defend SPD and the City against police misconduct
        • Cut SPD’s recruitment and retention budget
        • Cut SPD’s public relations budget
        • Cut SPD’s spending on Homeland Security
        • Cut SPD’s training budget
        • End overtime pay for police officers
        • replace current 911 operations with a civilian-led system

        Chief Best has returned with a bunch of scare tactics that are not meant to contribute to our ongoing conversation about community well being but rather a thinly veiled effort to preserve the status quo. My question to you and the rest of us in this community is what are some ways to minimize our reliance on the police? I have law enforcement friends and understand their value in domestic violence situations, of which there are many. Is there  a more cost effective way to address our society’s domestic violence problem? My LEO friends are certainly frustrated by it. We have a bunch of property crime in this city, what have the police been able to do about it? Is there a more cost effective way to deal with our society’s poverty and addiction problems? My LEO friends are certainly frustrated by it. So yes, what I’m encouraging you to do is consider and research ways a community might become safer with less police. Is there a way we can become more self reliant, realistic and focused on initiatives that actually address societal issues that result in violence and crime. 

        • CR July 11, 2020 (2:30 am)

          They are under no such mandate, this is false. Please save your short-sighted and dangerous social experiments for another society. We have run that experiment already, and it ends in great pain and suffering. It’s time to stop playing around with these marxist revolution fantasies.

        • Mel July 11, 2020 (6:24 am)

          In my opinion, things like property crime haven’t gotten better not because of the police, but because the prosecutor in the city and county both want to decriminalize so many things. People aren’t serving time. They’re right back on the street. So it doesn’t matter how often they’re actually arrested if they’re booted from jail the following day. And if you think criminals aren’t smart enough to know that, you’re wrong. 

        • Me, Ed July 11, 2020 (7:08 am)

          The problem is listening to a media narrative that the cops are running around assaulting and oppressing people all the time.  Statistics don’t corroborate that narrative, why people are scared of looking at statistical data is beyond comprehension. Since Ferguson, most departments don’t do a lot of “on-view activity” which are police initiated contacts with the public (traffic stops, pedestrian violations, suspicious contacts).  How do you think SPD lowered their uses of force and a lot of complaints?  They limited their interaction with the public, dispatched calls only.  You can see that by the lowered number of arrests and traffic citations, it’s public record.  The problem is not the police not effectively doing their job, it’s our city political leaders not allowing them to accompanied by our courts (prosecutors and judges) not prosecuting offenders and people not being held in jails.  People say they want incarceration reform, empty jails and prisons.  Fine, but jail is a deterrent for people, why do most of us not commit crime?  Morals, sure, but we have jobs, bills, children that depend on us.  If you go to jail, you can lose all of that and most importantly your freedom, so we see crime as too much of a risk.  Property crimes are high because it’s relatively easy to commit, especially when we don’t have enough cops to adequately patrol the city, and when they are arrested nothing happens to them through the courts.  People aren’t held in jail, so if they spend a few hours in jail for getting caught breaking into 1 car, but get away with the other 50, there’s no deterrence.  Plus most of those committing property crimes are addicted to drugs and steal for more money to buy more drugs.  We don’t enforce drug laws.  We ask people to seek drug help, but they all refuse and there is nothing legally forcing them to seek help.  An addict given the choice is always highly unlikely to select the arduous path to clean living and recovering.  One solution, get clean or you will go to jail and get clean while you’re inside jail or prison.  Or, you can keep asking these addicts to change their habits, but you’ll likely continue to see the high property crimes because we’re doing nothing to affect their decision making.  Domestic violence are some of the most dangerous calls police are called to respond to.  Domestic Violence already has tougher laws with mandatory arrests.  That issue is much more complex that isn’t the police’s job to solve, its to intervene when violence occurs and arrest those who commit those crimes.  I think a lot of people are shaped into who they will be as young children.  Cut the SPD by 50%, no detectives will be around to investigate crimes against children.  The children that are physically and sexually abused will not be saved, and those children are also the ones that observe the domestic violence behavior between their parents.  I can’t urge to people enough to do their own research on policing and the vast majority of calls they respond to.  You can have pie in the sky ideas about social workers handling lots of police calls, but we don’t have any plan in place to achieve this, cutting by 50% is nothing more than a political utter signal that will have consequences that people are not thinking of.  Think, if my loved one is murdered or badly beaten and put in the hospital.  Do I simply want an officer to take a report and that’s it, or have a police department that has the capability of investigating the incident and holding those accountable so that they cannot victimize another person.  50% cut means the later will not happen.

      • LO July 11, 2020 (9:33 am)

        WSCommuter and Will – This is a topic that you can easily educate yourself on. This eBook, “The End of Policy” by Alex S. Vitale, is currently $3. It’s a quick read:https://www.versobooks.com/books/2426-the-end-of-policingVitale provides concrete alternatives to our current system.

        • CodyWS July 11, 2020 (11:47 am)

          Thank you so much Lo for sharing this book’s link. I also recommend it. If you’re reading these comments, and you’re completely baffled why Herbold is even *considering* police defunding, please consider learning more about how restructuring policing can positively benefit communities. 

          For a look at what can happen when a police department undergoes a major overhaul (including defunding) read about Camden, NY where crime rates fell 42% after switching to “community-oriented policing,” which prizes partnership and problem-solving over violence and punishment.

          https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/09/us/disband-police-camden-new-jersey-trnd/index.html

          • WW Resident July 12, 2020 (2:52 am)

            Using Camden as an example is so low informed. Camdem was broke and their crime rate ridiculous. They ended up using county which made their department 2x the size it was, not cut in half! And if you think King County is going to pick up the slack, you’re delusional as they’re understaffed as is. 

      • CodyWS July 11, 2020 (12:03 pm)

        Yes, but was causes domestic violence? Are police addressing the root causes, or just showing up after the violence has begun? “Defunding” asks that we as a society provide better funding for *preventative* community support. It doesn’t mean getting rid of all the cops. It does mean spending less on police in order free up more resources for mental health, drug addiction, and programs the help lift people out of poverty, so that the cops don’t have to show up as often in the first place.

        “To effectively prevent domestic violence, we must address the underlying circumstances, systems and conditions that support violence and inequality in relationships, as well as hinder our ability to be resilient and thrive as individuals and communities.”

        https://dcadv.org/what-we-do/prevention/root-causes-of-domestic-violence.html

        Look at it another way. What if we spent more on preventative medicine instead of medical crisis intervention? That wouldn’t mean you couldn’t get surgery when you needed it. But it could mean you’d need less surgery. 

        • Me, Ed July 11, 2020 (3:45 pm)

          And defunding the police will allocate the funds to get at the root causes of domestic violence that has been around in our society for decades and decades?  Again that’s not the police’s job, they are first and foremost law enforcement.  They enforce the laws when people break them.  They respond to 911 calls for service…They can, when allowed and encouraged to, be proactive and look for crime.  But everyone often considers it ‘harassing,’ even when they are committing crime themselves.  So they’ve completely abandoned that.  But people still aren’t happy?  Look how many expired tabs you see driving around west Seattle, even pre-Covid, people aren’t paying their tabs because SPD don’t stop and write tickets.  Simply having less police officers at the drop of the hat will not make existing crime disappear.  Criminals take what you give them, and they will fill the void of little to no enforcement of the law.  Instead of promoting an agenda driven book, please talk to a police officer.  Ask them about the job, what they’ve experienced, what they’ve had to do in the course of their duties.  I think you will find the job is much more complex than people make it out to be.  I understand that being told that is hard to really take to heart, most people don’t want to hear what cops have to say.  Do you think maybe after years of being called a racist, murders, and every other name known to man it would wear you down?  Yet look how many are still around, because they care about you and your safety, even if you take them for granted.  So they want to reallocate the money into affordable housing, homeless out reach, and other social services?  We’ve been doing that.  Nothing has changed, those issues are continuing to get worse.

    • Will July 10, 2020 (10:46 pm)

      Yes PigeonRidgeBen. Please do enlighten us with your something better.  Should come up with it after we disband the police?!

  • Duffy July 10, 2020 (8:54 pm)

    Many of the top police officers in this city get paid too damn much. Their salaries are out there; just go look them up. I’m all for a well funded police force so long as they effectively do their job. I’m not down with cushy pensions and some outrageously high salaries upwards of 300K a year. It needs to end. And other city employees making well over 6 figures…really? OUR BUDGET HAS GOTTEN TOO DAMM BLOATED.

    • Dr. No July 10, 2020 (9:20 pm)

      Duffy, the salaries you speak of are the outliers. By personnel who work OT and have served the citizens for years. Why are they working OT? Because they’re short staffed, and they work sporting events, do traffic control, and get held over for hours after shift if they have to finish a call or transport.  Do they get paid well, you betcha. Is that a job you think you could do? Maybe do a ride along and see if you think they’re overpaid? Or apply. (Well not now..)You think it’s cheap to live in Seattle with a family? If a civil servant pays into a pension system for 20-30 years they should reap the benefit.

      • Duffy July 10, 2020 (11:06 pm)

        “Work” sporting events? You mean sit there and stare at their phone and get paid overtime for it? No, we don’t need to be paying cops so much money. We need more cops to be better, and less cops overall. Go into the private sector and see if you see such glaring inefficiencies and malfeasance. It doesn’t happen. Why? Because you will be fired and replaced.

        • Me, Ed July 11, 2020 (7:13 am)

          Again, that’s private money paid for by centurylink field or T-Mobile Park…That’s not city overtime.  There is a difference in overtime that people are confused about…

      • Lagartija Nick July 11, 2020 (8:37 am)

        Privately funded sports franchises can hire their own security, armed SPD officers are not necessary for this. Traffic control could be separated from regular SPD and become their own unit, armed SPD officers are not necessary for this. 

        • Dr. No July 11, 2020 (11:56 am)

          You’re correct its paid privately but contracted through the city.  SPD/King County is therefore paid through the city.  What do you think they have their own individual corporations and get checks from the Allen family? So, if they work OT for events it will show up as part of their salary.  What private security firms are you talking about!!?? Who do you think they’re going to hire? Oh yeah, trained officers.  People whose job it is to protect us.  You like growth? You need traffic control.  Do you think there is a large pool of people lining up for traffic control jobs? There isn’t.  Private security firms with less accountability and rules? Re-read what you wrote and come up with a solution vs. some unproven ideas.  We need the SPD.  

          • Lagartija Nick July 11, 2020 (6:10 pm)

            @Dr. No, the unemployment rate is over 11% plus right now, there are plenty of people who would love to work security for large scale sporting events. Similarly with traffic control, plenty of people would jump at the chance to join a newly created traffic division. Right now, all of those jobs are contracted through SPD. We do not need armed patrol officers to do these jobs at over $80k/yr.

          • Dr. No July 11, 2020 (8:01 pm)

            Nick! Seriously? 80k? That may have been a lot in 2005 but it ain’t now.  How much are your techie buddies making? Not everyone lives in a studio micro pod or 1bd apartment. There are homeowners and business owners..you know, people that hire and vote. Like a lot. You gonna tell me that our laid off barista and bartender friends are gonna sling parking tickets, Hahahaha. Cmon now. Listen, I’m not knocking laid off workers. This thing has everyone spun up. However if you think the unemployed can be absorbed by meter readers and traffic control, you’re delusional. So you’re advocating paying people plus benefits for these positions? How much do you think THAT is going to cost!!?? So lay off city employees with families but then hire others to absorb the unemployed? Do you see the flaw in this logic? The unemployment rate needs attention 100%. But if your argument is that these folks make too much, then apply. For any city job for that matter. Dont be naive and don’t be a hypocrite. 

    • Me, Ed July 10, 2020 (9:32 pm)

      Look at more than the year that was posted.  Most of those officers received 3 years of back pay because they were out of contract.  And those top officers are on top step of the pay scale and have patrol longevity.  On top of that, they most likely worked a bunch of overtime because the department is so understaffed.I encourage anybody who feels that police officers are paid too much or unnecessary to have in general, seek one out and have a cup of coffee with one.  Ask about how the job has impacted their life and the life of their families.Sadly most people don’t have any clue what goes on behind closed doors in their communities and the police see and deal with it all.People think “defunding SPD” is a personal attack on those officers and showing them who is boss.  But all of those 911 calls, did SPD dial those three numbers? Or was it us, the citizens of this city who called and wanted help.  Defunding SPD is only hurting the citizens of Seattle.  Criminals take what you give them, and apparently we’re giving them our city.

    • Meow July 11, 2020 (11:26 am)

      Those numbers are incorrect because they neglected to tell people that  the retro pay officer got once the contract was settled was a good percent of the numbers posted in the Forbes article. I think they got a retro check that was at least 4 years of back pay that was owed to them. 

  • Denise July 10, 2020 (9:03 pm)

    So many citizens in Seattle also fail to realize that if a person is injured from a violent situation the medics and fire department do not respond until the police give the ok for safety to come in  an assist. There have been numerous times when SPD patrol officers are the first on seen rushing into the situation not knowing what they will encounter. I personally know of an officer who saved a life on Alki Beach before the medics could respond. The medics told him if it wasn’t for his first aid training and good judgment this young man would not have survived by the time they arrived for assistance. Please realize our men and women of blue have heart and want to protect and serve the Seattle people. 

    • Aero July 10, 2020 (9:11 pm)

      Denise- yes! Personally, I’d like to see more SPD officers in my neighborhood. 

  • John Q Lincoln July 10, 2020 (9:04 pm)

    Let’s put it to a vote.  If it be the will of the people, so be it.  

  • L July 10, 2020 (9:30 pm)

    Cutting police funding by 50% would be an experiment that has never been tried in any city.   Do we really want to be the subjects in all of this.   Write Lisa and the rest of the council to stop the madness.   I have a letter from her dated from February, after the mass shooting downtown (remember that?) in which she says she supports a $100 million increase to Seattle police funding.   4 months later she wants to cut funding 50%.   What is she thinking?

    • Will July 10, 2020 (10:48 pm)

      Exactly. 

    • Greg July 11, 2020 (8:53 am)

      Irrational reactivity.

    • Ws resident July 11, 2020 (9:16 am)

      I think the seattle city council needs to go. We need fresh people with finance backgrounds to get us out of this mess. There is poor budget management overall that has been going on for a while now

      • ACG July 11, 2020 (1:52 pm)

        Unfortunately we just had the chance last November to hit the refresh button on a lot of the city council members. We failed to do that. Now we are stuck for years with this group. 

    • CodyWS July 11, 2020 (11:38 am)

      It actually has been tried. In Camden, NJ. The city’s crime rate was among the worst in the US.   In 2012, officials voted to completely disband the department and  created a new one that focused on “community-oriented policing” (which prioritizes partnership and problem-solving over violence and punishment).  In doing this, violent crimes have dropped 42% according to city crime data provided by the department. 

      You can read more about this here:

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/09/us/disband-police-camden-new-jersey-trnd/index.html

      • Sarah July 11, 2020 (9:16 pm)

        It’s a great case study but- this restructure required MORE funding and MORE staff. Not slashing the budget in half…

  • Fed Up July 10, 2020 (9:38 pm)

    Maybe if we take over 6 blocks at the Alaska Junction Lisa will listen to us…Seriously, where has the community outreach in West Seattle been on this (I’m not aware of any)? I was blindsided by this announcement in her weekly email today. I was proud to march in the West Seattle protest and am all for equitable policing, but this is taking a sledgehammer to an issue that needs a scalpel. What is being hidden by the council trying to slam this through? This is terrible governance – she works for us! Our representatives work for us! 

  • Roms July 10, 2020 (9:45 pm)

    Lisa Herbold, during the past election, did not have defunding SPD as part of her platform. On the contrary, she was willing to have signing bonuses to attract officers. The defunding of SPD was also not in the platform of most other Council members (I’m not sure about Sawant and didn’t check). As such, the question to defund SPD or not should be left to us, Seattle citizens, through the November ballot. I welcome the Council to make proposals, but the Council should not make the decision on their own.

  • Mark47n July 10, 2020 (10:10 pm)

    This is a surreal argument. I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we funded education the way that we fund law enforcement.  How about we better fund education and make cops as accountable at educators? That would be incredible! One citizen complains about a cop and then, BAM! That cop is suspended, their career is ruined and the complaint was bogus the whole time.  How about cops go on strike and everyone freaks out like when teachers go on strike.Police budgets are like defense budget. It’s just never enough. Ever. Damn, heal care, education, social services et al. We’ll take the reactive choice of all.    

    • Fair July 11, 2020 (12:09 am)

      I saw on the news a teacher raped a student. Let’s go beat the shit out of all teachers, force them to put on riot gear to stand there and be accused of being a rapist, burn the schools down then defund education… 

      • WW Resident July 11, 2020 (2:26 am)

        Also according to John Hopkins Institute, 250,000 people in the USA died from medical errors and malpractice, so we definitely need to defund this by 50%  and cut training! 

      • Mel July 11, 2020 (6:30 am)

        Fair- my thoughts exactly! How is it that we’re not protesting teachers being terrible people after a small number of them have raped/abused children? Somehow police officers have become the scapegoat in this country. With 700,000 or so sworn officers across the country, do people really think police brutality is running rampant? Go on a ride along (if they even let you now) and learn about how they interact with the public. I think people would be shocked to see what they have to see/handle on a daily basis. With social media these days, we have too many keyboard warriors who think they know everything about a profession they’ve never done. 

    • Mel July 11, 2020 (6:36 am)

      I think SPD should go on strike for a week after everything they’ve been through lately. See how citizens like it then. They’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Teachers strike almost every year and somehow it’s acceptable (although also not allowed per their contract I’m assuming). What would people think if SPD did the same thing? 

      • CodyWS July 11, 2020 (11:30 am)

        When police went on strike in NY, crime went down.  Turns out the citizens never noticed anything amiss. This is just one article on that:

        https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-proactive-policing-crime-20170925-story.html

        • Dr. No July 11, 2020 (2:16 pm)

          Of course it went down! No one was around to hold people accountable.  It doesn’t mean crime wasn’t committed, just that there were less cops around to arrest them and therefore ‘less crime committed’ or simply put, they got away with it. C’mon now. You believe this!!??

        • WTF July 11, 2020 (5:44 pm)

          NYPD didn’t go on strike (read), they slowed their patrol efforts for certain crimes. Going on strike is something entirely different. JSYK, Washington state laws do not grant any public employee the right to strike and some laws prohibit strikes by public employees. (And, yes, public school teachers do not have the right to strike either. So, SPD could justify doing so. You see, when you allow one law to be broken for some and not for others, it’s call hypocrisy.)

    • Ws resident July 11, 2020 (9:21 am)

      I agree. If you look at the police force salaries you would find grossly overpaid individuals. If it were a private entity I wouldn’t care but tax payers fund this. There needs to be a revising of these 150-400k salaried individuals and cap it and put those savings into public education salaries. I can imagine bringing down 1 cop paid at 400k to 100k will help many teachers salaries! 

    • spooled July 11, 2020 (11:05 am)

      Mark47n: I just looked at my property tax and 52.93% of it is ALREADY going to schools.  I have NO children and never will.  (Nobody subsidizes my pet care.)  On the same pie chart I see only a paltry 2.87% going to emergency services!  I don’t know about you but I sure like having police around.

  • CH July 10, 2020 (11:41 pm)

    Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now are two of the groups driving this crazy plan.  The second of four bullet points in their presentation to the council reads “Scale up community based solutions to public safety”.  In other words, buy a gun and learn how to use it.

    • nonni July 11, 2020 (9:54 am)

      bullet points…

  • Erithan July 11, 2020 (12:03 am)

    Soooo we already don’t have enough police for our population, have trouble hiring and retaining…. this makes total sense…. I’d rather see the city council paychecks cut… >.>

    • AlohaAlki July 11, 2020 (6:55 am)

      Agree, City Council members pay should be reduced “Defund the city council”, They have not consulted their constituents who voted them into office before making a defund the SPD decision, they have no detailed plan for ensuring the safety of the community. Irresponsible! 

  • Medium July 11, 2020 (12:05 am)

    It’s not fear mongering, it’s simple math. Police services do not improve by cutting personnel, training, or equipment. No traffic unit for the racers on Alki. Half the homicide detectives working for families that are pleading for justice and answers. 2 hour response for bodies washing up on the beach is now 4 hours. The young, optimistic, freshly trained recruit with the latest in police science is laid off. The voters have spoken (25% at least) and this is what they want. Did you see the cops marching last month down California Avenue? Gone.

  • EduMommy July 11, 2020 (12:53 am)

    Educator and mom here. West Seattle is the largest neighborhood in Seattle. Erasing the SW Precinct is foolish and short-sighted. Will be emailing Lisa Herbold. What about when victims, witnesses, and mandated reporters, etc. report an alleged rape/sexual assault and then wait hours for the police to come, if at all? (This happens even without defunding).What message does that give victims who are afraid to come forward, are finally ready to report it, and law enforcement doesn’t show up? What about if there’s a mass shooter? Would police helicopter over here? How about investigating shootings and gun violence? I believe someone mentioned something about police at events. When police are present at school sporting events, dances, etc. it is paid for by the school, not out of the police budget. 

  • AllSoTiresome July 11, 2020 (2:05 am)

    Absolute bedlam. I suppose we can hire CHOP “security” if any of them make bail.

  • CR July 11, 2020 (2:40 am)

    Don’t email her, CALL. I previously worked as an aide for a member of congress, and I can tell you they barely paid attention to email but took things very seriously when the phone started ringing. Everyone should call her daily until she realizes what an embarrassing mistake this is.

    • Seattle_Native July 12, 2020 (10:09 am)

      @CR thank you for that tip. Call Lisa Herbold and Jenny Durkan every day!

  • Graciano July 11, 2020 (3:47 am)

    Let the criminals run free…Hello 911, I need an officer….. Sorry this is public safety.  We can connect you with a grievance counselor. 

  • Sean July 11, 2020 (6:37 am)

    Come on SEATTLE!!!! We the People of this City KNOW the police need more Money!!! Are we going to let these FOOLISH city council politicians continue to RUIN OUR city??? They work for US! We need to stand UP and squash this idiotic childish behavior NOW!!! How can we rise up against these mites that have worked their way under our skin???

  • NotOnHolden July 11, 2020 (6:59 am)

    How exactly does patrolling work?  Do they have to be within a certain number of miles from their base precinct while out on patrol?  Haven’t violent robberies actually happened within the same block of of the precinct?  Car prowls and all manner of other things still happen while we have the SW Precinct building.  Are they really out driving around, patrolling, and stopping things before we’re calling?  Or are they able to respond sooner because they’re already out and about in their vehicles which they could be with or without the SW Precinct?  

  • emy July 11, 2020 (7:23 am)

    #DefendThePolice  Anyone here who thinks they have an easy job and are getting paid too much should sign up for a ride along with SPD or KCSO.  Granted, you have to pass a background check to be eligible.

  • cid July 11, 2020 (7:29 am)

    I’ve written to  lisa.herbold@seattle.gov expressing views similar to “wscommuter” and suggest others write to her as well.  Before CHAZ Lisa was talking about needing MORE police officers.  I agree that changes need to be made but the council is acting on emotion with an arbitrary and punitive 50% cut with no real thought about the impact that would have on the citizens.

  • Joe July 11, 2020 (7:49 am)

    Let’s defund the Seattle City Council by 50% instead. Better yet 100%. 

  • anonyme July 11, 2020 (7:54 am)

    How does defunding police change anything?  I would agree that the police department needs restructuring and training and that long-held traditions of racism need to be changed.  But how, exactly, will defunding accomplish any of this?  There’s no connection, and I suspect that the situation would worsen.  Meanwhile, Bradley is correct: this will only encourage vigilantism, and justifiably so.

  • Lagartija Nick July 11, 2020 (8:09 am)

    Chief Best lied about CHAZ participants intimidating/extorting local businesses. Chief Best lied about the mourning bands. Chief Best lied about armed sentry/entry guards at CHAZ. Chief Best lied about use of tear gas/pepper spray on peaceful protesters. Chief Best lied about SPD officers arresting journalists. Chief Best lied about why officers abandoned the East Precinct. Chief Best is a liar. She is lying and fear mongering now. And a good portion of you still believe her?

    • my two cents ... July 11, 2020 (12:26 pm)

      &lagartija – can you cite the sources for your litany? The following excludes what Chief Best is or isn’t doing – but where are the voices questioning the Council and their confirmation process? They held 4 hearing just under 24 months ago.

    • CR July 11, 2020 (1:18 pm)

      I don’t know who must have lied to you, but none of those were lies, so yes, I definitely believe her. You don’t even have to take her word for it though, you can read the documents.

  • W SEA Fields July 11, 2020 (8:14 am)

    Nationwide we ask the police to perform tasks for which they are often ill-equipped: responding to domestic disputes, tending to the addiction-fueled rant on a street corner, knocking on the door of an illegally parked RV, etc.  If we want to re-imagine policing and include community-based first responders, those sorts of interactions would be a good place to start.  The City
    Council’s knee-jerk and arbitrary (50%!) response to a hashtag slogan, however, is both irresponsible and infuriating.  For those complaining about salaries and overtime: do you have any idea if some mid-level Parks, Sanitation, or Port employee is overpaid or playing Candy Crush while banking the OT hours?  Are their pension plans not bloated as well?  Casting SPD, which was utterly demoralized to begin with, as villains over the recent acts committed elsewhere serves nobody well.  My brother is a lieutenant in another state and is witnessing the impact firsthand: experienced officers, the cooler heads we need most right now, filing for early retirement at a rapid pace.  Who will replace them?  (Want a poorly paid – to start – and dangerous job where people will scream vile things at you because of the uniform you don every day?  Sign up here!)  #DefundThePolice?  At this rate, we won’t have to.  They will do it themselves by walking away from a thankless job and we will be neither safer nor better off for the exercise.    

    • Apotheosis July 11, 2020 (1:34 pm)

      Thank you – very true. Do people even consider how many interactions the police have with the public on any given day? It’s a dangerous and difficult profession and the vast majority of officers are decent people committed to serving the public. There will continue to be questionable incidents where use of force results in loss of life. Regardless of the ethnicity of those involved, these are tragic events but to paint an entire profession as racist or malignant is ridiculous. If one bad surgeon amputates the wrong limb in a hospital across the county, do we shut down our medical centers here and defund our doctors? Of course not. There are reforms that make sense but this action is just madness that will result in CHOP writ-large – chaos and further loss of order.

    • LO July 11, 2020 (3:26 pm)

      That’s actually the point. By defunding SPD, those funds can be invested in programs with better outcomes for addiction, homelessness, etc.

      • Apotheosis July 11, 2020 (11:31 pm)

         The city and county already spend millions on programs and projects and committees and consultants to address homelessness and addiction. The situation is not improving. But decimating the SPD and using its funds for more programs will really take of it…right.

  • Junctionite July 11, 2020 (8:56 am)

    Email lisa.herbold@seattle.gov a big fat NO. The south precinct is currently 23 minutes from the Junction, and that is with minimal traffic.Who else can we email about this??? Carmen Best? If someone has an email list that would be great!!!

    • WSB July 11, 2020 (10:34 am)

      The city page with contact info for all councilmembers & mayor, whatever your feedback, is at the end of the story.

  • Ws resident July 11, 2020 (9:11 am)

    Why is no one focusing on the compensation that the seattle police have? Did you know there are people there making 400k a year? It’s sickening. Instead of letting go of services how about revisiting salary for police? There’s a lot of fat in there being paid for by tax payers. Start there first! 

  • Brian July 11, 2020 (9:23 am)

    We asked for a police department that would be accountable to the community for its actions. In response we were beaten, assaulted with chemical weapons, and arrested.
    Now when the community begins moving foward with reforming the system that refused to reform itself, the department responds like a protection racket–“Nice neighborhood you got there, sure would be a shame if something bad happened and we weren’t there to protect you.”

    We have a right to demand a police force that is responsive to the community it serves and doesn’t threaten it.

    • Dr. No July 11, 2020 (12:07 pm)

      I agree with your last statement 100%.  However ask yourself, what if those police officers in the CHOP were assaulted? Bricks thrown at them, insults, bottles, nails, and fireworks.  Thats your family member out there.  Doing their job.  Still ok with it?  They should just stand there and take that? Chemical weapons!!?? ya mean pepper spray?).  The crowd just showed up with that stuff, like it just happened to be in their pocket and the cops assaulted them so they fought back? Thats how you get your message heard? Maybe you should have protested peacefully? Support the cause and not violence.  Don’t let your movement be hijacked and question the motives of your organizers.   

      • Brian July 11, 2020 (4:38 pm)

        The police attacked a lot of people without provocation. That’s a fact.    

        • ltfd July 11, 2020 (10:07 pm)

          No, they responded to the assaultive behavior of a few agitators hiding amonst the peaceful protesters. Frozen water bottles were thrown at police lines, chunks of concrete, fireworks & pipe bombs – causing injury to officers. At that point, the crowd needs to be pushed back – thus the whining about “police escalation”.

        • WW Resident July 12, 2020 (4:13 pm)

          @Brian, and that’s the problem, you’re confusing claims as facts. 

    • Apotheosis July 11, 2020 (12:56 pm)

      Brian – tired of you and others equating the wannabe revolutionaries who threatened the East Precinct with the “community” or the “people.” Was the initial police response to the mob in Capitol Hill perfect? No. But was the mob innocent? Were its goals not to antagonize the police, deface property, and seize control of whole city blocks to show what a Marxist utopia Seattle would look like if only the “people” were in charge. Well we all saw the outcome of that – death and destruction. Now the council wants to support demands put forth by two new defunding orgs that were literally just formed a month ago. It’s ludicrous and a total abdication of responsible governing. 

      • Brian July 11, 2020 (6:24 pm)

        You definitely consumed some media narratives that work with what you want to believe then.    

  • JeffK July 11, 2020 (9:30 am)

    FY2019:

    Officer Willis made $414,543

    Last year, 601 city employees out-earned the mayor ($199,593)”

    We found tree trimmers lopped off $160,604; the chief librarian made $197,704; electricians earned $271,070; electrical lineworkers made $307,387; and police officers earned up to $414,543.”

     1,326 highly compensated SPD employees made six-figures or more while 364 employees earned over $200,000 last year.”

    Source:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2020/06/23/why-the-city-of-seattle-and-their-police-department-is-in-trouble/#3cd311fecb1a

    • WS Resident July 11, 2020 (11:07 am)

      The salaries you site also contain 3 years of back pay due to the years it took to negotiate the union contract which had police reforms that the community and justice department asked for.  The same contract that was approved by the city council.  Stats need context. 

    • Mel July 11, 2020 (11:25 am)

      Look at the previous years salaries as well. SPD had 3 years of back pay in there last year because they were out of contract for a full 3 years. Meaning they didn’t get a raise for 3 years. Unlike many other professions, you didn’t see them out there striking and walking off the job. I do think there are many administrative jobs throughout the city being paid way too much for what they do.

    • Pere July 11, 2020 (12:00 pm)

      JEFFK the article you referenced leaves out one important factor. When the new contract was ratified by our city council it included a number of large backpay allotments for officers based upon rank and seniority. So you are taking things out of context here.  Let’s also remember that a number of the present city council voted to approve the existing SPD budget less than a year ago. Where were these concerns then? I don’t remember Lisa Herbold  talking about this issue on the campaign trail last year. So now it is a big issue all of a sudden? These issues being raised were going on last year right?

    • Meow July 11, 2020 (12:09 pm)

      What was not said about those salary number was their retro checks was included in those numbers so it is inflated. The retro checks they got for the at year was 4 years of back pay when the new contract was settled. 

  • rico July 11, 2020 (9:38 am)

    Time to gather the rational citizens and march to City Hall.   How about Monday?Interested 

    • Medium July 11, 2020 (2:40 pm)

      Yes, that’s the first solid thing I’ve heard. Emails and phone calls aren’t going to cut it. SPD has been under DOJ oversight for 8 years and have embraced every reform. Under community oversight, civilian review, federal judge review, and an Inspector General with increasing public support. It sounds like some are intent on punishing the police by reducing their pay by 50%. There are labor contracts, federal employment laws, and common sense that Won’t allow that. When seconds count the police are minutes, or hours, away.

  • Science27 July 11, 2020 (9:47 am)

    Time to establish a West Seattle gun club/malitia. A chicken in every pot and a rifle in every hand. 

    • ScubaFrog July 11, 2020 (2:04 pm)

      *Militia.  If they were diverse, yes.

  • WS-Resident July 11, 2020 (9:58 am)

    This whole situation makes me sad.  How can our city really put forth a proposal to cut police by 50%.  This type of move would require years of planning and critical thought, none of which has happened.  The only proposal that appears to be reasonable is moving 911 out of the police department.  Seattle has two 9-1-1 centers, one for police and one for the fire department.  Most other cities have one 911 center that handles police and medical/fire and sometimes transit, social services etc.  But that isn’t going to cost less, and defunding the police officers who respond and investigate crime is……insane.    AND we cannot allow the closure of our precinct.  

    • Frog July 11, 2020 (12:32 pm)

      The millennial generation acts like they invented all this defund-the-police doctrine, but to anyone of a certain age it’s total deja vu.  Do they really not know?  Sit down here, sonny, while I tell you some history — we’ve been down this road before.  Cops were pigs, crime was society’s fault, and we were going to have a “Great Society” thanks to government anti-poverty programs.  We had the civil rights movement, the Black Panthers, the summer of love, the dawning of the age of Aquarius.  The result was the crime wave of the 1970s; a whole generation chronic fear and insecurity (and bitter lived experience that still shapes people’s attitudes even today); the collapse of once thriving cities like Detroit, St. Louis, and Baltimore; no-go zones in every city; the election of Ronald Reagan; and tough-on-crime politics that even Democrats had to embrace if they wanted any chance.  The Clinton crime bill was the ultimate result.  It took 30 years to restore security and prosperity in the country.  Do they think this time is different, or do they just have no clue about history?

  • PW July 11, 2020 (10:25 am)

    All-Dial 911 when you need help and noone will answer. You will be put in a forever hold.Your child may need help, your parents or yourself.  We have grown in population and we need our police support. The more you yell about no police then you are usually the first to complain when you need help and noone is around.  All this screaming and yelling to defund is a bullying measure for a preset agenda. I do not buy it and I know many others do not.If Lisa H thinks South Park needs less police support in her community, have at it Lisa. The drugs, gangs, theft, homeless and rise in crime nice solution folks…

  • TJ July 11, 2020 (10:31 am)

    Emailed Herbold on her complete cowardice about face caving to this national push. What happened HERE in Seattle Lisa in the last 8 months to have you wanting to hire more officers to now defunding the department? Police misconduct on people of color is a problem that needed to be dealt with and still does, but this push is really just about giving in to people who can’t get their crap together and stay out of trouble. Well you have killed the anti gun lobby, being more people than ever are buying guns. Do they think people will sit back and take this? Modern policing and the formal judicial system came about to quell people seeking retribution and revenge. Those emotions haven’t gone away for most people still. If you voted for Herbold then you need to own this if it goes through

  • Neighbor July 11, 2020 (10:41 am)

    Gee, maybe if the police could actually do their jobs without murdering people like J. Williams people wouldn’t be calling for the city to defund this corrupt police department and redirect the $$$ to solutions that don’t end with the death of this city’s citizens. The Chief and the Mayor should be called out for this bs, they are showing themselves to be cowards who run when faced with confrontation. They simply won’t stand up for US, instead they want more of the same, the killing, the stomping and the entire mentality of making the citizens enemies. They should be shamed and ridiculed for such an insulting response it could have come right outta Trump’s mouth.

    • MG July 11, 2020 (11:33 am)

      Just look at the crowd that gathers at the corner of Morgan and 35th.  Tell me a social worker will control this and I’ll eat an egg breakfast (by the way I hate eggs).  My wife and I were at the Redbox in front of Walgreens when the 14 shots were fired a few months ago.  No social worker will control this. We need our police!!!!!

      • Lagartija Nick July 11, 2020 (6:27 pm)

        MG, the police didn’t control or stop those 14 shots either. The point of increased social work isn’t to respond to those events, it’s to provide community resources to prevent those events in the first place.

        • ltfd July 11, 2020 (10:11 pm)

          Social workers don’t moderate drug sale turf wars.

    • CR July 11, 2020 (1:22 pm)

      Good news! It turns out they can do their jobs without murdering people like J. Williams, and have been doing it every day. That incident was a single officer who violated policy and training, and who worked there 10 years ago. 

  • Bob Loblaw July 11, 2020 (10:47 am)

    This knee-jerk reaction to defunding and replacing SPD with “community based social workers” or whatever they are to be called will work up to the point one of them is killed in a situation that goes south. Because it will happen. Then what? Like it or not, fully trained armed officers solve problems in the community. We are taking an awful risk for unknown outcomes. Replacing or augmenting SPD with unsworn, unbadged social workers screams for liability lawsuits and wrongful death claims. Because they will happen.Then what?

    • JJ July 11, 2020 (12:05 pm)

      Perhaps the money could be put into drug rehabilitation beds, or inpatient crisis mental health facilities, or tiny housing villages with care support. I know police, hospitals and social workers, courts all have difficulties finding next step in care for people who are failing to live lawfully, or are a danger to themselves or others. We used to have workhouses, and long term mental health hospitals. Now we have streets and prisons and very little else. Police want to be police, not social workers. We are asking too much of them. It might be time to rethink involuntary institutional care and rehab, for all it’s abuses it did serve a purpose.

  • NRA July 11, 2020 (11:12 am)

    Close the precinct and just issue everyone in West Seattle an assault rifle, even grandma. 

    Grandma can’t see very well anymore, kinda shaky hands too, but dagnabit give her an AR-15 & she’ll be just fine.  I mean, what could possibly go wrong? 

    Just make sure you always stand BEHIND grandma.

  • 1994 July 11, 2020 (11:23 am)

    Sending the police funding to community based groups and non-profits creates another level of bureaucracy to monitor that the funds are spent appropriately. Just like spending 100 million a year on homeless services – where are the results? I agree the police take an overly aggressive stance and need to tone down their approach to people. Their aggression only inflames situations and does nothing to build a sense of we are all in this together.  I have been lied to by the police. I have been pulled over and harassed by the state patrol. I have been approached with an ‘I am going to take you down’ attitude & tone for a minor fender bender….!! The police need to get off their steroids. 

  • Joe Z July 11, 2020 (11:42 am)

    I have little interest in listening to what the police have to say about any of this. This is an organization that has repeatedly proven themselves above all accountability. As a white person I am well aware that the police exist primarily to uphold the interests of white people. When the marginalized voices in our community speak of the ills of the police and call for reform, we have an obligation to listen and try to do our part to enact reform. I don’t know if that reform is a 50% cut or not, but the council is right to begin the process of reallocating resources to other community-based organizations. 

  • Peter July 11, 2020 (12:28 pm)

    Total bull puckey. Don’t believe the porcine lies. This is just a scare tactic they’re using to maintain control over the people with fear. They can easily cut more than 50% of their spending by not buying tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, bean bag projectiles, riot shields, heave weapons, military vehicles, assault weapons, Riot helmets, combat armor, and various grenades, and by substantially slashing the salaries of our ridiculously overpaid “police.”

  • ScubaFrog July 11, 2020 (12:50 pm)

    Black Lives Matter.  Those true to the movement, and not treating it as a fad (where they showed up for a day for a selfie) won’t be intimidated by a pathetic chief who’s ruled in terror, always asking for more $$ for massively high-paid officers — nor her mayoral boss who’s a political animal, with sights set on higher govt, both willing to let the ground be strewn in black bodies to achieve their aspirations.  This panic of “well damn the endangered black lives, we’ll do anything, pander and sacrifice our dignity and ideologies!” at Best’s empty threat is a play on white fragility.  Targeting a landlocked group of people is lower than low, and that’s what kind of beast Best/Durkan are.  Cretins.

  • West Seattle Citizen July 11, 2020 (12:56 pm)

    Just sent an email to Lisa Herbold:Before ANY SPD defunding is considered, citizens need to understand exactly which services – at what levels – would no longer be provided and what would happen to those services.NO kneejerk proposals until everything is clear.

  • mnw July 11, 2020 (1:03 pm)

    Originally the idea was that PDs needed reform and officers given more training. Now they want to cut 50% of their budget, including training? Literally makes no sense. Oh, and what do they plan to replace 50% of the police force with? Or are they just going to figure that out later? I can’t believe this is actually being proposed by our Council leaders. I like the idea of having social workers, etc out there to assist with some of the mental health and substance abuse type calls, but I honestly think it needs to be a “team” approach with police offers and social workers working together. 

  • SmallBizOwner July 11, 2020 (1:05 pm)

    Until the council presents an actual plan on how this will all work, using actual data and research instead of emotion and hyperbole, I will remain skeptical at best and outraged at worst. SPD is already short staffed, response times are slow, and losing the SW prescient will only make times slower when you factor in the bridge. I would like to hear from people that endorse this plan on how “funding community programs instead” would actually work. Where do the dollars go? Who does what when? Just saying “reinvesting in the community” does not make crime go away. Buzzwords don’t fix problems, plans based in reality fix problems. Do you really think a social worker wants to walk into a domestic violence situation alone and de-escalate the situation? Do you really think sending a community resource person to a homeless camp alone would be a good idea? I too wish that we could just fund community programs and crime would magically disappear. But that is not reality. Some people, no matter how much money and resources you throw at them, will take advantage of other people. Its been happening since the beginning of time, and not amount of love and compassion will change that. So please, lay out your detailed, reality based plan, Id love to be wrong about this, I really would. I wish there was a solution that lead to us not needing police, not needing a military, and not making us all yell and scream at each other over our differences.But until I see an actual idea from our city council, I am just going to assume that it was a knee jerk reaction by a group of people afraid to be called names for not being “woke” enough. They clearly don’t think that the silent majority of us who disapprove would be vocal in opposition. We’ve been shouted down long enough, and I am getting sick of seeing the city I love be destroyed by a group that doesn’t base decisions in reality, but in trying to appease a base that doesn’t have a plan of what to do, but thinks dismantling what we have now and figuring it out later is a good idea.If you’re against this, or have a good idea on how to fix all of this, please let lisa.herbold@seattle.gov know. Based on the lack of information and ideas, I assume she needs all the help she can get.

  • Apotheosis July 11, 2020 (1:17 pm)

    I emailed Lisa Herbold and the rest of the council to express my concern and disbelief that they would even try something as outrageous as this. Police work will never be perfect and we should hold officers to a high standard. I’m for more accountability and training but to sacrifice public safety to satisfy the demands of a minority of very vocal ideologues is beyond the pail. To be clear, there is no plan – just vague demands around giving millions to community orgs and housing, and then it’s kumbaya – peace of earth. The criminal element won’t be emboldened by this at all? How many tax dollars have gone into our housing/homelessness issue in the last decade with no discernible improvement? Has the quality of life for the average Seattleite gone up or down as the city has raked in millions in new revenue from an economic boon? We need to hold these politicians that seem to only have the ear of the activist class accountable.

  • Really? July 11, 2020 (1:19 pm)

    As others have noted, this is a knee jerk reaction to a very real problem.  Reform is needed. The police officers guild has far too much power to overturn discipline decisions, but defunding the police by 50% will create other problems.  Decisions like this should be made with a cost benefit analysis model. What do we gain? What do we lose?  Seattle is fortunate in that the violent crime rate is not as high per capita as other big cities, but there is domestic violence. There are robberies, rapes, assaults. There are protocols for investigations so that the evidence holds up in court. Who really thinks that all of this will get done at the same standard with a 50% budget cut? And cutting training. Really?

  • Mr. C-vu July 11, 2020 (1:20 pm)

    Since Lisa doesn’t read my emails, posting here
    Dear Lisa,
    You got elected because we trusted you more than the amazon funded stooges running against you. Now you  are being led by the nose by activists that have no idea what they are fighting for.

    Want to reduce police violence on POC? Don’t defund the police and PUT YOUR OWN CONSTITUENTS AT RISK.

    FIRE THE POLICE UNION. Rehire good cops,  at entirely new terms, that allow for accountability, pay at higher salaries than they make now.

    LEAD ON THIS FOR WEST SEATTLE OR YOU ARE TOAST COME NEXT ELECTION. IT’S SO EASY TO WIN ON THIS. THE TWITTERATI DON’T VOTE. THAT’S WHY BIDEN IS YOUR NOMINEE AND BERNIE ISN’T.

    sincerely yours

    • ScubaFrog July 11, 2020 (3:44 pm)

      It’s so sad that you say black  “activists have no idea what they’re fighting for”.  Since the inception of this nation until now, blacks have been downtrodden and victimized.  I can assure you, Blacks know what they’re fighting for.  Do you?

      • Barton July 12, 2020 (5:40 pm)

        You have just undercut any credibility you may have had by misstating Mr C-vu’s comment to add the word black.  Really gross and transparent tactic Scubafrog.

    • Meow. July 13, 2020 (7:48 pm)

      I would say if Lisa does not respond to our emails then we get a march together and go sit on her front lawn every night!!

  • Mj July 11, 2020 (1:39 pm)

    Wow I have never seen the Seattle process move at this lightning speed before.  It would be nice to see the same speed happening on the West Seattle Bridge repair!

    The SPD funding and expectations should certainly be vetted, but this rush to defund now is assinine.  

  • randy July 11, 2020 (1:40 pm)

    I had an random thought on this. 

     Matthew 24:12 

     And because lawlessness will be increased, <span class="crossreference" data-link="(A)” data-cr=”#cen-ESV-23966A” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; vertical-align: top; top: 0px;”>the love of many will grow cold.

  • AdmiralBridge July 11, 2020 (1:42 pm)

    Between this and the vapid leadership demonstrated by Herbold in terms of getting things done quickly around the bridge, I’m really wondering if we’d be better off seceding from Seattle.  I have no desire to be part of this socialist experiment and down-sizing the police department can only lead to more deaths by citizens taking up their second amendment rights to defend themselves because in the 30 minutes to dispatch a police officer….If Herbold continues to support, is there a recall process?  Perhaps secession would be the best way to put her on the unemployment line?  Remind me again how Tavel would’ve represented our neighborhood worse?

  • Marty July 11, 2020 (2:21 pm)

    Lisa Herbold bows to mob pressure. Figures…

  • TJ July 11, 2020 (2:23 pm)

    To those of you supporting this, make a pledge on here that you all will never request a police officer to respond to anything should you call 911. That’s the woke thing to do now. Someone breaking into your house? YOU let The social workers show up and deal with it. Leave the police to the rest of us who don’t believe in decriminalizing  criminal behavior. I’m 48 and have 2 years until I’m out of here to Arizona, but in the meantime I have invested in numerous ways to protect my property other than my gun collection, the best being high end powerful jet pepper spray that shoots 50 feet. Someone on my property, they are getting a complete soaking, no questions asked. I advise everyone to learn their rights and limitations in defending their property and the ways to always put you in a position to win in these situations.

  • Simon July 11, 2020 (2:54 pm)

    It is completely inappropriate for a department of the municipality to engage in the kind of fear mongering, perhaps extortion found in the Chief’s letter and recent social media posts by SPD. Have Seattle City Light or Parks directly address the public with scare tactics in response to budget proposals? They are a public service paid for and representing us and to essentially extort and frighten us is outrageous.The proposed  budget changes would be a reallocation of resources to experts that actually know how to address what officers face for much of their time- mental health and substance abuse, after-the-fact crime reports that do not require a show of force, and revenue raising for the city budget through traffic citations for offenses that endanger no one. From the perspective of best use of personnel dollars to solve the public safety issues that concern us most,  sending in public employees that are not the most qualified to perform these functions does not make sense. There are ways to improve our community that are more much more effective, less violent, and more reflective of our values of equity and inclusion than the current approach. I would hope that SPD would want to engage in that discussion rather than frightening us to maintain their budget. That would truly be protecting and serving our community.

    • Meow July 13, 2020 (9:19 pm)

      How is the truth fear mongering? She is telling folks what 50% defunding to SPD will look like. Sorry you thought it was going to be all sunshine and happy thoughts. Maybe you should have gotten the facts first. 

  • flimflam July 11, 2020 (3:13 pm)

    not too thrilled that the council is basing policy on the opinions of an unelected “activist”…

    • ScubaFrog July 11, 2020 (3:45 pm)

      Blacks, you mean?  Is this a dog whistle?

      • Barton July 12, 2020 (5:41 pm)

        And again.

  • Mj July 11, 2020 (3:55 pm)

    Wow where is the Seattle process now?  Knee jerk reaction to unelected activists is not the answer.  Reviewing the role of the SPD and what tasks could be cost effectively shifted to other providers is appropriate.  

  • Too Much July 11, 2020 (4:33 pm)

    I feel that some of the recent council actions are frightening and strange. The decision to “ defund” the police by 50% is clearly not well thought out.

    If Seattle City Council respects the people that it is supposed to represent it would show this respect by considering ALL of our safety and letting us know that they care about our safety.

    I’m not sure when these budget cuts are supposed to take place and I’m not sure that the council has taken the time to think through this. It does take time to get evidenced based protocols and staff in any situation. Given that we are in the midst of a pandemic and most people who are REAL social workers and health care providers ( the ones with actual credentials) are pretty busy with the pandemic.  I don’t see them lining up for this. I could not imagine where council thinks they are going to get these professionals even if what that are proposing is a good idea( I do not think it is). I think that many who are regularly crime victims may be concerned because they don’t know who will come to their aid when needed. I also have concerns that property values will go down if there is no precinct here.

    For me personally it is better to consider the option that council has not fully considered what they are doing and as others have said made a knee jerk reaction. Hopefully they will reconsider their actions.

    ;Basically this just doesn’t seem right to me and here are some ideas I thought of:
    1. Consider contacting your council person
    2.Consider starting a referendum ( they even have instructions for how to do it on Seattle page. Try Google Seattle referendum and how to? Or something like that)
    3. Consider staring the recall process for council member or members that you feel are not doing their job.

    As far as I know they were voted into office. I think that this is a very good example of why we need to vote and when we do take a thorough look before choosing. 

    • Simon July 11, 2020 (7:57 pm)

      Just a quick point of information to your comments on workforce issues. There are plenty of clinicians and human services professionals, myself included, ready to step in and do more effectively what we ask law enforcement officers to do currently.  Anyone in these careers  has seen the cost in treasure and human suffering of doing things as we have and would be beyond motivated to jump in.

  • Alex July 11, 2020 (5:35 pm)

    I don’t have enough information to know what firing 1/2 the police force and using the funds to hire social workers achieves.   A decision like that needs to be made based on data, defining what the expected outcomes are, explaining how this works to the people and companies who live in Seattle without undermining their safety.   I want to hear about response times and how will 911 determine who to send without a lengthy discussion.  You would expect a transition plan.   You would expect an analysis why 50% is the number.   Public safety is at stake here.   For the Council to jump ahead with getting rid of half the force, a precinct and other vital services is just political theatre and is contemptable.   

  • Allen Bower July 11, 2020 (7:45 pm)

    This madness needs to stop we need to address this ridiculous council and go against this absurd proposal. CW Herbold is the civil safety head on the council and she supports this?? We have to inundate the councilwoman with emails and calls to show this type of activist behavior will not be allowed. The Seattle police department is well monitored by oversight and adheres to any reform. If you can name any other city that successfully navigated the DOJ process as SPD did I would love to hear. We need to support our officers now!!!!!

  • Millie July 11, 2020 (10:26 pm)

    We elected the members of the City Council to make decisions based on due diligence, well-thought proposals, alternatives, etc. for the greater good of Seattle residents.  Included in their deliberations and responsibilities are the operating budget, fiduciary responsibilities for all monies received and spent, and to be responsive to their constituent’s questions and concerns.  While running for office they all asked for our vote and promised to listen, ensure the safety and health of ALL residents.   Where is their due diligence, their knowledge/familiarity with the budget process, their promises to the citizens of Seattle?  I propose we cut the City Council budget by 50% (number of Councilmembers, their legislative/administrative staff and each member’s operating budget.  They have not earned my vote.    I believe I’ve spent as much time as they on this issue (defunding 50% of the Council) – let’s move forward.  

    • Fiz July 12, 2020 (7:41 am)

      Well said.

  • Dr. No July 11, 2020 (11:25 pm)

    Roll call.  Any unemployed crime fighting, social worker/ mental health professionals willing to investigate domestic violence crimes, throw a life ring, perform CPR, use a tourniquet, investigate gang violence, take verbal and physical abuse,  write parking tickets, do traffic control, welfare checks, car accidents, NARCAN (your FD can’t do that), work sporting events, and work OT without pay? No? Didnt think there was a long line..Asking for 600-700 friends.. #FUNDSPD Write your council member and tell them to fund the SPD. 

  • WW Resident July 12, 2020 (7:40 am)

    Here is also some irony. Last year SPD hired 152 people, 40% of which were POC.  They will be the very first ones fired. So 1. There goes the diversity people want. 2. These people will be out of a job and will probably have a real hard time applying for unemployment as that whole debacle is raging on. Inslee saying we shouldn’t just be laying people off when people were up in arms about the director of unemployment’whole ineptitude and should be fired, but firing 1,100 employees is OK. 

  • Will S. July 12, 2020 (8:24 am)

    I woke up this morning thinking about how disappointed I am in Carmen Best for proposing to close the Southwest Precinct. This proposal won’t save money, and the chief’s memo doesn’t even bother to suggest that it would. However, as the chief surely knew, this proposal will arouse the fury of the blog-commenting public in a manner directed squarely at Lisa Herbold, the chair of the council’s public safety committee. Instead of making any effort to imagine big changes that could improve the safety of our community, Carmen Best deployed a dirty trick to intimidate people who support the reimagination of policing. As I said, it’s deeply disappointing. 

    • Meow July 13, 2020 (9:26 pm)

      She is telling folks what 50% defunding to SPD will look like. Sorry you thought it was going to be all sunshine and happy thoughts. Maybe you should have gotten the facts first. 

  • TJ July 12, 2020 (2:12 pm)

    Anger should be directed squarely at Herbold. She campaigned on wanting to hire MORE officers and luring them with signing bonuses. SPD was making big acknowledged improvements to the DOJ. What changed? The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Nothing here, yet now she wants to cripple the department after all this? She has proven to be a coward and incapable of standing up to her more vocal council members. What do you expect will happen with a 50% cut Will S? You think all precincts can remain open? And I want to know what you are smoking to think this will help improve the safety of our community? 

    • Niko July 12, 2020 (4:27 pm)

      I remember that! She even came right to my house when she was campaigning. I say we go to her house!

    • Mel July 12, 2020 (4:36 pm)

      TJ- couldn’t agree more. SPD does not currently have a problem with police brutality. They have worked so hard under the DOJ decree. All of a sudden a bad cop in Minneapolis kills George Floyd and now our police force needs to be completely revamped? Where were these people two months ago when SPD was doing Friday Night Lights with the fire dept and everyone was thanking them for their service during the pandemic? All of a sudden we’ve got a huge issue with racism in our dept? People read a headline and believe everything they see without doing their own research. It’s disgusting really. And Herbold needs to go. 

    • Will S. July 12, 2020 (7:37 pm)

      TJ, a lot of people recognize that the murder of George Floyd is no isolated occurrence, but the repetition of a scene regularly acted out in police departments across the country, including in Seattle. That is why Carmen Best, in a statement on June 22, 2020, acknowledged that Floyd’s murder signals the need for major changes in policing everywhere: “What is now required is a complete re-envisioning of community safety and the police department’s role in it,” Best wrote, and more specifically “SPD has voiced, for years, concerns that police officers are asked to play too many roles. Officers have become the safety net for a series of failures by other social systems–many of which are the result of sustained under-investment, as well as systemic racism.” Again, those are Carmen Best’s words, not mine.Actions are more important, of course, and I didn’t have particularly high hopes for Best’s next move. But it seems rather obvious to propose moving some functions (from the 911 call center to parking enforcement to addressing the causes of the social problems Best referenced) out of the police department to other agencies better equipped to handle them. Instead of closing the 100-officer Southwest Precinct, she could have “re-envisioned” a Southwest Precinct with 80 officers and 20 co-located non-police social workers, and taken the same approach in other portions of the city. She could have maybe lifted a finger against Seattle’s under-appreciated scandals with overtime abuse, which allows a shocking number of Seattle lower-ranking police officials to bank more than $300,000 in annual pay (excluding benefits). Instead, she took a different approach: metaphorically, she aimed a political blast ball at a city councilmember who might (or might not!) move the city in the direction Best had talked about.For whatever it’s worth to you, during last year’s council campaign I supported the challenger and repeatedly criticized Herbold’s record and positions on their merits (including her support for hiring hundreds of additional sworn officers that were and are unnecessary). To the extent she even knows who I am, I don’t think she would like me. That doesn’t bother me, and it also doesn’t cloud my judgment when it comes to recognizing that Best and Durkan are right now deploying political dirty tricks on Herbold. The success of those dirty tricks depends on the credulity of people like you.

  • ScubaFrog July 12, 2020 (4:20 pm)

    The sad fact, FACT, is that 99% of the posters in this thread don’t know what Black Lives Matter or Voters mean when they say “defund the police”.  They’re not saying “end the SPD”, nor “cut SPD personnel”, nor “end precincts”.  Defunding to a certain extent (certainly not totally) means getting rid of expensive post-war vehicles/weaponry/gear that’s militarized the police force.  End the police state.  It’s tremendously expensive to arm a police state.Of course Chief Best is less than disingenuous when she says “they want to end the SPD!  We’ll have to close precincts and fire all black officers!”.  Putrid woman.  And her tactic’s working, look at how terrorized the people of West Seattle are.  They’ve forgotten about the bridge, and will vote for Durkan in a heartbeat, bridge be damned.   Best wants a tax raise?  Republicans/Democrats will write you a blank check.  The politics of terror have always worked.  Durkan/Best’s Ace in the deck.

    • Me July 12, 2020 (7:49 pm)

      ScubaFrog- I am very aware of what defunding the police looks like, in reality. Cutting $200M, and having it take effect immediately for the back half of 2020 means cutting personnel and potentially a precinct. 80% of their budget is spent on personnel. That means ~$320M/year is spent on personnel. So how could they possibly not cut people? When it comes to officers that are POC, 40% of their more recent hires have been POC. People will be let go based on seniority. So essentially, yes, you will lose a lot of the diversity within the dept. This is not what people have been asking for. It seems to me people want SPD to be more diverse and to have more training. This does exactly the opposite. The city council is posturing right now. Maybe it’s not the voters who don’t know what you’re referring to when you discuss defunding the police, but rather the city council. 

      • ScubaFrog July 13, 2020 (7:18 am)

        That’s a good point ME.  50% is too steep.  Hopefully the Mayor, Chief and Council are open to negotiation, or the entire city will come out against again the council, and this will end in recalls.  

  • Numa July 12, 2020 (4:45 pm)

    I love coming to the Blog’s comment section. I know I can always count on ‘good Seattle liberals’ to post about their complete inability to imagine a different future. Many of the commenters here are the people about whom MLK wrote from his Birmingham jail cell (I’ve highlighted a few bits that seem particularly relevant):

    the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

    • Apotheosis July 12, 2020 (7:06 pm)

      It’s 2020, not 1965. Slogans are nice but the facts are what matter. As much as people seem primed by social-media fueled outrage to link every bad action or outcome to a “systemic” problem, nothing actually happened in Seattle to warrant any of this defunding  nonsense. This is simply a radical activist agenda taking advantage of multiple crises (public health, economic, political). It’s not about justice – whatever your definition of that term may be. In the language of the Woke, It’s about power – and shoving a radical ideology down the city’s throat. Shameful.

      • ScubaFrog July 13, 2020 (3:42 am)

        Martin Luther King Jr. is as applicable today as he was in ’65.  What’s “radical ideology”, apotheosis?  Peaceful protest?  Defunding a police state?  Equity?  John The Woodcarver’s Murder happened, and the SPD was never reformed to Federal Standards (even under trump).  We (who’ve lived here) have patiently waited for a federally-mandated SPD reform that never came, for years and years.   

  • IgnoredMajority July 12, 2020 (5:37 pm)

    This is a serious issue no matter how you look at it, so join others in showing your support of police and keep the precinct in West Seattle! #WestSeattleMatters #WestSeattleSafety

    https://www.facebook.com/events/210420453551254

  • Ruby July 12, 2020 (5:39 pm)

    This is insanity!  First, the protests were not peaceful, as evidenced in the boarded up, broken and looted downtown, which we all saw on TV.  No one wants police violence and everyone I’ve met is horrified by the video of George Floyd’s death, including Police.  Black lives do matter and much more can be done to remedy.  Unfortunately the police, hired to protect property and life, including their own, have experienced much assault from the mobs in other demonstrations in downtown Seattle, with exception the very successful Women’s March.  They do a very difficult job, facing such vehemence, that are fanned by hate mongering  demagogues like Sawant.  Why the Council, namely Gonzoles, who claimed she was “too busy” to follow protocol and has done nothing to uphold Durkan’s   protected address. I believe not one council member has spoken against the injustice of Sawant leading a mob to Dukan’s house to deface and threaten bodily harm to said family. The lack of fellow Council members to adhere to justice serves to undermine the entire sense of confidence in their elected obligation to uphold policy.    Now this same council is bowing down to a small percentage of the city population and seemingly without deep thinking and forethought who want to hastily slash the police budget by 50% without citizen  input.  This should be an issue we get to vote for or against.  Better yet, why don’t we try some changes slowly and collect and  observe data to see what will work.   I don’t believe they are many hundreds of social workers who want to go out on “calls” without protection.        After 36 years living in WS we have had our car stolen, broken into multiple times, had a gun stuck in a family member’s face because some lunatic thought he/she parked too close, our neighbors ADU had their young female tenant robbed of her  bicycle and many of her things  on the day she moved in, then her car was stolen and recovered, her car was stolen a second time and the meth head tagged her black interior with white paint.  The judge released him the next day, even though he had 11 or 12 violations.  For this honest hard working young woman, the last straw was around 2:30 am when two people slinking around the alley were observed peering through her balcony windows watching her sleep….too much.  She returned to Chicago.   Anyway the Officers I’ve met from the SPD earn nothing but my respect and compassion.   I do not know how they have put up with being fired upon with real bullets, had the multiple pallets of bricks secured in the Medic tents at the CHAZ/CHOP which were hurled at them along with rocks, frozen water bottles, urine, spat upon, yelled at with obscenities for days on end, all while trying to be professional.  Who cares about their bruises?  Or their  feelings when they are trying to fulfill their jobs?     The CHOP would have engaged much more public sympathy if they had come during the day, peacefully petitioned and gone home at night to return the next morning.  Of course I realize that some BLM did just that, but unfortunately a bad element trailed along and Sawant was always recruiting the homeless and yelling her dangerous drivel through a bull horn.  Tragically and sadly, when word was out that no police enforcement was present there, the drug dealers (from 3rd Ave downtown, you know, near McDonald’s) and gang activity moved in for the hayday. With No Cops, residents and businesses were denied their rights and  multiple teenagers lost their young lives. They  were thrown into cars to be transported to the hospital.  Some SPD officers are x military trained medics, who carry supplies on their belts for immediate action.  We will never know if Lorenzo’s life could have been saved by the SPD, barricaded out  by hostile, armed “protestors.”  My  deepest sympathy goes out to his mother Donnetta and loving father, Lorenzo Sr. I can’t imagine their pain, with  this senseless loss.When I went to the CHOP there was a very large woman, 30-40 years, stark naked, repetitiously stomping in circles around the sign on the street corner.  My daughter told me the woman was high on something.  Based upon what I saw no young children should have been present.   Anyway….in my experience at the CHOP no police equals lawlessness, chaos and tragedy.    The Council has no right to spring this defund the police 50% upon us citizens and needs to demonstrate more maturity of thought and assessment with methodology.     An added note, Sawant takes no responsibility for the hate that she spews, nor the deaths of teenagers, no apology or recognition…opposite spectrum, but much like Trump…deluded sense of self-importance.Racism will be healed by love, compassion, empathy and communication never hatred!!

  • Cogburn July 12, 2020 (6:29 pm)

    I’ve yet to see a detailed plan and schedule for this. The council wants to dump Durkan and just outright cut half the police budget on a whim of trumped up anger. There are no facts that Seattle police are dangerous to law abiding and cooperative persons. Before they go jump us off a cliff I hope the citizens demand (yes we should have demands too) that there be a well vetted, comprehensive business plan (yes like any successful business would have, (but I don’t think the council has business experience) that includes research on other cities our size that have done this and the results (prove it can work), a kind and considerate way to fire about 700 officers, significant input from citizens and SPD, specifics on the services to replace police work,  phased in implementation with analysis and reporting on results as it progresses with commitment to pause if things go wrong, some of that big pot of consultant money to expert experienced consultants who know this, and the promise that if it turns out to be a disaster that every council member resign. Also, how will it work or not work for West Seattle if they close our precinct – guarantees. Then heaven help us as it all sounds very rosy until crime comes to your door. 

  • TJ July 12, 2020 (6:56 pm)

    Ughhh, officer salaries and direct support expenses are the majority of the police budget. It is disingenuous for you to say that cutting 50% of the budget will not result in cutting personnel. None of this was a topic here before George Floyd was murdered in MINNESOTA, and wouldn’t be a topic now. Talk about knee-jerk. I too disdain Durkin, but because she is far too soft on non peaceful protesters. Interested if you think Sawant is a “putrid woman” too? Anybody not dialed in to this needs to understand that this defunding isn’t the end game for these people like Sawant and Herbold. Thus is just a step for them to change our way of life. The police is just one part. You on board with that?

    • heartless July 12, 2020 (8:21 pm)

      Thus is just a step for them to change our way of life. The police is just one part. You on board with that?”

      Uh, YES!  

      The American way of life should absolutely change–we are mean to the world, we are mean to each other, and we are mean to future generations.  Damn straight we need to “change our way of life.”

      • KM July 12, 2020 (9:35 pm)

        Amen        

  • WSB July 12, 2020 (9:21 pm)

    For everyone following this: We’re likely to see a lot of talk/posturing from all sides tomorrow, with the council’s budget meeting still a few days off (Wed.) and no agenda/documents in the system yet. The mayor and chief have just announced a 9;30 am media briefing on their reform proposals/cuts, plus “their opposition to City Council’s efforts to defund SPD by 50 percent this year without an alternative plan.”

    • ScubaFrog July 13, 2020 (3:53 am)

      I’m excited to see If Durkan’s on the same page as Best, re closing down our precinct .  It will be fascinating to see if the Council/Mayor/Chief are prepared to engage in any diplomacy, and if 50%’s a starting point for negotiations.  Admittedly the 50% figure’s steep.  I love our precinct (we have a very special group of people there).   

  • Foop July 12, 2020 (11:24 pm)

    Why are more of you mad at the council than those of us mad at Carmen Best for very strategically holding the SW precinct hostage, due to the obvious knowledge of the bridge being out, and proximity to the next precinct. She’s bullying and extorting you with fear. And it’s working for many if you. Cops threatening us is a bigger and more common crime then these theoretical home invasions you like to reference.

    • Nancy July 13, 2020 (8:35 am)

      I don’t think you lived in West Seattle before the Precinct was here by your comments.  How long have you lived here?  There were many more car prowls and thefts, house and business  burglaries, and some neighborhoods had regular gun firings and shootings.

      • Foop July 13, 2020 (10:36 am)

        You’ve completely missed the point in an effort to brag about your tenure here. At no point did I argue that having a local police presence deters potential crime. My point is that we are being extorted, and the only reason police extorting us isn’t considered a ‘crime’ is because of police unions. I for one am incensed at Chief Bests’ grandstanding and threatening. Perhaps if we stopped buying tear gas we could keep the SW precinct open. Maybe if we managed overtime better, or perhaps saw fit to scale back the few salaries over 200,000 a year. Perhaps if we invested in more social assistance rather than sending 20 cops to the scene of someone on the street having a breakdown. This is the equivalent of an abusive spouse threatening to kill themself if you leave them, on a municipal level. It’s disgusting and it’s wrong.

    • AMD July 13, 2020 (8:58 am)

      Thank you, Foop.  Every department in the city is facing cuts because of COVID, and none of the others are threatening to start cutting with the most essential services.  Either SPD is TERRIBLE at prioritizing spending or this is all grandstanding and political theatre, neither of which reflects well on the current leadership.  

  • Medium July 13, 2020 (11:12 pm)

    Show you support for the police. City hall 9:30 AM Wednesday 

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