According to Jason Rantz of KTTH, at least 118 Seattle police officers have left the police department in 2020, with 39 of them leaving in September.
Rantz pointed out, “The typical number for that month is between 5 and 7,” adding, “The mass exodus of officers started in May with 10 separations, followed by 16 in June, 10 in July and 14 in August. … The majority of the resignations and retirements were patrol officers.”
Seattle Police Officer Guild President Mike Solan told Rantz, “Your 911 call for help will go unanswered for a significant amount of time.” He added “This is fixable if our elected leaders start supporting police, instead of pandering to a large activist crowd that’s dividing us when we need unity. False narratives about good people doing policing, pushed by the defund movement, is making our public safety efforts devolve further.”
City documents acknowledged that the median priority 1 response times, which are dangerous crimes that demand an immediate response, were a torpid nine minutes in the North Precinct from July through September.
In July, Rantz made a public disclosure request for separation data from the previous two months but the SPD rejected the request, responding, “Your request seeks information or asks questions and does not identify specific public records. As such it is not a request for identifiable public records.”
Now the Seattle Police Department has been reduced to roughly 1,200 officers, lower than thirty years ago, when the general population was roughly two-thirds of what it is now. Rantz noted, “Crime is surging, with a reportedly 60% year-over-year increase in homicides. … Sources reveal that many officers are using sick time at higher than normal rates.”
The Seattle police remain under assault; as recently as March 5 The Daily Wire reported:
Riots broke out again in the Democratic-controlled city of Seattle on Saturday night, leading to more than a dozen people being arrested for a litany of alleged crimes.
Photos taken by the Seattle Police Department showed graffiti spray painted on various buildings calling for police officers to be murdered.
Law enforcement officials “arrested 16 individuals after various acts of property destruction, assault, and vandalism” that occurred during the riot, according to the police department. “A group of protestors left Cal Anderson Park shortly after 9 PM Saturday heading North. A few members of the group were seen committing acts of vandalism and property damage along the way. The group slowly made their way to the 1600 block of East Olive Way where they shattered windows and threw explosives into a coffee shop.”
The police department said that arrests were also made for failure to disperse and rendering criminal assistance after the rioters attacked police officers with what officials said was an “explosive.”
In late September, the Seattle City Council voted for reductions to police funding that would cut dozens of officer positions from the force. The initial cuts would amount to about $3 million, less than 1% of the police department’s roughly $400 million annual budget, according to The Seattle Times.