The Seattle mayor is calling the city to rebuild the collapsed police force; this comes after six separate shootings shooked the biggest metropolitan area in Washington state over the weekend.
After a weekend of gun violence in Seattle, this morning around 8:30 a.m. there were reports of a shooting at Yesler Way. Witness video from Kiko Soto. https://t.co/WhfKk802Sh pic.twitter.com/LMtxdDlwNs
— KOMO News (@komonews) July 26, 2021
Democrat city mayor plans to hire more police officers
During a press conference on Monday, Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle stated that the city could not continue with the current depletion of the police force.
The Seattle mayor added that in the past 17 months, the police department in Seattle lost 250 police officers. She added that this number equates to over 300,000 service hours lost, claiming that the city is on its way to losing at least 300 officers.
Durkan further added that the violence that happened over the weekend is a reminder of how sworn police officers are required in certain emergencies.
The Seattle mayor mentioned that the city is building alternatives in relation to their efforts to redirect police human resources and funding to community-based organizations.
Durkan and Diaz both stressed challenges presented by the departure of 250 SPD officers over the last year and a half.
— KIRO Radio 97.3 FM🎙 (@KIRORadio) July 26, 2021
However, she maintained that the city still has an obligation to keep the constitutionally mandated policing, as well as responding to 911 calls. Durkan then claimed that the city needs both police officers and community-based solutions, and choosing between them is a “false choice.”
The Seattle mayor also added that she would submit a plan to restore the depleted police force by hiring more officers.
Durkan then admitted that the dropping number of police officers is “not unexpected,” particularly when leaders are talking about reducing the police department in half. However, she added that it is expected to lose employees since families want to have security.
Department workers and even police officers need to have a working condition that they know will support them and not just cut them. The Seattle mayor then claimed that the leaders and the government need a plan.
Seattle recorded a big spike in shootings in 2021 compared to years 2017 – 2020
Seattle experienced six separate shootings over the weekend which injured at least seven people and left four people dead.
This year, the shootings recorded by the King County Prosecutors’ office revealed that the shootings countywide were 33% higher compared to the recorded numbers in the year 2017 to 2020 during the same time frame.
According to the same data, the number of individuals shot in Seattle also increased by 61% in comparison with the same time frame in the past years.
Seattle has been in the middle of the public debate about defunding the police. The call intensified after the death of George Floyd last year.
Last year, there was also a clash between the Seattle City Council and the Democrat city mayor in relation to police funding. However, the action was not successful as Durkan denied the resolution, which attempts to remove the funding of law enforcement.