Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan just announced that she will be calling more cops in the city after experiencing a violent weekend. Seattle saw six shootings in one weekend that left four people dead and seven injured. The shootings took place in the Belltown, Pioneer Square, Chinatown International District, and Capitol Hill neighborhoods.
The total number of shootings in the country is 33% higher this year, as compared to the same time period between 2017 and 2020. The city of Seattle saw an increase of 61% in the total number of shootings as compared to the same time periods and has been at the center of defunding police departments.
The Mayor made the announcement after previously agreeing to slash the police budget by 20%. George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests have been prominent in Seattle, with cops feeling unappreciated and unsupported by local politicians. All of those who stood by the “defund the police” movements are now paying the price. What happened to that “summer of love” Mayor Durkan was so eager about?
“As a city, we cannot continue on this current trajectory of losing police officers. Over the past 17 months, the Seattle Police Department has lost 250 police officers which is the equivalent of over 300,000 service hours. We’re on the path to losing 300 police officers,” Durkan said.
Durkan went on to remind people that they are trying to create “meaningful alternatives” but that the city has an obligation to continue constitutional policing and 911 call response. She said you can’t choose between community-led solutions and police officers, you need both. While Mayor Durkan said she would be submitting a plan to hire more officers, it’s clear that the relationship between city officials and Seattle police is tense.
Last summer liberal rioters took over a portion of the city as an “autonomous zone,” also referred to as “CHOP” and “CHAZ.” The left-wing activists took over six blocks in Downtown Seattle and kept cops out. Within CHAZ, reports of violent crime and assaults were nonstop. Mayor Durkan declined to send in law enforcement to take control of the square. She argued that it was a “block party” and potential “summer of love.”
This caused dozens of police officers to quit the force, including Seattle’s first Black police chief Carmen Best, who said she quit due to a “lack of respect” for officers.
“The idea that we’ve worked so incredibly hard to make sure our department was diverse, that (it) reflects the community that we serve, to just turn that all on a dime and hack it off, without having a plan in place to move forward, is highly distressful for me,” Best commented to Fox News.
Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz spoke at the recent conference with Mayor Durkan and said the lack of officers has made his job difficult. He said they needed more support from the city to make it clear to officers that they will have their support financially, and otherwise, to do the job. He said officers should not be worried about being laid off due to budget cuts.
Many Democrat-run cities are seeing the rise in violent crime following the defunding of their police departments. Mayor Durkan’s plea for more police officers is a lot different from her cries of a failed policing system last year. The Seattle City Council had no issue defunding the police budget by 17% and even proposing more budget reductions, but have grown quiet in the weeks plagued by violence, looting, and vandalism.
A recent poll from the MacArthur Foundation even found that 79% of residents are safer when they see police in their neighborhoods. Most Americans are worried about crime, not defunding the police. If Democrats had any sense of reality, they’d know that the American people actually want more cops on the street, not less. It’s only a matter of time before all of the hard-working, under-appreciated police move to red states.