Seattle’s police force has so few officers left that Mayor Jenny Durkan has now offered a $25,000 hiring bonus to help bring in additional staff.
Depleted Police Force
The last two years have been hard on the department, and since Durkan is not running for re-election, she has decided to use the four days she has left to reverse the sad predicament the police force is now in. In May of 2021, the department lost over 20 percent of its officers.
In April, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said, “I have about 1,080 deployable officers. This is the lowest I’ve seen our department.” So then, when the vaccine mandate came into play, almost a third of its police officers would be lost.
The city was in such dire straits to put boots on the ground that non-patrol officers were answering 911 calls. Currently, the unvaccinated officers are trying their case due to a collective bargaining agreement, but they will likely lose additional officers.
Originally, Durkan was behind the city council’s decision to defund the department by 17 percent. Unfortunately, her latest move in the name of public safety does not erase that political move.
Seattle Police Officer’s Guild President Mike Solan says the executive order is “too little, too late” and does not reverse her betrayal of the officers. “The result of this betrayal has caused 350 police officers to flee Seattle since the riots. Many of these former police employees left for lower-paying agencies just to escape Seattle’s toxic political climate. “