Seattle Suffers a 'Staffing Crisis,' Police Department May Lose Another 190 Officers

AP Photo/John Minchillo

In perhaps the least surprising turn of the last decade, cops are quitting.

The past few years have seen law enforcement sewn into socks as swine, referenced as racist murderers, and chanted about in a death-wish kind of way.


Even toilet paper has turned against it:

Whatever one’s thoughts on the various allegations, it would stand to reason the position might lose a bit of luster.

Forces are diminishing, recruits are reducing in number.

And in Seattle, they’re feeling the shrinkage.

In fact, last year, more than 180 officers hung up their hats.

And this year’s not gotten off to a better start.

To quote the police department, it’s losing employees “at a record pace.”

As relayed by The Associated Press, on Tuesday, Police Chief Adrian Diaz laid bare the disastrous state of enrollment.

Since January, 66 cops have blown the joint — an average of about 16 per month. If that continues, Seattle will lose 192 by New Year’s.

Chief Adrian called it a “staffing crisis.”

As told to KING-TV:

“We are at record lows in the city right now. I have about 1,080 deployable officers. This is the lowest I’ve seen our department.”

NBC5 notes the departures have occurred in various ways:

Some of the latest departing officers retired early, while others left for policing jobs in different cities or positions in the private sector, according to exit interviews.


Per the outlet, those conversations reveal as prominent reasons the city council and the city’s broadly anti-police climate.

As for the council, it’s eyeing a cut of $2.8 million to the force’s budget.

Around $800,000 of that would go to other departments supportive of SPD.

The $2.8 million comes on top of other slashes amid last year’s riots.

Mayor Jenny Durkan confirmed the problem:

“Despite an increased focus on recruitment and retention, the Seattle Police Department continues to lose sworn officers at a record pace due to ongoing budget uncertainty.”

Via statement, she opposed more cuts:

Based on exit interviews, we know the Council’s threats of continued layoffs or cuts are having a direct impact on decisions to leave the department. Mayor Durkan continues to caution City Council against making additional one-time cuts without addressing hiring and retention of officers, especially diverse officers, to respond to the highest priority calls.

Meanwhile, councilmember Lisa Herbold said the group has funded in full SPD’s 2021 plan to hire 114 new officers.

Will 114 be available?

Seattle isn’t the only one seeing ranks depleted.

Earlier this week, Louisville, Kentucky’s police union announced it’s in “dire straits” after roughly 190 officers have left their positions since last year.

Back to Seattle, the anti-cop attitude appears far-reaching. Earlier this week, it was reported cops have been turned away at chocolate shops.


Given our current trajectory, how powerfully might the issue of police misconduct be matched by the issue of insufficient numbers in uniform?

If I had to guess, our problem related to law enforcement in America isn’t peaking; it’s just beginning.

Hopefully — substantially — I’m wrong.



See more pieces from me:

San Diego School District Adds 2,000 LGBTQ+ Books for Elementary Students

Houston District Attorney Supports a Pardon — Posthumously — for George Floyd

A Texas Lawsuit Hammers Biden’s Relief Aimed at All Farmers but White Ones

Find all my RedState work here.

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