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Seattle Mayor Bruce Harel said during a speech in the city this week that there is funding to hire 125 new officers this year and direct more resources to the streets.
“The depletion of staff we see today prevents us from responding to emergencies and crime during the response our residents deserve.” said Harel Tuesday.
“This does not allow us to staff the specialized groups we need on issues such as domestic violence, DUI or financial crimes against the elderly,” he said. “This does not allow us to conduct thorough investigations, which we are counting on for sustainable change.”
Twenty officers left the force in January, 171 officers resigned last year, and 186 officers resigned in 2020 amid pressure to release police, according to COMA. During this time, only 137 officers were hired.
Violent crime grew by 20% last year was mainly caused by a 24% surge in aggravated attacks and an 18% increase in robberies, according to the Seattle Police Department. The number of murders decreased by 25% and rapes – by 6%.
Last year, 612 crimes were recorded, which is 40% more than in 2020 and 86% more than in 2019.
Property crimes also increased by 9%.
Last year, former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durcan issued an ordinance allowing officers an award of $ 10,000 to $ 25,000, but in 2022 those funds will no longer be available. Fox 13 Seattle.
Last November, Seattle City Council voted against an amendment to the budget that would eliminate another 101 officers from the force.
Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz said then that the department needed more officers, not less.
“I know we can keep and hire amazing officers – I see it every day – but the constant message from some that fewer officers are the right path to public safety makes it almost impossible,” Diaz said.
While the police department is trying to hire new officers, newly elected city prosecutor Anne Davison announced this month that her office will decide on charges in all incoming cases within five days.
“The best way to stop crime on the streets today is to deal quickly and efficiently with cases referred to us by the Seattle Police Department.” Davison said.