Seattle PD Dangerously Understaffed As Officers Flee 'Seattle Mentality'

Seattle PD has less than 500 officers actually patrolling the streets as the city promised holiday "emphasis patrols."

Seattle, WA – With the mayor’s recruiting efforts in a freefall, Seattle police officers said the department doesn’t have enough officers available to effectively respond to 911 calls.

KTTH reported that the city has been using fuzzy numbers to describe the staffing situation at the Seattle Police Department, which has been experiencing a mass exodus of experienced officers for more than a year.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan initially denied reports that the department was losing officers at an alarming rate.

But in November, Durkan supported a city council vote to approve $1.24 million for officer recruiting and retention efforts, KIRO reported.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best claimed the department had so-far hired 97 officers in 2019, with a goal of 104 total before year-end.

“We’re digging ourselves out of a hole,” Chief Best said. “We’re going in the right direction, but we still have work to do.”

But KTTH reported that Seattle PD had only experienced an actual net gain of 16 officers in 2019.

It turned out that, of the 97 new hires, there have already been 81 separations, most of which were resignations.

Many departing veteran officers have blamed the “Seattle mentality” that has left them afraid to do their jobs as they were trained for fear of being disciplined.

And while Seattle’s population has grown exponentially over the past 40 years, the size of the city’s police force has stayed almost the same, as it was pre-Amazon.

“Let me put it to you in this perspective,” Seattle Police Officer Kevin Stuckey, president of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, said. “In 1970, we had in the police department… 1,170 police officers in total. Today I think we’re close to 1,400. The city has almost tripled in size and we’ve only increased department numbers by 300.”

But only half of the 1,400 officers on the Seattle PD’s payroll are assigned to patrol the city’s streets and neighborhoods, KTTH reported.

Data showed that the Seattle police had 722 officers assigned to patrol in the city as of November.

“Seven hundred would be a start, but we would need to probably be 800 or 900 for a city of this size to provide the services that are needed throughout the city,” Officer Stuckey said.

That number was down from 756 officers on patrol in January, KTTH reported.

But officers doubted there were anything close to that number of officers actually on patrol.

“If [there are] 700 people available, then I would like to see those numbers and where they are and how they plan on deploying them, because they haven’t as of yet,” the union president told KTTH.

The Seattle Police Department’s official number of police who were actually on patrol as of October was 472, or 34 percent of all police officers in the city.

However, neither number accurately reflected how many actual bodies police supervisors were working with to cover patrol shifts, KTTH reported.

That’s because the 472 included officers who were on vacation, officers who are out on sick leave with long and short-term illness or injuries, officers who are going through mandatory training, and those who were assigned to desk duty for other administrative reasons.

“That’s a dangerously low number year-round, but especially during the holiday season,” one Seattle officer said.

Seattle recently announced “emphasis patrols” in certain neighborhoods in response to residents’ concerns about an expected increase in crime during the holidays, KTTH reported.

But police sources said that if the department doesn’t have the resources to cover regular patrols, they certainly aren’t staffed for the “emphasis patrols” that have been promised.

“Those are going to have to come from officers on overtime or extending their shifts, and augmenting a shift,” Officer Stuckey said. “Unless they plan on using some detectives to actually come in to get into uniform and actually work the streets. Outside of that, they’re gonna have to do this on an overtime basis.”

The police department confirmed that the patrols would be conducted on a voluntary basis with officers being paid overtime, which means that if not enough officers volunteer, some patrols won’t happen, KTTH reported.

Comments (51)
No. 1-26
flybynight
flybynight

Isn't diversity grand? /s

Ibizian
Ibizian

@tfort well well well. My point exactly! If you get mistreated, you are not forced to keep being mistreated.. You just leave the savages to themselves!

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

What they fail to show with their 97 new hires is that it will take these bright eyed, bushy tailed world savers a few years before they are competent officers, by then their eyes will have been opened to the city they work for and they will be leaving along with the experienced officers...Seattle needs to open their eyes to the culture they have, if that is not fixed then the exodus will continue and you will not hire your way out of it.

I say to my brothers and sisters in Seattle...keep leaving, the citizens should have consequences for their voting. Let it burn!!!

LEO0301
LEO0301

There are areas in this country where the police are still respected. It may not be in that area you prefer but happiness is more important. I would rather work for a small close knit department than a large one like Seattle where you don't know the rules from day to day.

Raymelson
Raymelson

No surprise here the courts have tied there hands

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

“Let me put it to you in this perspective,” Seattle Police Officer Kevin Stuckey, president of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, said. “In 1970, we had in the police department… 1,170 police officers in total. Today I think we’re close to 1,400. The city has almost tripled in size and we’ve only increased department numbers by 300.”

That states the problem in a nutshell. A problem that has grown slowly but surely over 50 years. Forget the fact that a "war on cops" is raging nationwide, by the liberal agenda and Seattle is a liberal mecca.

So let's do the math. 1170 tripled is 3510 THAT is how many officers are needed NOW.

They added 16 net for 2019?

So to match the LEO per capita of 1970, they would need to add 2210 officers.

At 16 per year they can reach their goal in 138 years!

(provided the population doesn't increase)

NW COP
NW COP

What does the mayor and city council expect? They've put political correctness ahead of enforcement of existing laws. They've created a situation where law breakers thumb their noses at police and businesses and where police are frustrated.

I worked for the City of Seattle and am glad to be working in another jurisdiction where I feel supported and appreciated for doing what I took an oath to do.

Sivispace
Sivispace

I started out as a prosecutor with the City of Seattle in 1991. Back then, SPD was solid. They had a dedicated DUI squad and good narcotics officers. Even then, Seattle was a crazy place full of crazy liberal people. By 1994, I had tried well over 100 jury trials and needed a break. I got tired of political correctness and carried a gun every day. I got a lot of crap for being a gun-packing conservative but that's what every prosecutor should be in my opinion. Now I've applied for a position in law enforcement. Wish me luck!

RunCop
RunCop

Let the animal thugs have the city.

Grog
Grog

The direct results of this new mental illness epidemic called "Liberalism."

Reppoc1
Reppoc1

Gotta love a democratic city. Hire a Chief that will lie and fudge the numbers, to do the mayors bidding! Hope all the coppers go! Let the lefty's police themselves with their purses!

Gramercy
Gramercy

Seattle..you got just what you asked for!!!! Enjoy!

bryantrent
bryantrent

Seattle Police officers dont get paid that much

Raymelson
Raymelson

I feel compassion for all large cities an the men an women in blue an there fighting a losing battle thanks to Obama the proficiency of being an officer has become the most dangerous job in America

sanman899
sanman899

Democrat built, democrat owned.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Bleeding heart, hug-a-thug, liberal politicians hard at work.

colonelorville
colonelorville

IS IT CAUSED BY THE RAIN?

MajScallywag
MajScallywag

I hope that the attrition of the police department continues and the leftist socialist democrats reap the total results of their anti law enforcement mentality. Let’s watch the liberals fail again!!!

TFN
TFN

Maybe the libs in charge can take the criminals to Starbucks, buy them coffee and a gift card in hopes they will change their thug mentality

tfort
tfort

I didn’t delete it, I myself can’t find it.

Ddbrown1
Ddbrown1

In Seattle police officers are not allowed to do their job. City leaders are to afraid of groups like the ACLU and antifa. Another democrat controlled city with out of control crime . They cannot even keep the doors to the county court house open because of the crime on the street .

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

Who could blame anyone for leaving Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Baltimore, or Philadelphia

WarriorMonk
WarriorMonk

Same story in Portland. Every year there are about 1500 applicants to Portland Police Bureau. Out of 1500 applicants they might hire 20. And out of these 20, NONE are laterals. PPB does NOT want you if you have been properly trained in another department. They claim to encourage lateral applicants, but they do not hire them. Portland is vastly understaffed, and kept that way to protect overtime. There is serious part 1 felony crime happening there, and the "statistics" are a closely guarded secret.

csinate
csinate

You stand down while Antifa thugs (read Brown Shirts) burn your blue lives matter flag. The law is called Criminal Mischief, which they broke. You should have arrested them, but you didn't. Now, they know that they own the city. If nothing happens to them when destroying police property, then it's carte blanche for anything else. Why do you follow the unlawful orders of your Commanders--arrest them.

CopperheadCSA
CopperheadCSA

I would just like to thank all the liberal idiots for turning my once beautiful city into a shit hole.

NFPD103
NFPD103

Maybe the Mayor needs to look to his friends at ANTIFA for help they could patrol the streets since they have nothing better to do and he enjoys their friendship and political views.