Sunday, October 11, 2015

NPAC requests increased funding for additional police officers

The North Precinct Advisory Council sent the following letter to the Seattle City Council regarding police staffing levels and the proposed city budget. Based on their review of crime prevention research, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy found that additional police officers "reduce crime and generate six to seven dollars of benefits per dollar of cost. The finding that policing is effective in reducing crime is consistent with other recent reviews of the national research literature."
The North Precinct Advisory Council (NPAC) is composed of representatives from over 40 community groups and business organizations in north Seattle. NPAC is concerned that the current proposed budget for 2016 only plans to add 30 officers to the Seattle Police Department.  NPAC would like to see the budget reflect the need for 150 officers added as a net gain city wide. 

We are happy to see explicitly stated in the proposed budget, “Greater visibility of police officers in Seattle neighborhoods and downtown is a priority for the Mayor and the chief of police, and as a first step, the department is reallocating resources to put more officers on the streets.”

However, adding 30 officers in 2016 and phasing in 100 officers over four years is simply not enough to keep up with the needs of our city.  Communities and SPD can only build a strong and trusting relationship when we are able to interact beyond the crisis situations that prompt 911 calls.  The most effective way to have citizens and officers interact is to have officers out in our community. 

Current staffing levels simply don’t allow for enough officers to be in our neighborhoods on foot and bike patrols on a regular basis.  The Community Police Team is doing great work and more CPT Officers would go a long way in continuing to build a positive relationship with Seattleites. Adding officers would increase police presence and decrease crime in our city.  The money spent in adding officers would be saved as crime decreases city wide.

For these reasons the North Precinct Advisory Council advocates for targeting the addition of 150 new officers to the budget for 2016.

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