Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mayor plans to hire more police officers

During his State of the City 2016 address yesterday, Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan to hire an additional 200 police officers by 2019. In September 2015, the NPAC Executive Board sent a letter to Seattle City Council members asking them to hire more officers than the 25 originally proposed in the city budget. Here is an excerpt:

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 25 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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