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
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