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Council candidate: Local agencies drawing dissatisfied cops from Seattle

(Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

Police are in demand across the country, and the Everett Police Department is hoping to draw more than a few experienced officers by offering a $20,000 signing bonus. But as former police officer and Seattle city council candidate Brendan Kolding points out, such incentives may wind up drawing officers from Seattle due to the council’s sometimes hostile rhetoric.

“Local agencies like Everett that are offering these signing bonuses are drawing a lot of the officers from Seattle who are very well trained, and have a lot of experience there,” he said. “They’re addressing their staffing shortages by competing with each other to be more attractive to the Seattle officers who are looking to get out.”

“So basically our current council has created a situation where the largest police department in the state — the SPD — is propping up everybody else who’s competing for very limited resources.”

‘Historically large number’ of cops leaving Seattle PD, outpaces hiring

In the past, officers speaking under condition of anonymity felt they were being demonized by the city, and subject to overzealous investigations of misconduct. Kolding believes this culture needs to change so officers feel more support when putting their lives on the line.

In addition to this perceived hostility, it’s been difficult for the SPD to recruit of late as a result of historically low unemployment, officer retirement, and hiring incentives offered by other jurisdictions both regionally and nationally. SPD recently offered their own $15,000 hiring bonus.

Seattle hoping to draw experienced cops with $15,000 hiring bonus

“We need a city council that’s supportive of law enforcement. We need as many experienced law enforcement professionals as we can get on city council. That’s why I’m running.”

“We need for the SPD to be a department where officers feel like it’s worth putting themselves at the risk that they put themselves at every day when they go to work, and thereby inspire them to stay, and also inspire them to suggest to their friends and other people to come and apply to Seattle.”

To learn more about Kolding’s campaign, head to www.brendankolding.com.

Listen to the Saul Spady Show weekday afternoons from 6-9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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