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Seattle Police Officers Guild VP Mike Solan: Vote council out of office

(Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

The Seattle Police Officers Guild is responding to a Pioneer Square pub owner’s troubles with repeated assaults on customers from the homeless population.

Collins Pub owner Seth Howard spoke on the Dori Monson Show last week after a yet another alleged assault by a homeless person on a customer having lunch on the patio. Howard said that because it usually takes the Seattle Police Department a few hours to respond to these assaults, he reached out on Twitter.

A reply from SPD’s Twitter account simply advised him to call instead — and earned SPD accusations of tone-deafness from other Twitter users.

However, the Seattle Police Officers Guild — the union of Seattle police officers — sent out its own Twitter response condemning long waits for help and calling out Seattle politics as the culprit.

SPOG Vice President Mike Solan, a 20-year SPD veteran and resident of Seattle, told Dori that he is “embarrassed by the state of our city.” He said that he was “awestruck at the lack of response on Twitter” to Collins Pub, and feels terrible about the small businesses and residents struggling against the rampant crime in Seattle.

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“The reason why we’re in this predicament is because political officials lack the willpower to hold criminal behavior accountable,” he said. “And now we see that that political pressure is put on the local police officer … leaving the regular police officers responding to calls handcuffed to be able to do their jobs appropriately.”

He does not blame SPD leadership in the least. Instead, it’s the city council — and a small but loud group of activists who have “taken hold of the public safety narrative and spun it in a way that is detrimental.”

“We see the city council — a certain individual calling us murderers (a reference to statements made by Councilmember Kshama Sawant in 2017) — spreading lies and deceit and, frankly, unbelievable negativity towards our membership,” he said. “That leads to a recruitment and retention crisis, where officers now feel that they cannot do their jobs appropriately.”

Because he and his police colleagues are so dedicated to helping the community, those words from Sawant hurt Solan deeply. Solan said that police officers all want to be held accountable for their actions on a daily basis, but that the extremism in Seattle government has literally prevented them from being able to keep the public safe.

“As law enforcement professionals, we made the decision to become police officers to help people,” he said. “And when we cannot help people, right there is a fundamental issue that we take umbrage with.”

In last week’s primary, the three city council incumbents — Sawant, Councilmember Lisa Herbold, and Councilmember Debora Juarez — all clearly led their races. Solan was not surprised, as voter turnout is typically less enthusiastic during primaries.

However, he begs residents who are sick of the Seattle status quo to go out and vote in November.

“I pray that that silent majority stands up this coming election and actually has a say … We implore the citizens of this city to support their officers and vote,” he said. “Please vote the officials out of office who play into this.”

The anti-cop rhetoric, according to Solan, is just a “flavor of the month” trend that has to stop.

“We want to change the narrative … enough is enough. Let us do our jobs,” he said. “We are professionals who have dedicated our lives and professions to helping this community. All we want to do is help.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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