Mayor Durkan puts $1.6M toward hiring, retention for short-staffed SPD

Sep 11, 2019, 12:58 PM | Updated: 1:15 pm
coronavirus police seattle, missing text messages...
Mayor Jenny Durkan and SPD Chief Carmen Best. (Mayor Durkan, Twitter)
(Mayor Durkan, Twitter)

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced $1.6 million in spending for the 2020 budget to improve hiring and retention for Seattle police.

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

The money will be put toward strengthened recruiting efforts, as well as faster hiring processes, and more.

“As Seattle grows, we must make sure we are recruiting, hiring and retaining the most experienced officers who can provide public safety and are committed to lasting reform,” Durkan said in a Tuesday news release. “That’s how we can build the best and most effective community policing department in America.”

Over the last year, the Seattle Police Department has seen many of its officers leave for other cities, citing poor treatment from the Mayor’s Office and City Council. A recent survey indicated that a portion of officers feel as though they are over-scrutinized by the Office of Police Accountability.

In June 2018, reports surfaced that SPD had seen 41 departures through the first five months of the year. By the end of the year, 109 officers had left the department, far exceeding the 79 separations in 2017.

“There are lots of people walking out the door,” an officer explained to KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “This is a mass exodus. We’re losing people left and right. Why stick around when the City Council doesn’t appreciate you? [These officers are] fleeing the ‘Seattle mentality.’”

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

The hope with the most recent investment from the city is to incentivize officers to stay in Seattle, while bringing in new talent to fill the ranks of a short-staffed department.

“The Seattle Police Department – like many other departments across the nation – has been facing staffing shortages and challenges in recruiting and retaining officers,” SPD Chief Carmen Best said Tuesday. “Our city deserves the best quality police services, and the members of the SPD deserve to be supported in their careers.”

That’s a concern shared by many Seattleites, who described police staffing as one of their top concerns in a public safety report conducted by Seattle University.

Additionally, $847,000 of the city’s 2020 budget will be put toward the continuation of emphasis patrols, in an effort to improve public safety across seven separate neighborhoods in Seattle.

Local News

Federal Way gun buyback...
Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Federal Way’s gun buyback runs out of gift cards early

Hundreds of unwanted firearms were turned in Saturday in Federal Way’s first ever gun buyback. Owners received a gift card in return.
1 day ago
Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
1 day ago
Capitol Hill shooting...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Investigation underway after man shot in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood

Police are investigating after a man was shot in the hip in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning.
2 days ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News and Bridget Chavez, KIRO 7 News

Redmond police using vehicle-mounted GPS tracking system to track down fleeing suspects

The Redmond Police Department started using StarChase Pursuit in January to safely pursue fleeing suspects.
2 days ago
Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News

Murder of Kent teacher calls attention to mental health crisis in Washington

A Tacoma mom stabbed and killed on Wednesday has been identified as 66-year-old Gail Gese, a teacher at Cedar Heights Middle School in Kent.
2 days ago
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Mayor Durkan puts $1.6M toward hiring, retention for short-staffed SPD