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SPD hires 108 officers in 2019, launches ‘This is My Neighborhood’

Officer Judinna Gulpan is the first officer featured in SPD's 'This is My Neighborhood' campaign. (Photo courtesy of Seattle Police Department)

In 2019, the Seattle Police Department hired 108 officers, 39 of whom are people of color. This is the highest number of officers hired in more than a decade, and the highest percentage of people of color hired in a single year in department history.

Seattle Police Department touts 2019 stats, sets 2020 goals

Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best commended the positive 2019 data Monday at Hing Hay Park in the Chinatown-International District.

As of Jan. 31 this year, SPD has hired 11 officers, continuing the recruitment trend from last year.

SPD also announced the launch of a new campaign titled “This is My Neighborhood.” The campaign “continues the city’s work to advance hiring, recruitment, and retention” at SPD, according to a news release from the mayor’s office.

“Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the country over the last decade, but our police department has not grown proportionally, and we’re working hard to catch up. In 2020, we’re a big city with big city challenges, and we need a robust police department with officers committed to true, community policing,” Durkan said in the release. “With this new campaign, we’re doubling down on our work to hire new officers who represent the diverse communities we serve. The Seattle Police Department is the best in the country, and we’ll continue to lead the way in hiring women and people of color.”

In 2018, SPD lost a net total of 41 officers. Last year, 92 officers left SPD but the force ended the year with a net gain of 16 cops. Police force shortages are a nationwide issue, not just a problem Seattle is facing, according to Monday’s news release.

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“This is My Neighborhood” will feature 12 members of the SPD, one each month between February 2020 and February 2021. These officers represent various communities and positions within the department. The first officer featured is Judinna Gulpan.

For more information on recruitment and hiring initiatives, or how to apply to become an officer, visit the SPD’s website here.

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