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Seattle Police Department responds to city council vote, budget cuts

In this Wednesday, July 15, 2020, file photo, Seattle Police officers walk past people holding signs during a rally in support of police and law enforcement officers, in front of City Hall in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Seattle City Council voted to override Mayor Jenny Durkan’s recent veto of cuts to the police department’s remaining 2020 budget by a 7-2 vote Tuesday evening.

Seattle City Council votes to override mayor’s veto of cuts to police budget

In response, the Seattle Police Department released a short statement Wednesday. The SPD said it wants to keep the department as whole as possible in light of the council’s action.

“The Seattle Police Department is still determining the implications of this action and the appropriate response. However, it is the SPD’s intent to keep the Department as whole as possible. In 2020, and as we move into 2021 budget discussions, our primary commitment is to build trust and maintain public safety.”

New interim SPD chief ready to lead with focus on trust building

According to the statement posted to the SPD Blotter, interim Chief Adrian Diaz will be working with the mayor’s office to assess next steps.

“The SPD is aware these decisions can create long lasting impacts, and remains committed to equitably serving all of Seattle.”

Council members Alex Pedersen and Debora Juarez were the two dissenting votes in the vote Tuesday.

City council originally approved the cuts in a 7-1 vote in early August. Mayor Durkan vetoed the legislation shortly thereafter. The council’s now-finalized cuts include:

  • Eliminating up to 100 sworn officer positions across various teams via layoffs and attrition (including 32 patrol officers), beginning in November 2020
  • Capping command staff pay at $150,000 (not including the chief’s salary, which was reduced to $275,000).
  • Ending the Navigation Team
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