MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle Mayor Durkan tells police officers: ‘I value you’

Oct 21, 2020, 9:55 AM

Durkan, Best...

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. (Seattle Channel)

(Seattle Channel)

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan had a message for police officers after a record number left the Seattle Police Department last month.

“I say to the ones that are there, please stay. Seattle values you. I value you,” Durkan said.

The mayor was responding to questions on Oct. 20 about departing officers complaining in exit interviews about a lack of support from city hall.

One former officer wrote, “I refuse to work for this socialist city council and their political agenda.”

Hatred of police, lack of support and politics among reasons for SPD exodus in exit interviews

This comes as the city council begins considering additional cuts to the SPD budget in 2021.

Comprehensive plans from the council are not expected for a couple of weeks, but early proposals outlined Tuesday range from leaving vacant positions unfunded to a 50% cut to address systemic inequality.

KIRO 7 asked Durkan how the city could both support officers and rethink policing.

“I don’t think you can do one without the other,” Durkan said. “Number one, they’ve got to be part of the solution. Number two is we’ve got to do better in officer wellness.”

The mayor said the last few months have been stressful for officers, who need adequate training and time off.

With traditional policing under scrutiny, SPD is warning about a growth in violent crime.

“Shootings are at the highest level of the last seven years,” Chief Adrian Diaz said on Oct. 19. “We’ve had a significant increase in homicides, and so we have to realize that this, there are some huge safety issues when it comes to violent crime in this city.”

By Graham Johnson, KIRO 7 TV

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Lund Hill solar farm in Klickitat County, Washington, the state’s largest photovoltaic pla...

Julia Dallas

Washington receives over $150M to implement solar, lower energy costs

On Monday, The EPA announced Washington has been selected to get $156M to develop long-lasting solar programs for low-income communities.

7 hours ago

Image: Buddy Booth is seen as a young adult. Episodes of Season 2 of The Letter from KSL Podcasts a...

Amy Donaldson - executive producer, KSL Podcasts

The Letter Season 2: Sense of dread precedes second 1982 Millcreek Canyon murder

The second episode of the second season of The Letter, "Ripple Effect," details the second man killed in a 1982 double murder.

8 hours ago

Photo: West Seattle High School students held a pro-Palestinian protest....

James Lynch

Western Washington students walk out against Israel-Hamas war

Around 100 West Seattle High School students joined other groups across the nation in protesting against the Israel-Hamas war.

11 hours ago

Boeing production floor...

Heather Bosch

Boeing engineers allege retaliation over safety concerns

Two Boeing engineers have alleged retaliation by the company’s management after they insisted on a re-evaluation of work on the 787 and 777.

11 hours ago

Paxton...

JAMIE STENGLE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Seattle Children’s Hospital won’t turn over gender-affirming care records in lawsuit

The Texas Attorney General is dropping a request for Seattle Children's Hospital to hand over records regarding gender-affirming treatment.

12 hours ago

Red Cross...

Bill Kaczaraba

South King Fire offering free smoke alarm installation for Federal Way residents

The American Red Cross is set to host a home fire safety event, Sound the Alarm, on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

14 hours ago

Seattle Mayor Durkan tells police officers: ‘I value you’