Seattle police deploying extra units this weekend after uptick in shootings
The Seattle Police Department is adding extra units to three neighborhoods this weekend after a recent increase in gun violence.
Additional units will deploy to Pioneer Square, Belltown, and the downtown core to address those “increasingly-busy nightlife areas,” according to SPD. The extra officers are coming from Patrol, the DUI enforcement squad, and the Gun Violence Reduction Unit.
Last weekend, three people were killed and five others injured in a series of shootings around Seattle’s downtown area. Locations of the incidents spanned from Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park to Pioneer Square’s Trinity Nightclub over a period of just a few hours.
“I’m down a remarkable number of officers on a reduced and restricted budget,” interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz said in a Monday news conference.
Diaz pointed to recent difficulties in ensuring there are enough officers to adequately respond to 911 calls.
Durkan echoed Diaz’s, stating that the city “cannot continue on this current trajectory of losing police officers,” and blaming it in part on calls to defund the department last year. Durkan also touted a series of recent measures the city has undertaken as part of a community-driven response to gun violence, including a $10.4 million investment in violence prevention, $2 million for King County’s Regional Peacekeepers Collective, work to provide a variety of 911 response alternatives, and ongoing efforts to get guns off the streets.