LOCAL NEWS

COVID impacts Seattle Police Department with 27 in isolation, quarantine

Aug 31, 2021, 8:14 AM | Updated: 8:36 am
Magnolia shooting, Seattle police...
Police at the scene of a shooting in Magnolia. (Seattle Police Department)
(Seattle Police Department)

COVID-19 is having a major impact on the Seattle Police Department.

Seattle police union president counters city council criticism of staff attrition

As of Aug. 30, the SPD Blotter reports that 27 SPD employees are either in quarantine or isolation.

Since April 2020, there have been 138 SPD employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, and 1,295 employees have returned to work based on Public Health guidelines. There are also 681 SPD employees since the start of the pandemic who were tested at the First Responder testing site, but tested negative.

This is all as the SPD has been open about struggles with staffing and a lower number available officers. The department has lost 250 officers over the last year and a half. That’s a trend that has slowed, interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show in July, having only lost “a couple to resignations in the last couple months.”

Mayor Durkan: Council needs to pass bill addressing SPD staffing ‘as soon as possible’

“We’re starting to see people stay with the department,” Diaz said, while emphasizing the need to turn SPD’s focus to bringing more officers on board, and electing a new mayor who will support those efforts.

In late April 2021, the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH reported that the current deployable staff number was at just 1,088, which brought the city back to numbers matching at least the 1980s.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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COVID impacts Seattle Police Department with 27 in isolation, quarantine