Mayor Durkan, city council could be primed for another showdown over SPD hiring

Nov 2, 2021, 5:29 AM
street racing, seattle police hiring bonuses...
Police cars block Pike Street by Pike Place Market near the scene of a shooting in Seattle, Washington, on January 22, 2020. (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

With Mayor Jenny Durkan issuing an emergency declaration last Friday to authorize hiring bonuses for new Seattle Police Department employees, it will now be up to the city council to decide how to proceed.

Seattle City Council rejects using officer exodus savings on SPD hiring, retention

The order would seek to immediately implement hiring bonuses of $25,000 for lateral SPD hires and $10,000 for new hires, with Durkan pointing to concerns over the 250 officers her office says have left the department over the last two years.

While Durkan has broad executive authority to issue the order itself, councilmembers ultimately have final say, with the option to approve it, reject it, or amend it. During a Monday morning council briefing, Councilmember Kshama Sawant expressed her hope to have central staff “prepare the legislation to reject this emergency order.”

Council President Lorena Gonzalez was more hesitant to dismiss the order out of hand, urging her colleagues to “spend some time” with it, and to direct all questions to central staff “by the end of the day.”

Councilmember Lisa Herbold — who also chairs the council’s public safety committee — expressed her belief that the process should be addressed through the ongoing budget process, rather than through an emergency order.

Seattle councilmember proposes changes to city budget to address SPD staffing crisis

“I really feel like we should be going with this issue as part of the budget process, and hope that’s how we move forward,” she said.

Durkan had originally proposed that the city set aside $1.09 million in the 2022 budget to cover SPD hiring bonuses. Herbold has since responded with an amendment that would move that money into general reserves while the city awaits “recommendations from a report on a Citywide hiring incentive program.”

That amendment was co-sponsored by Gonzalez, as well as Councilmembers Andrew Lewis and Tammy Morales, signaling that a large portion of the council could be opposed to Durkan’s emergency order, which would cover SPD hiring bonuses through the end of this year. Councilmembers also rejected a plan from Durkan’s office in September, which had sought to use savings from recently-departed officers to fund hiring and retention efforts.

Local News

Frank Sumrall

State Rep: ‘None of these locations are suitable’ for a future airport

According to Jason Rantz, the acting chairman of CACC, Warren Hendrickson, stated he believes none of the airport locations will move forward.
1 day ago
(KIRO 7)...
Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

Deputies seize nearly 100 pounds of drugs during Tacoma arrest

Deputies with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department seized nearly 100 pounds of drugs while arresting a man with a felony warrant in Tacoma
1 day ago
police pursuit...
Matt Markovich

Source of pursuit deaths updates controversial data

Stats used by legislators to consider changing police pursuit laws may be in question.
1 day ago
Nicole Jennings

‘Recycle, don’t throw out’ newest message from King County initiative

King County has launched a new initiative to get people to recycle or reuse items before automatically throwing them out.
1 day ago
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Pedestrian hit by train in Belltown, police investigate

Seattle Police are investigating after a man was hit by a train near Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood Thursday night.
1 day ago
Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Mayor Durkan, city council could be primed for another showdown over SPD hiring