Suits: Seattle is ‘scrambling’ to recruit police officers

Feb 23, 2022, 12:23 PM | Updated: 1:09 pm

Seattle police...

A Seattle Police vehicle sits parked at Hing Hay Park on March 18, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Seattle made national news this week when Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, went on Fox & Friends to talk about the low staffing levels of police in the city.

Rantz: More Seattle cops leave, as Mayor Harrell asks for larger police department

“As a Seattle resident, I’m concerned about the staffing shortages, but it’s not just localized to Seattle,” Solan said, blaming the “short sighted, naïve approach of defunding” for the drop in staffing.

“As we claw our way out of the defunding nonsense, we’re left with a profound gap in having enough officers, and Seattle is reminiscent of that overwhelming gap of lack of staffing. Just like we’re competing with other major urban cities across the nation for qualified police officers to fill the uniform, we’re struggling and we only have about 880 officers ready to respond to your 911 call,” he said. “We’re touching around 11 minutes for priority one response times, and that is major emergency situations.”

KTTH Host Bryan Suits noted, like Solan said, that Seattle is “under furious competition” to recruit.

“2020 was the great purge,” he said. “A lot of cops said, ‘I’m this close to retirement, I’m going to take early retirement, I’m out of here.'”

Suits notes that a number of officers in Seattle were fed up with how they were treated, “demonized by elected officials.”

“So now Seattle’s scrambling,” he said. “You heard Mayor Harrell last week almost apologize for hiring more cops.”

Listen to the Bryan Suits Show weekday mornings from 6–9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

Bryan Suits

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Suits: Seattle is ‘scrambling’ to recruit police officers