Gee and Ursula’s top stories: SPD hiring bonuses, I-5 graffiti, M’s new slogan

Jul 14, 2022, 6:53 PM | Updated: 9:30 pm
(Getty Images)...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

MyNorthwest is bringing you highlights from the top stories and discussions from the Gee and Ursula Show July 13: Hosts Gee and Ursula discuss Harrell’s plan to recruit police, the removal of I-5 graffiti, and if ‘Sea Us Rise’ is the right slogan for the red hot Mariners.

Harrell to use bonuses as main incentive to join SPD

In an ambitious plan, Seattle wants to hire 500 new officers in the next five years and the mayor wants to offer $30,000 to cops who move from different police agencies. New recruits would get $7,500.

SPD staffing is at a 30-year low after more than 400 officers retired or quit in the last two years.

Mayor Bruce Harrell said for existing officers, his plan also provides education funding and retention incentives. Police Union President Mike Solan said the city needs to do more to keep other cops from leaving.

“I do think law enforcement should get paid good money, but what I’m saying is, no matter what job it is, there’s somebody listening right now, you’ve left the company, and you’ve gone somewhere to make less money because the company that you were with, you just didn’t like being a part of it,” Gee said. “We are seeing record numbers where people are leaving law enforcement, specifically, Seattle Police Department.”

As of right now, the Seattle Times reports the salary range for most SPD officers is between $80,000-$110,000 before overtime. The mayor is optimistic the council will adopt his recruitment plan.

Councilwoman Lisa Herbold believes the city should create alternative programs to move some responsibilities away from sworn officers. She stated we can’t keep asking police officers to direct traffic and help people in mental health crises when we don’t have enough officers to investigate sexual assaults or respond to 911 calls.

“Let’s start with the $30,000. That’s more than initially was talked about. And I remember when we talked to the mayor, he was like, it’s not all about the incentives. Well, he’s showing now that incentives are going to be a big part of it,” Ursula said. “And he has to because if you look at other lateral hires, Tacoma PD has a $25,000 incentive for lateral police hires. Basically, everyone’s trying to go from the same pool, because you’re trying to get people who are already trained.”

Is something finally being done about the graffiti along I-5 in Seattle???

This weekend, Revive I-5 crews are going to continue their work, replacing expansion joints on the freeway. What you might not realize is that they’re also taking big steps to beautify downtown Seattle.

Crews are cleaning up the graffiti that is scrawled on just about every surface next to I-5. In just the past four weekends, crews have used 200 gallons of paint to cover graffiti along the freeway. A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation said graffiti has been an ongoing issue that’s dangerous for those who are engaged in the crime, and it’s also a distraction for drivers.

“This is our home. Are you okay with someone just crapping all over your home?” asked Ursula. “No. Just painting it all up and going, ‘hey, I’m just going to do whatever I want.’ Every time I drive I-5, it feels like we just disrespect this beautiful area that we live in. And I think graffiti begets more graffiti.”

“I kind of like it. My mom has this cross stitch that’s been on her wall for like 30 years,” said Andrew Lanier, the producer of the Gee and Ursula Show. “It says a house should be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy. I kind of like graffiti, it’s part of the city and it should be a little bit gritty. Graffiti has always been a part of the urban landscape. It can get out of control and there are inappropriate places, but I really don’t mind seeing a little bit of graffiti.”

Can you believe our red hot SEATTLE MARINERS????

Yes, the Mariners have won their last TEN games, the first time that’s happened since 2002. They are 18-3 in their past 21 games, the best record in the majors and the franchise’s best single-season 21-game stretch ever.

The M’s slogan this year is “SEA US RISE,” but as the Seattle Mariners hot streak continues, we want our Gee and Ursula Show family to come up with one of our own!

1970s — We can do it together

1980s — Mariners are playing hard ball

1995 — Refuse to lose

2001 — SODO MOJO

2014 — True to the blue

Current — Sea Us Rise

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Gee and Ursula’s top stories: SPD hiring bonuses, I-5 graffiti, M’s new slogan