Seattle police union suspects ‘sick out’ cause of staffing issue during busy weekend

Jul 28, 2023, 6:42 AM | Updated: 7:45 am

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

The leader of Seattle’s police union suspects a ‘sick out’ could be the cause of severe staffing shortages Saturday night.

According to guild president Mike Solan, roughly half of patrol officers did not show up for their shift.

“Us going on strike or doing a ‘sick out’, we can’t do it,” said Solan. “It’s against the law period and that’s what I messaged the members.”

Solan also reports, that roughly 30% of officers scheduled to assist with special events across town were no shows.

This past weekend the Taylor Swift concert, Bite of Seattle, and Capitol Hill Block Party drew massive crowds.

According to the Downtown Seattle Association, Seattle experienced its largest number of visitors in five years.

“So you can imagine what that does to staffing and more importantly the public safety conversation,” said Solan.

The Seattle Police Department is pushing back against Solan’s statements. Deputy Chief Eric Barden argues the fifty percent figure is inaccurate.

“We don’t have any reason to believe this was a ‘sick out,’” said Barden. “This was just simply a circumstance where we had more than a regular amount of folks calling out sick.”

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