It’s simple to destroy a police division however a lot more durable to rebuild it. That’s what new Seattle Mayor
is discovering as he tries to cut back crime that has flourished for the reason that anti-police riots of 2020.
Seattle presently has some 950 cops, the fewest in additional than 30 years. More than 300 officers have retired or resigned since 2020. Mr. Harrell has described the police scarcity as a “crisis” that “harms public safety,” and this month he launched a plan to recruit officers and rebuild the division.
The mayor desires a bonus of as much as $7,500 for brand new recruits and as much as $30,000 for officers who come to Seattle from a police division elsewhere. He proposes paying for transferring bills. Negotiations with the police union proceed, however Mr. Harrell says he additionally desires “a comprehensive and competitive economic package to retain officers.”
The more money could be useful. But exit interviews with departing Seattle cops present that many officers don’t need to work in a metropolis the place they’re vilified by the press and politicians. Last fall the City Council minimize police funding for a second 12 months in a row, even after Seattle residents elected the law-and-order candidates for mayor and metropolis lawyer.
Overall crime within the metropolis rose 10% final 12 months, and that’s in comparison with the already elevated 2020 ranges. Violent crime rose by 20% as Seattle recorded essentially the most aggravated assaults in a decade. Property crime additionally elevated, with larceny theft up 15% and arson 31%.
stated final week it would shut 5 shops in its hometown of Seattle due to rising crime and dysfunction.
Fewer officers now work longer hours to take care of extra crime, which additionally makes it arduous to recruit and retain police. Mr. Harrell’s report notes that “this reality is contributing to exhaustion and low morale among officers.” It will take years to undo the hurt wrought by the defund-the-police motion.
Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
Appeared within the July 20, 2022, print version.