(Daily Caller News Foundation) — The liberal city of Seattle is losing police officers amid a major spike in crime.
“We’re screwed,” former King County Sheriff John Urqhart said, according to 770 KTTH.
In total, 122 officers have left the Seattle Police Department in 2022, including six who left in August, 770 KTTH reported, citing a police source. Since the City Council voted to defund the police department in 2020, nearly 500 police officers have left the force.
The city experienced 11 homicides in August, the deadliest single month on record, which goes back to 2008, according to the Seattle Times.
“There’s been a mass exodus of policing. The profession itself is almost on its last breath. And what happens is that criminals fill the void when there’s no law enforcement,” Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan told Jason Rantz on KTTH.
“And when you connect to funding, and then you connect the reform laws that were just absolutely catastrophic to our communities, this is the sad result. And who ends up paying the price? Our communities,” Solan said.
There were only 877 deployable officers as of the week of Aug. 28, according to the police union, which says the damage could cost public safety for years to come. There needs to be around 1,400 to 1,500, according to Solan.
“It’s going to take at least a decade, at a minimum, to get to the level of 1,400 to 1,500 people at a minimum,” Solan said, according to 770 KTTH. “And that doesn’t bode well for the current officers that are here, in terms of having a safe environment to work in. And then I think, more importantly, it’s the community that we serve professionally on a daily basis. This crime surge is here, and it’s real, and it’s only going to get worse.”
On top of those leaving the force already, there’s another 350 officers who will qualify for retirement at the end of the year, according to 770 KTTH.
In the meantime, the union is working to get officers contracts because they’re currently working without them, Solan said.
“[Signing a contract] would be retaining your current people, which would then entice laterals or new recruits to come in because you have a fair wage that was up to today’s standards. The other option is, don’t have anything and you lose … it would decimate this department. And I don’t know how the city moves forward,” Solan said.
The Seattle Police Department didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.