SPOG’s Response to the Pride Parade’s Ban of Uniformed Officers

The Seattle Police Officers Guild strongly disagrees with the decision to ban uniformed Seattle Police officers from marching in today’s Pride Parade.  In response SPOG President Mike Solan said, “SPOG members took an oath to serve our entire community equally and without discrimination.  It’s a shame to see that the commitment to equality and inclusion doesn’t flow in both directions.”

Solan added the following on the banishment of uniformed Seattle Officers from Pride events, “Banning uniformed Seattle Police officers from Pride events is disgusting, bigoted, discriminatory and contradicts our community’s beautiful inclusive LGBTQ message. Our LGBTQ members serve our community with distinction and pride. They value inclusiveness and demand respect not only for proudly being LGBTQ but for serving our community as police officers. Anyone that believes in their banishment has no place in Seattle and does not believe in the inclusive LGBTQ message. To date, close to 500 police officers have left our agency. The bigoted decisions banning uniformed officers from Pride events do not aid in stopping this mass exodus of cops. All we ask as SPOG members is some reasonable messaging of support from our elected officials and people in positions of power/influence. Police are fantastic human beings especially SPOG members.”

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild is the largest police labor group on the Pacific Northwest. We represent line officers and sergeants.

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Open Letter to Mayor Harrell to Address Seattle’s Violent Crime Wave

Seattle’s Public Safety, at a Tipping Point
Open Letter to Mayor Bruce Harrell

Public safety in Seattle is at a tipping point. As politicians realize their support of defunding the police was short sighted, we as a community are now dealing with the inevitable results. Sadly, in just two years, our city has lost almost half of its police officers. This grim reality has unfortunately spawned an alarming rise of violent crime. Each day, the citizens of Seattle are left to deal with the fallout of shootings, homicides, robberies and violent assaults as the scales of justice hang in the balance.

Moreover, our entire state is dealing with the reality of Seattle’s crime wave as our violence has spread to other communities. To address this alarming crime wave, our state’s politicians are now rewriting last year’s police reform laws to reflect a more moderate interpretation. While not perfect (when viewed by a reasonable officer), this is positive news.

Mayor Harrell’s promise to get control of Seattle’s public safety dilemma is also positive news. His commitment to hitting the “reset button” with the city council is politically sound and the right thing to do. We, as the city’s police officers, fully support his endeavor. As our police budget is in the hands of the council, Mayor Harrell’s success is ultimately tied to our success. Wouldn’t this then ultimately lead to Seattle’s success?

Success is what we all should strive for in our community. It is blatantly clear that Seattle is desperate for more qualified officers. The mayor must act immediately to tip the staffing scales. Equally as important to recruitment is Mayor Harrell voicing public support for our current officers. This act alone would have a profound positive impact for retaining those officers and improving morale among the rank and file. Failing to do so will be considered as more of the same from City Hall and the unprecedented loss of officers will continue to increase as will the city’s violent crime.

The overwhelming majority of Seattle police officers conduct quality policing. We take great pride in our service to Seattle; knowing that we are national law enforcement leaders in crisis response, de-escalation, training, accountability and reform. In fact, in early 2020, just before George Floyd’s murder, SPD was considered by Mayor Durkan to be a “model of police agency reform” and formally requested the DOJ to lift the Federal Settlement Agreement. Unfortunately, soon thereafter, politics prevailed over public safety, and City Hall rescinded their termination request and started Seattle down our current path of violence.

It is with all of this in mind, that I invite Mayor Harrell to open the lines of communication with SPOG; to begin charting a new path of collaboration and to put public safety before politics. Together we can remedy Seattle’s public safety crisis.

Seattle is worth saving. Wouldn’t you agree Mayor Harrell?

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K9 Officer JEDI EOW 1-5-22

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild mourns the loss of one of our own. Yesterday K9 Officer Jedi was stabbed to death protecting his partner, other officers and our community from a person in crisis armed with a knife and a machete. Just minutes before Jedi’s death, the suspect had broken into two homes near the Seattle Police Department’s South Precinct. During Jedi’s attempted apprehension of the suspect, Jedi’s police handler was also stabbed. Thankfully he will make a full recovery.

 

SPOG’s President Mike Solan said the following on Jedi’s passing, “Jedi and his partner were an incredible police canine team and were an asset for our officers and our community. For the past five years, they’ve apprehended countless violent criminals, protected our officers and the public from harm and were lauded as one of the best Seattle Police K9 teams in SPD’s history. Losing a K9 officer is a gut punch especially given all that our members have endured in the past two years. Jedi’s loyalty to his partner was pure, real and humbling. There is no doubt that he saved the life of his partner yesterday. Rest in peace Jedi, you will forever be part of our pack and you died a HERO.”

 

If you would like to donate in Jedi’s honor, please donate to The Retired Seattle Police Canine Fund:  http://www.retiredpolicedogs.com/ The Retired Seattle Police Canine Fund is a 501(c)(3) who distributes monies and services for the care and maintenance of retired Seattle Police Canines.

K9 Officer JEDI EOW 1-5-22.

Police Unions Launch Website to Expose the ACLU’s Negative Impact on Public Safety

Police Unions Launch Website to Expose

the ACLU’s Negative Impact on Public Safety

ACLU-Watch.com will catalog their anti-victim, pro-criminal agenda

 

Seattle, WA – The old ACLU was once a strong defender of our nation’s sacred first amendment, often taking unpopular clients and causes to prevent censorship and protect the freedom of expression. Unfortunately, today’s ACLU appears to be more interested in protecting and expanding the rights of sex offenders, murderers, thieves and molesters while attempting to curtail the rights of victims who are seeking justice.

 

ACLU-Watch.com is populated with actual positions the ACLU has taken, such as:

 

  • Opposing a law in Ohio to require those that masturbate in view of or expose themselves to children to register as a sex offender, or
  • Opposing a law in Nevada to increase penalties for child sex crimes, or
  • Supporting California’s Proposition 47 that has fueled the smash and grab thefts captured on video, removed the court’s ability to order rehabilitation for habitual drug offenders and changed many felonies to misdemeanors, or
  • Opposing a law in Michigan to extend the statute of limitations for both civil and criminal cases of sexual assault against children, or
  • Opposed a law in Pennsylvania to expand victim rights and allow children to testify via video and allow witnesses with autism to testify outside a court setting, or
  • Supporting California’s Proposition 57 that the ACLU told voters would only apply to non-violent offenders seeking early release from prison. In fact, Gregory Gadlin, convicted of forcible rape, forcible child molestation and assault with a deadly weapon is now eligible for release under Proposition 57 provisions.

 

ACLU-Watch.com is designed to expose the very real and dangerous positions, policies and programs the ACLU is promoting. Our research validates that the ACLU has lost its way and is clearly more interested in zero bail, reducing felonies to misdemeanors, lowering accountability for drug offenses and fighting for the rights of molesters, murderers, and thieves instead of victims and law abiding residents,” said Mike Solan, SPOG President. “Voters beware, if the ACLU is behind a law or ballot measure where you live there is a high likelihood that it won’t make you safer,” Solan added.

The website will be updated with new categories and new material from virtually every state in the union. The ACLU-Watch project is funded by the San Jose Police Officers Association, Los Angeles Police Protective League, San Francisco Police Officers Association, Seattle Police Officers Guild, San Diego Police Officers Association, Sacramento Police Officers Association, and the Las Vegas Police Protective Association.

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SPOG Response to City Council Vote

SPOG RESPONSE TO CITY COUNCIL BUDGET VOTE

In response to the Seattle City Council budget vote, SPOG President Mike Solan said the following, “The city council’s vote on the budget today is the beginning of a great political pivot away from unreasonable activism and back to the moderate policies that made Seattle the Emerald City. I look forward to working with the newly elected officials to ensure the future of Seattle’s public safety. Seattle is worth saving.”

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SPOG Response to Mayor Durkan

           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SPOG RESPONSE TO MAYOR DURKAN

 

Mayor Durkan’s Civil Emergency Order publicly released yesterday (10-29-21)  Civil Emergency Order PS Hiring.pdf misses the mark on addressing the current public safety staffing crisis plaguing Seattle. While the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild is thankful that Mayor Durkan acknowledges that the Seattle Police Department is in a staffing crisis, dangling money to recruit new or lateral hires won’t get the job done. Seattle cannot simply hire enough people to balance the loss of so many officers as other agencies across the nation are competing for those same jobs.

In response to Mayor Durkan’s civil order, SPOG President Mike Solan said the following, “Seattle’s politicians just days before George Floyd launched a public relations campaign to convince our Seattle community that the Seattle Police Department had met all Department of Justice settlement agreement benchmarks of reform. They boasted that the Seattle Police Department was the modeled reformed police agency for other police agencies to emulate. As a result, outside agencies from across the nation flew into Seattle to learn from our Department of Justice reform work. It is absolutely stunning to me that when George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, MN, these same politicians walked back any support of the Seattle Police Department thus politically betraying their police employees. The result of this betrayal has caused 350 police officers to flee Seattle since the riots. Many of these former police employees left for lower paying agencies just to escape Seattle’s toxic political climate. We also have another 100 officers now off the street due to the Mayor’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate and another 130 officers currently unavailable for service who are out on extended leave. When totaled, that is just under half the department gone/unavailable in almost two years. Seattle’s current police staffing crisis was caused by our current politicians and sadly it all could’ve been avoided. This political betrayal will forever be their legacy.”

Seattle police officers are some of the best trained officers in the nation. Many agencies heavily recruit our officers. SPOG would like to suggest to our current and soon to be newly elected politicians that if you want to hire new and lateral police officers, we suggest you also take care of your current officers. These officers worked during the pandemic, are feeling the impacts of dangerous staffing levels and are without a union contract. SPOG is looking forward to working with our new mayor and the current/new city council members to remedy our city’s issues. Seattle deserves public safety, and is worth saving.

SPOG Board of Directors

SPOG Reaction to the City of Seattle’s Vaccine Mandate

SPOG Reaction to the City of Seattle’s Vaccine Mandate

As we are all aware, today is the deadline for officers of the Seattle Police Department to upload their COVID-19 Vaccine Verifications.  According to the City of Seattle, failure to do so will lead to separation from city employment. This means more losses of police jobs and an alarming escalation in crime which may lead to an untenable public safety crisis. While the SPOG is continuing to negotiate in good faith, the city is still moving forward with their mandate and acting in bad faith.

Throughout the last nineteen months, SPOG members have continued to comply with CDC guidelines to keep our community safe. SPOG members answered your 911 calls for help even while exposing ourselves to the virus. And while working on the front lines, our COVID-19 transmittal rates have been extremely low.

As we’ve lost close to three hundred and fifty police officers on the street in the last year and a half, protecting the officers still left to answer 911 calls is of critical importance. Approximately one hundred of these officers have applied for and were approved for medical and religious exemptions from the mayor’s mandate. Instead of working to find reasonable accommodations, the City of Seattle has chosen to deny these officers the ability to continue to serve the public. Though we’ve read in the media that the department is working toward accommodations, the SPOG believes this is untrue. We have been told that all religious accommodations will be denied. Additionally, today, our members who had received medical accommodations received word that “SPD is unable to identify a reasonable accommodation for your current position” and these officers will no longer be allowed to be police officers. One of these officers is an organ transplant recipient who cannot get the vaccine(s) due to anti-rejection medication. Another is a pregnant female officer who has a contraindication to the vaccine(s). These officers want to continue to serve the public but are now sadly being made to choose between their life or their job.

Seattle Police Officers’ Guild President Mike Solan said the following, “SPOG members want to continue to show up tomorrow to serve our community. These terrific human beings want to be the ones who answer the 911 calls for help. SPOG has requested that the City of Seattle follow other large American cities such as San Jose, Chicago and Milwaukee as they have allowed reasonable accommodations for their police officers through masking and testing. SPOG believes that this is a reasonable request to slow down the spiraling staffing crisis currently facing the Seattle Police Department. Though we’ve heard and seen the city’s media blitz today on the current vaccine verification numbers, SPOG has asked the city for clarification on these numbers as we believe that the city is not being fully transparent. Trading the COVID-19 public health crisis for a looming public safety staffing crisis is gross mismanagement. SPOG believes that this isn’t about whether or not you’re vaccinated, it is strictly about saving jobs and continuing to provide public safety to the City of Seattle.”

 

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild is proud to represent the remaining Seattle Police Officers still serving our community and we believe the profession of law enforcement is noble. Police officers are fantastic human beings.

 

 

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Public Safety Crisis

Public Safety Crisis

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild is disappointed that the Seattle City Council continues to be anti-public safety. Yesterday’s council vote that blocked any measures of recruiting and retaining police officers is another blow to our community’s safety and well-being. This vote comes at a time when Seattle is already facing historic crime statistics and a police staffing crisis never seen before in our history. For the first time in the modern era, Seattle is now under one thousand deployable SPOG members who are the rank and file police officers and sergeants who respond to 911 calls and conduct follow up investigations. SPD has lost an unprecedented 300+ officers in the last year and a half with another anticipated mass exodus expected over the next month. This will continue to add to response times and restrict the ability for follow up investigations.

SPOG President Mike Solan said the following, “I want to thank Councilmember Pedersen for his public safety amendments. Sadly, the majority of the council are continuing their anti-police rhetoric by disregarding public safety. It is obvious that the majority of the council still gets their marching orders from the small activist class who continue to dictate the public safety discourse in our city. This activist class DO NOT reflect our city’s values. Everyone deserves public safety. It is shameful that these elected officials continually fail to represent their constituents.”

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild is proud to represent the remaining officers who continue to serve our community. We are proud to call ourselves police officers.

 

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Vaccine Mandate for Seattle City Workers

Vaccine Mandate for Seattle City Workers

The Seattle Police Officers Guild believes that City of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s announcement today ordering all City of Seattle workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18th, 2021 or face termination is a mandatory subject of bargaining. Mayor Durkan’s timeline for vaccination doesn’t provide enough time for labor relations to bargain the decision of effects. SPOG was not consulted with this decision. The question remains, if our community is 82.5% vaccinated and the majority of SPOG members are vaccinated against COVID-19, why
now mandate vaccines?

SPOG members have continued to work on the front lines during COVID-19. We have a low transmission rate. While other city workers were allowed to work from home, SPOG members continued to serve our community.

SPOG is concerned for the safety and wellbeing of all of our members including those with personal vaccination beliefs. Our Seattle community is already experiencing a Seattle Police Department staffing crisis. Given this crisis; which in part resulting in an alarming crime wave, can Seattle now endure more losses of police officers due to Mayor Durkan’s vaccination order?

The Seattle Police Officers Guild is the largest police labor union in the State of Washington. We represent over 1000 sworn officers and sergeants.

 

 

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Lexi Harris Benevolent Fund Details

LEGACY MEMORIAL ACCOUNT ESTABLISHED FOR SPD OFFICER LEXI HARRIS
FUNDS WILL GO TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS AND FAMILY

(Seattle, WA) — A memorial fund to honor fallen Seattle Police Officer Alexandra “Lexi” Harris has been established by the Seattle Police Officers Guild. The Officer Lexi Harris Benevolent Account will be used to continue her legacy of compassion, community service and support for and organizations in her hometown.

In the early morning hours on Sunday, June 13, 2021, Harris stopped to assist motorists involved in a multi-vehicle collision on Interstate 5 in Seattle. While out of her car rendering assistance, Lexi was tragically struck by another passing motorist and killed.

Born and raised in Seattle, Lexi served her community out of SPD’s West Precinct, Bicycle Patrol, Wellness Unit and Community Response Group. Her passion revolved around her family, friends, martial arts, and improving community relations whether on or off-duty.

Lexi was a dedicated Seattle Police officer who loved her work and was committed to bringing her considerable thoughtfulness and vision to the challenges of serving the community through compassionate policing. She also was a daughter, sister, a partner and “mother-by-choice” and for whom family was paramount. Her sudden death leaves a hole in the fabric of the lives of her family, coworkers, and friends.

One hundred percent of donations to the Officer Lexi Harris Benevolent Account will go to provide support for her family and organizations that can help carry on Lexi’s mission of community service. While no specific programs have been identified, the types of organizations that Lexi worked with throughout her life would benefit. They could include programs that support youth fitness, women and girls, leadership, guidance, and training, as well as organizations that promote trust and understanding between the police and the community.

Lexi’s always looked for the good in everyone and she never stopped giving, mentoring, and serving, whether with her family or people in crisis on the street.

Donations can be made at https://seattlepoliceofficers.com/lexi/

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Editors:

Video/audio clips of the family may be used in your coverage. They area available HERE
Featured in the clips are Laird Harris (father), Rebecca Brenneman (mother) Jeremiah Neuman (fiancé)

Officer Harris Benevolent Account contact:

Mike Solan
Seattle Police Officers Guild
mike@seattlepoliceguild.org

Lexi Harris family contact:
Barbara Smith
barbara@harrisandsmith.com