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