A Seattle City Council committee gave ground Tuesday in the fight with SPD over a proposal to cut another $5.4 million from the 2021 police budget to account for the department’s overspending on overtime.
The council previously sliced around 20% out of SPD’s spending for 2021 and shifted the money to other departments, and social and community programs in a compromise slice that many hope is the start to bringing real change to the way Seattle polices itself
But old wounds won out Tuesday as the council dropped its push to reclaim the money.
Instead, Crosscut reports the committee will cut only $3 million, reallocating the money to community funding and other departments while also identifying “roughly $5 million in salary savings that the police department may use to fill civilian positions, hire more mental health providers who would respond with officers, bolster the response to public disclosure requests, expand evidence storage and pay out money owed to officers leaving on their own accord. The money would not go directly toward hiring more patrol officers.”
SPD Chief Adrian Diaz and the powerful Seattle police union had pushed back on the planned cut citing growing staffing challenges and slower than acceptable 911 response times across the city.
In the 3-2 vote during Tuesday’s committee session moving the legislation forward, Councilmembers Tammy Morales and Kshama Sawant tallied the votes against the new proposal.
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