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Mayor rolls out hiring bonus plan to grow Seattle Police to nearly 1,500 officers by 2027

Just under 1,000 officers currently patrol the streets of Seattle. By 2027, the city will have nearly 1,500 under a new plan released this week by Mayor Bruce Harrell’s office.

The Seattle Police Recruitment and Retention Plan (PDF) is hoped to staunch dipping totals and reverse recent trends as Seattle Police Department leadership and interim Chief Adrian Diaz continue to say Seattle needs more officers to keep the city safe.

The Harrell administration says officer staffing levels are “at their lowest in more than 30 years with over 400 officers departing SPD since 2019.”

“This crisis is exacerbated by similar needs for more officers locally and nationally, creating an extremely competitive environment,” a statement on the new plans reads. “Tangible impacts of the decrease in deployable officers include a continuing deterioration of police response times to priority calls, a 40% decrease in detectives available for vital investigative work, and increasing overtime expenses.”

The new plan would seek to bring in new officers by offering up to $30,000 hiring bonuses for lateral transfers from other departments and $7,500 for new recruits.

It comes despite the city’s own analysis that found hiring incentives are only sometimes effective in filling hard to hire positions.

The plan also calls for retention incentives to keep existing officers but offered no specifics of any new programs.

The new incentive effort will start with a cost around $2 million — about twice recent budget planning.

It includes initiatives beyond money with an effort to expand the applicant pool “by prioritizing recruitment of candidates who reflect Seattle’s values and diverse communities and are committed to public service, including people with diverse racial and immigration backgrounds, people with college educations and language skills beyond English, and people who value living in Seattle.”

If successful, by 2027, Seattle would still have an officer ratio that remains below many major cities at around 1.9 per 1,000 citizens.

 

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d4l3d
d4l3d
2 months ago

Now that Congress is voting to rout out Nazis, White Nationalists, etc. at the Federal level (if there’s sufficient will), we’re in for an influx of these charmers to the local level.

Glenn
Glenn
2 months ago
Reply to  d4l3d

Well, I welcome the influx. We need more police to manage ongoing issues such as property crime, assaults, and homicides. And the assumption that new hires will be Nazis, White Nationalists, etc., is misplaced. They can hire good people, an effort that would be made easier if this city’s residents would stop relentlessly bashing it’s police force.

No One Wants To Work Anymore
No One Wants To Work Anymore
2 months ago
Reply to  Glenn

More police to show up after crime has happened to scratch their heads, ask the public for help and mingle with each other while menacingly glaring at pedestrians will do nothing to “stop crime”. It didn’t before, it isn’t now and it won’t in the future. Figure it out.

Crow
Crow
2 months ago

I guess you missed CHAZ where 2 murders quickly occurred in days after SPD was kicked out. That set the anarchist movement back by decades.

d.c.
d.c.
2 months ago
Reply to  Crow

I guess you missed CHAZ where 2 murders quickly occurred in days after SPD was kicked out. That set the anarchist movement back by decades.

Yeah, we’ve had regular shootings outside the Baltic Room/Mint for like 20 years now. The cops aren’t preventing murders anywhere in this city even when it happens in the same location for a decade. Violent crime is up and it was up before the Defund movement had a name.

And really, as I’m sure you’re well aware, the cops kicked themselves out, then lied about it. It’s all on the record now. A lot of the people who frequent this site are very familiar with the timeline and facts from that period so misrepresenting them won’t go well.

How is that?
How is that?
2 months ago

What do you expect, “Minority Report”?

Privilege
Privilege
2 months ago
Reply to  Glenn

Police do little to manage those things, as evidenced by cities with much larger per capita police forces and much worse crime rates. And crime solving rates are abysmal, at the lowest levels in history, because… cops don’t really stop or solve that many crimes.

Most reductions in crime are largely driven by economic factors, where costs and income are both reasonable. Give people reasons not to commit property crime and assaults in order to survive and, weirdly enough, rates decrease.

I mean, stats back this up. Look at the decrease in crime rates in the 90s; early 90s were terribad; the Clinton years, crime went way, way down. They ticked up after 9/11, and have ticked up in the pandemic. And still are half of 1990 levels. (That’s more nationwide.)

My favorite thing about “let’s add more cops” is that most of you that are pro more cops are the first people bitching about cost-benefit analysis if you add services. “Tell me exactly where that extra million for housing is going, and what improvements there will be.”

Now do that for more police, use the same financial scrutiny and results-focused logic. Look at cities with higher crime rates, and their per-capita police; you know what city has a super high per-capita rate? Chicago. It has more than double the number of officers per capita than Seattle. So I think you’d expect Chicago’s crime rates to be half of Seattle, and a much smaller number of property crime, assumes, and homicides per capita.

Seattle has cost-of-living issues driving up the crime rate, full stop. No one wants to fix that problem, so sure. Let’s hire more cops. It won’t fix anything or improve anything, but it’ll help the housing market in Lynwood and make Seattle people feel somewhat better, maybe.

DD15
DD15
2 months ago
Reply to  Glenn

The city’s residents will consider stopping relentlessly bashing (figuratively) its police force, when the police force stops relentlessly bashing (literally) the city’s residents while extorting the city’s residents for more money in the process.

Glenn
Glenn
2 months ago
Reply to  DD15

Note D413d’s comment equating all potential SPD hires as Nazis and White Nationalists merits no challenging responses from CH Blog readers. Does silence signify agreement ? It seems it does given the other comments here. Oh well. Back to yet another story of shots fired in the CD and naked uncooperative felons fleeing the scene and the hospital.

Charles Burlingame
Charles Burlingame
2 months ago

Glad to provide the Bellevue and Lynnwood police department with their next round of lateral hires after paying out millions in bonuses that could be used to actually improve public safety in Seattle.

Grum
Grum
2 months ago

Those SUV cruisers won’t idle in parking lots themselves!