Seattle moves to slash police budget as it sees highest homicide rate in a decade

by Peter Heck · Dec 1st, 2020 9:08 am

Last Updated Dec 1st, 2020 at 7:52 pm

With another murder recorded on Monday, the city of Seattle continues to confront a record-high homicide rate, with numbers not seen in more than a decade.

The city has recorded its 55th murder of 2020, almost double the 28 that occurred one year ago.

Despite the trend, the city's Democrat Mayor Jenny Durkan plans to move forward with a new budget that would cut police funding by 18%. Seattle's city council passed that budget by a large margin last week.

With Durkan's expected signature, funds for police training and overtime pay will be cut and several dozen police posts that currently sit vacant will be eliminated. Parking enforcement officers and 911 dispatchers have also been removed from the police department's authority.

"I believe we are laying the groundwork to make systemic and lasting changes to policing," Durkan said. "We have rightly put forward a plan that seeks to ensure SPD has enough officers to meet 911 response and investigative needs throughout the city, while acknowledging and addressing the disproportionate impacts policing has had on communities of color, particularly Black communities."


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