Rantz: Seattle Police on pace to lose nearly 200 officers.

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The Seattle Police Department is on pace to lose nearly 200 officers  by the end of the year in a historic mass exodus, the Jason Rantz Show  on KTTH has learned. The vast majority of those who left the department  are patrol officers.

By the end of November, the official number of separations was 164.  Since then, more officers have offered their resignations to take jobs  at neighboring agencies. Put bluntly, the city does not have enough  officers to keep the area safe.

As of this publication date, sources tell me the SPD actually has 191  separations — an all-inclusive term covering resignations, retirements,  and firings. The president of the Seattle police union ominously warns  “these numbers are only just the tip of the iceberg.” Officially, the  city will only acknowledge the November data (with the note that more  have left in December).

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Seattle Police Department’s shocking mass exodus

No one could have anticipated this many officers leaving Seattle at the beginning of the year.

The city invested in recruitment efforts to overcome 2018’s shocking wave of officer separations. Indeed, after initially desperately spinning the data (including in front of a federal judge), the city eventually acknowledged the 109 officer separations as “historically large.”

In 2019, there was a rebound of sorts. Under then-Chief Carmen Best,  the SPD made significant strides in hiring, including a more diverse  recruitment class, resulting in 92 hires (including 16 lateral hires  from other agencies).

But then, after the death of George Floyd this year, area activists  successfully lobbied the Seattle City Council to ramp up their  rhetorical attacks on police.

Attacks on Seattle police push mass exodus

The council and mayor stayed silent as criminal activists physically assaulted cops at riots referred to as “peaceful protests.”

Police were ordered out of their precinct by Mayor Jenny Durkan for  what she called a “summer of love” — one that resulted in the murder of  two Black teenagers. When Antifa thugs cemented shut the door of the East Precinct while trying to set the building on fire, not a single councilmember said a thing. Activists and the council ran the city’s first Black, female police chief out of town.

At the same time, the council renewed efforts to protect criminals. Councilmember Lisa Herbold, a radical from West Seattle, is forwarding legislation that effectively legalizes most misdemeanor crimes if committed by the poor or mentally ill. Police officers aren’t allowed to do their jobs.

Ultimately, the council defunded the SPD by 18% with promises of more cuts.

As a consequence, many officers called it quits, moving to other  agencies in the area. For example, Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer  confirmed he’s hired nine SPD officers already. And the Spokane Police  Department just welcomed four SPD officers into their ranks.

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‘Nonsensical activism’

Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan confirms 191  separations. He doesn’t normally confirm staffing numbers “because that  should come from the department as far as being the official, official  number to inform the public.”

This time, however, he felt compelled to speak up.

“This is this is so serious and dire relative to everybody’s public  safety in this city that this is the reality. And obviously, it takes  time for paperwork to catch up, and for computers to digest the data,  and for people to be informed. And then that data is then released to  the public. This stuff, it does take some time. And out of respect for  the department, I will recognize that,” Solan told the Jason Rantz Show  on KTTH. “But this is so serious that your listenership that reside in  the city of Seattle, and I think in the region, need to understand that  when we have this type of leadership — meaning from the council — that  follow the nonsensical activism that’s coming from the loud, but small  group of people that holds us all hostage by their activism, that is  swallowing us all.”

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Seattle Police mass exodus numbers in perspective

No matter how you look at the numbers, including the new hires, the  data is grim. As it currently stands at just over 1,200 deployable  officers, Seattle has the lowest number of deployable staff since 1990.

In the department’s history, 2020 likely represents the largest  exodus of officers. And there are still officers who are looking to  exit. Sheriff Troyer in Pierce County confirms he has 15 more applicants  going through background checks now. That means the separations will  likely continue, but will not be counted toward 2020 stats.

Earlier this year, the city released data on separations and hires  dating back to 2012. It puts the new staggering number in context.

     Year Separations   2012 36   2013 39   2014 59   2015 72   2016 67   2017 79   2018 109   2019 92    

At the same time, the SPD has only been able to hire 51 new officers.  But only four of them (two laterals, two rehires) are ready for  near-immediate redeployment. The rest must go through extensive training  before being able to hit the streets.

‘Just the tip of the iceberg’

SPOG president Solan knows what’s coming, and it’s not good for public safety.

“The alarming growth of these separation numbers reflects the reality  and unfortunate predicament Seattle finds itself. Sadly, this could’ve  been avoided if our reasonable Seattle community had leadership at the  city council level,” Solan tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH in a  statement. “Due to their intentional insertion of politics into the  public safety discourse, Seattle will continue to unravel socially as  these numbers are only just the tip of the iceberg.”

Solan warns that the situation will continue to spiral.

“Unless the ignored, reasonable Seattle community acts right now to  protect their public safety rights and hold our city council responsible  for the decay of public safety in Seattle, I’m afraid Seattle will  spiral deep into lawlessness,” he said. “Having said that, the remaining  cops will continue to protect all citizens despite zero political  support from elected officials and with dangerous staffing levels. Why?  Because it’s who we are. We serve despite this unreasonable activism  swallowing all of us in our community and we will go down with the  ship.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on  KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter, Instagram, and Parler and like me on Facebook

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