SEATTLE, WA – The City of Seattle has not hired a police officer since the first quarter of 2010, and that trend will continue through 2012 according to the Mayor’s new budget.
McGinn’s 2012 budget would save $2.4 million by not filling 26 current vacancies among uniformed officers. The mayor noted that despite the vacancies, the police department has met or exceeded its goals for 911 response times, number of officers on patrol and proactive time for officers to work in the community. And crime in the city is at a 55-year low.
“We think we’re hitting our outcomes with the existing force. Public safety is more than the size of the police force, McGinn said.
Police officials agree that with the city facing an $18 million shortfall out of a $910 million general fund budget, it must take its share of cuts.
“In a perfect world, we would be growing, but in other cities, they’re having layoffs. With the current fiscal realities, we’ve come off very good,” said police spokesman Sean Whitcomb. The mayor’s proposal calls for officers to be hired if additional patrol officers leave the force.
From The Seattle Times.