SEATTLE, WA — Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best implored Seattle City Councilmembers Sunday to “stand up for what is right” after a group of protesters targeted her home late Saturday night.
In a letter to the council that she also published on the department’s crime blog, Best said her home in Snohomish County was visited “by a large group of aggressive protestors” and that while her neighbors were concerned, “they were successful in ensuring the crowd was not able to trespass or engage in other illegal behavior in the area, despite repeated attempts to do so.”
Best said the actions again elected officials — and especially civil servants as herself, “are out of line with and go against every democratic principle that guides our nation. Before this devolves into the new way of doing business by mob rule here in Seattle, and across the nation, elected officials like you must forcefully call for the end of these tactics.”
In recent weeks, protesters have rallied at the homes of some city council members and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.
The letter comes as city councilmembers begin a new round of discussions for cutting SPD’s budget. A resolution is now in place and there are dozens of amendments for council members to sort through over the next several days.
The newest numbers from the Seattle Police Department show that 56% of all calls are not criminal in nature. So one of the main goals of the council’s new resolution is to take those calls away from police, by creating a new civilian-led department of “Community Safety and Violence Prevention”. That department would work alongside police and take over the non-criminal responses.
Taking money away from the police budget, would pay for the new department.
“And are going to require a commitment that is demonstrated in writing from us that we are going to honor these promises to fully and totally create a new system,” said councilmember Andrew Lewis.
The move would mean layoffs for SPD, though it’s unclear right now how many jobs would be cut. And the concern of many people, is just who would be cut – some calling for cutting officers with the most complaints against them.
The council’s budget committee has two meetings Monday with the first coming at 10 a.m. Then they meet Wednesday morning when they could take vote to move some items forward.
From KOMO News