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Street Cop Training

June 24, 2022

Color Me Surprised: Seattle Defunds the Police and Crime Soars

It never ceases to amaze me when people learn that actions have consequences. Put your hand on the stove when it’s hot, and you get burned. Piss into the wind, and you will get wet. Eating a gut buster burrito warmed up in a gas station microwave at 2 AM will have explosive repercussions. These are pretty standard lessons we learn growing up and into adulthood. However, the City of Seattle is still learning this simple lesson: Defund the police, and you will have more crime. 

Back in the summer of 2020, the Seattle City Council decided to cut the law enforcement budget for the City by 50%, a decision that delighted the Ski mask-wearing and brick throwing elements of the City. And the upper classes of Yuppies believed we as humans have evolved past the need for law enforcement. So the plan was to slash the budget by half. However, the City only reached about a 17% reduction in the overall budget. So let us look over what happened after this landmark decision, cast down from on high. 

Over 400 law enforcement officers have resigned. This has set the numbers of active law enforcement in Seattle to what they were in 1990. Cops are leaving en masse for better agencies or changing careers entirely. Can you blame them? This puts faith in the saying that the grass is greener. It also shows what happens when you rail-road an entire agency just for political reasons and appear to be “more evolved.” So what happens when 400 officers walk off the job? Those who remain are overworked and overburdened, and they are well known to be unappreciated. The Seattle Police have only been able to hire seven new officers this year. Thirty-five have quit or retired so far this year, and there seems to be no end. 

Naturally, crime shot up to the stratosphere like a fentanyl-fueled rocket. The City has been set back nearly 30 years, with a 95% increase in shots fired calls and a 171% increase in people wounded by gunfire. According to FBI statistics, in the decades before the cuts, Seattle had a violent crime rate of about 500-600 per 100,000 people. Since the cuts, that has soared in just two years to about 721 per 100,000. If nothing changes, the City will see numbers of violent crimes peaking at around 900 per 100,000. That is a time-traveling achievement that will set the City back to 1995. New sexual assault and child abuse cases are not being investigated now. There are simply no detectives available. How progressive. 

The City decided to augment its police department by hiring unarmed civilians to take on some burden. The idea was to have a civilian task force assigned to duties, such as parking enforcement so that the real police could focus on updating their resumes. How has that plan panned out for Seattle? This week the City announced that they would be refunding 100,000 parking tickets and voiding another 100,000 parking tickets. So 200,000 tickets issued by civilians, removed from the police department, no longer have the authority to issue tickets. Over 10,000 vehicles were towed and impounded, and 1,700 were sold at auction. I wonder how they could have avoided that over $5,000,000 landmine?

Actions have consequences. These consequences come at a cost to the people that live in the City. All of the above has happened with a mere 17% of the budget being removed. Imagine if the City Council would have gone the full monty and had the 50% cut they voted on? Seattle would become Bartertown USA, and only Mad Max could save the day. Defunding the police has proved to be the utter failure we all knew would happen. It’s going to take more than funding to bring back officers. 

So how do we right the ship? Tell us in the comments below what should be done to fix the City.