‘Mass exodus’ of Seattle police officers on the city’s politics?
Seattle Police Department says dozens of officers from the force. The police union says the departure will have a direct impact on public safety.
At least 41 cops left the Seattle Police Department this year, many of them reportedly citing frustration with the city, the politics, and the experienced lack of support from local officials.
Although the documents showed that some officers left the force due to retirement, a source in the department told Q13 FOX about 20 officers left and sought employment at other law enforcement agencies.
The source also said that the younger officers “do not feel appreciated” and some of them leave, who felt “frustrated about the city’s politics is higher than usual.”
“Worker bees, on the street, they do not feel valued. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” the source told Q13 FOX.
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The Seattle Police Guild, the police union, that “all of the officers and sergeants on the Seattle Police Department,” according to its website, called the departure a “mass exodus” that would affect the safety.
“Less officers on the street, is less safe for the citizens — and if you are all these officers you’ve invested all this money in and they are leaving for Tacoma, Olympia, Pierce County and According to County,” Seattle police officers Guild Vice-President Richard O’neill said.
He added: “I have never seen the number of officials who leave and the manner in which they are leaving.”
With effect from 2017, there were 1,444 sworn officers of the force, according to the city.
O’neill said many officers felt a lack of support from the officials of the city.
“It is depressing to serve in a place where many members of the city council that have been coming out at times with negative comments about the police,” O’neill said.
The union cited Mike O’brien and Kshama Sawant, two Seattle city council members, as especially of importance of the enforcement of the law.
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“A city council member [Sawant], you can call two police officers ‘killers’ and the city pay for its legal costs,” a source told MyNorthwest.com referring to a fatal 2016 police-involved shooting.
The Seattle Police Guild said the officials have not received a pay raise in three years as a result of contract negotiations. But O’neill said the officers didn’t leave because of the money issues — she just became fed up with Seattle politics.
“I’ve been here since 1980, I have never seen a city in the state in which it is located. It is because it is allowed on many levels,” O’neill said.
The Seattle Police Department, struck a different tone, saying that it would not characterize the departure as a “massive exodus” and be on the department to continue to recruit civil servants, including women and minority candidates.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office released a report about the union remarks.
“Few issues are more important than public safety and keeping our families safe, and our employees are asked to do more in our rapidly changing society”, the statement said. “…The Mayor will continue to work closely with the SPD and our employees to ensure they have the resources necessary to maintain their safety and the safety of our community.”
Kathleen Joyce is a breaking/trending news producer for FoxNews.com. You can follow her via @Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.