A major liberal city is making yet another move that will put even more strain on an already weakened local police force.
On Monday, KIRO-TV reported that the Seattle city council approved a budget plan that eliminates 80 vacant police officer positions. This is an attempt at addressing the massive deficit facing the city of Seattle.
Frankly, this announcement could not have come at a worse time for the city, as back in July, local outlet KING-TV reported that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) was seeing a 30-year low in officer numbers and warned of a severe staffing shortage in the SPD.
Naturally, this latest plan to cut police officers at a time when the force is already understaffed has not gone over well with many residents.
Resident Rudy Pantoja told KIRO, “Who are they talking to? Are they actually talking to the merchants and the tenants? It’s a rough time for families and for people like us who care about our city who live in our city to have 80 officers, 80 positions cut at a time when we really need to have an emphasis on safety.”
The police unions have also expressed their anger at this plan. Mike Solan, the president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, told Ari Hoffman of the Post Millenial podcast that it was “a money grab” and called it “Defunding 2.0.”
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) December 6, 2022
Solan also told Hoffman that the reason those positions are vacant in the first place is because “the political environment does not lend a welcoming hand” to police officers and that cutting the money makes it unlikely that those positions will ever be filled again.
This speaks to the larger problem: the leftists who currently run Seattle are merely using the budget deficit as an excuse to pursue their radical “defund the police” agenda.
Seattle was probably one of the least friendly cities towards police officers during the national unrest that followed the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020. Leftist militants occupied one part of the city and created a lawless “autonomous zone” during the protests.
At the time, Mayor Jenny Durkan dismissed citizens’ concerns about the threat to public safety posed by the occupation and compared it to a “block party.” She also infamously stated, “We could have the summer of love.”
So it really comes as no surprise that Seattle, the city that refused to give its officers protection or support during the unrest in 2020, would have no qualms about cutting its already strained police force even further.
The city’s proposal could be a blueprint for other leftist cities across the country to defund their police forces, making their cities all the more dangerous.
We have already seen the effect that this anti-police worldview has had on the country. The spike in crime in major leftist cities across the country proves that these policies do more harm than good.
We are even now seeing leftists who initially supported the “defund the police” movement back off after seeing the real-world consequences of their policies. A notable example is Minneapolis, the city at the center of the movement, which is now realizing its mistake after seeing the consequences of defunding the police.
The crime wave that we are currently experiencing in the United States is deeply disturbing. We should actively be attempting to recruit more police officers in the current environment, not cut officers.
Part of keeping our nation safe is ensuring that we have a strong and competent police force. Following the lead of leftist cities like Seattle will only bring us into more danger.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.