After a summer of protests, the Police Department’s budget cut by nearly 17% in Seattle

The Seattle City Council on Monday cut its police department budget by about 17 percent, sparked by national protests against systemic racism this past summer.

The panel’s 2021 spending plan called for $ 340 million to be allocated to the Seattle Police Department, down from $ 409 million this year, council representatives and the mayor said Tuesday.

While some Seattle activists have called for a 50 percent police budget cut, Mayor Jenny Durkan said he supports these reduced cuts, calling them “thoughtful and deliberate” and giving the city priority that we What services do we need from the Seattle Police Department and how. May increase policing options. “

“I believe we are making changes at the ground level to make systemic and permanent changes,” Durkan said in a statement, saying in a statement that SPD has the 911 response and investigation requirements There are enough officers to do. However, the color of policing, while acknowledging and addressing the impact of policing, has had particularly on communities in black communities. “

A City Hall spokesman said on Tuesday that Durkan is expected to formally sign the 2021 budget next week.

Police chased protesters during a protest in Seattle on November 3, 2020.David Ryder / Getty Images

Council member Teresa Mosqueda, who headed the budget committee, said that “reducing the SPD’s budget” and transferring money to other social programs was a top priority that “communities producing healthy outcomes for minority communities Will invest in options “.

He called out Seattle residents as critical moments citing police moments in George Floyd in Minneapolis and Bryo Taylor in Louisville.

“We have more to work with, and we have to work on those next steps now.”

The union, representing Seattle officials, announced budget cuts and warned city residents that law enforcement services across the board would be disrupted.

Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Sloan said, “If you don’t do any follow-up investigations relative to the secondary piece of 911 calls for help, you’ll keep looking longer.”

The ongoing tense negotiations to scuttle the department’s budget led to the resignation of Carmen Best, Seattle’s first black chief.

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