Federal grant to bring more cops to Seattle

by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:

Seattle is expected to get 10 new police officers because of a $1.25 million Department of Justice grant.

The 10 officers are in addition to the 15 new officers in the 2014 proposed budget. Mayor Mike McGinn said with the 27 officers added in the 2013 budget process, there will be 52 new officers authorized in the Seattle since the end of 2012.

 "This award, along with the extra officers outlined in the budget, is great news for the department and for the community," Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel said in a statement.

 The officers were hired under the Community Oriented Policing Services grant and are expected to be in each of the five precincts as part of community police teams. Those teams focus on long-term and chronic problems specific to individual neighborhoods.

 Last year, Seattle officials agreed to an independent monitor and court oversight of the city's police department as part of a deal with the Justice Department. That followed a report that found officers routinely used excessive force.

 On July 31, the Downtown Seattle Association sent a letter to Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle City Councilmembers detailing violent incidents and calling for the significant and immediate increase of foot and bike patrols.

 Since then, the Seattle Police Officers guild has supported Ed Murray, McGinn’s opponent in the mayoral race.

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