Chief Best writes letter to City Council in response to proposals to defund SPD

SEATTLE — Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best sent a letter to the City Council on Wednesday in response to proposals submitted by Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now to defund the police department.

In the letter, Best said she wanted to give the police department’s perspective on the proposals currently in front of the councilmembers “in the spirit of working collaboratively.”

Best said it is critical for the councilmembers to include the SPD in discussions of proposed cuts. She said any proposed cuts could have lasting public safety implications.

“I have stated, clearly and repeatedly, that SPD stands ready to engage in a community-lead re-envisioning of community safety,” Best said.

>> ‘A recipe for chaos,’ Downtown Seattle Association says of calls to defund SPD by 50%

The Chief went on to say the department has consistently shown a willingness to change operations, increase transparency, consult experts and listen to the community.

Best also said many of the recommendations from Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now “intersect directly” with requirements and work of the federal consent decree.

She concluded her opening remarks by saying that the department believes in science.

“There is a plethora of evidence that effective, evidence-based policing prevents crime,” Best said. “I do not know what the advocates were pointing to when they stated to council, they have evidence that policing doesn’t prevent crime, but there are countless, peer-reviewed articles that confirm the exact opposite.”

The chief then went on to give the department’s perspective on the each of the proposals currently in front of the council.

Click here to read her full letter and to see her response to each proposal.

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