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

SEATTLE — The Downtown Seattle Association says calls by members of the Seattle city council to reduce the city police department’s budget by 50% are a “recipe for chaos in our communities.”

A spokesperson for the DSA said the work to restructure policing and re-examine community safety is important, but said doing so cannot happen overnight.

Officials said the work “cannot be accomplished in the two week budgeting exercise that is in front of council.”

>> Related: SPD chief lays out what 50% budget cut would mean for police force

The DSA is standing behind Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best who have pushed back against cutting the SPD’s funding in half.

Durkan announced on Monday an initial $76 million in reductions to the SPD budget next year.

“Mayor Durkan and Chief Best have outlined a reasonable and responsible timeline and action plan to examine the roles and responsibilities of SPD,” DSA officials said in a statement.

DSA officials said they support bringing more voices to the table and said they will continue to work with different communities to “ensure that this vision of a safe city for everyone becomes a reality.”

Officials said they hope to see city investments linked to tangible health and safety outcomes with a commitment to tracking and metrics.

“Safe and healthy neighborhoods are critical for our small businesses, arts and cultural institutions and (for) the city to bounce back from this recession and thrive again,” officials said.