Seattle City Council members question Sawant’s plan to defund SPD this year

SEATTLE — Today members of the Seattle City Council's Select Budget Committee poured over plans to defund the Seattle Police Department. The council members looked over the amendments proposed Friday.

Council member Kshama Sawant criticized other council members for watering down their plans to defund SPD and called for the 50% cut to the SPD budget happen this year.

Council members were quick to point out Sawant's plan — to cut half of the remaining SPD budget by $85 million this year — is impossible.

Officers would need three months of warning in advance to be laid off, so the layoff notices would have had to already go out to save any money by November, according to council members.

But even if all of the officers in the department were laid off, the city still couldn't save $85 million, according to Seattle City Council central staffers.

Other council members are pushing for a more gradual approach — to cut SPD's budget by the end of 2021.

The Seattle Police Officers Guild stated defunding SPD will put public safety on the line.

"What happened at CHAZ and CHOP would be a picnic compared to if we lost 50% of our budget, which could lead to 800 coppers losing their jobs. Who is going to be there for 911 calls for service?" said Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild. The Seattle Police Officers Guild stated it has 130,000 signatures on its petition to stop the defunding of SPD. Solan thinks the pressure is working

and says it delayed the original vote.

The select budget committee will vote on the amendments on Aug. 5.

The vote by the full City Council, which was set for Aug. 10, has been scheduled for earlier.