SEATTLE — Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best laid out what the city council’s plan to cut 50% of the department’s budget could mean.
Best said in a letter to Mayor Jenny Durkan that the budget cuts would translate into laying off or transferring 1,100 workers — half of the department’s workforce.
She said it would also mean closing the Southwest Precinct and eliminating SWAT. SPD would be forced to rely on nearby cities’ SWAT officers.
Best said a 50% cut would leave only 630 sworn. It would also result in less racial and cultural diversity in the force.
In a video message, Best described the council’s plan as political and unrealistic.
A majority of city council members are on board with cutting the budget by half, with some citing the department's response to the recent protests.
Seven members publicly expressed support for a 50% cut, which would override a mayoral veto.
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