SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council approved a final 2022 budget for the city on Monday. One of the most contentious areas has been funding for the Seattle Police Department.
The council approved a $355.5 million budget for SPD eight to one, saying there are no cuts functionally for SPD. But the police department’s budget is shrinking.
“This budget includes no cuts to SPD staffing, no cuts to SPD officers, no cuts to salary in this proposed budget,” said budget committee chair and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda.
However, the 2022 budget is about $7.5 million less than the 2021 budget ($363 million), and $46 million less than 2020 ($401.8 million).
City council members say that’s because the police department currently has 135 open positions, which present significant salary savings.
Mayor Durkan’s proposed budget from earlier this fall allocated an additional $10 million towards SPD, with the proposal to use some of the saved salary costs for things like incentive programs such as hiring bonuses.
Sgt. Randy Huserik with SPD said on Monday the department currently has 1,120 sworn officers.
The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) criticized council’s budget Monday afternoon, saying it “missed the mark.”
“The council’s opposition to the Mayor’s proposed SPD budget sends the wrong signal to officers and our community,” DSA said in part, in an email.
City Council’s budget did add six Community Safety Officer positions to SPD, making the team size 24 in 2022.
©2021 Cox Media Group