The Seattle City Council made deep cuts in police funding in the final city government budget for 2021.
Many City Council members wanted the budget cut in half, and some community members agreed, Q13 FOX News reports. A resident of the city told Q13 News, “We want a minimum of 50 percent budget reduction.”
The local police union said a reduction in police is the last thing Seattle needs.
Shortly before the budget vote, a Seattle social worker was stabbed to death in an apartment complex, the Western Journal reports. The City Council plans to replace many police officers with social workers and to send social workers in response to 911 calls.
“Unarmed and untrained, they won’t have a chance to defend themselves against dangerous residents in crisis,” writes Jason Rantz for KTTH News.
Another stabbing occurred on the same day as the murder of the social worker. The second victim survived the attack.
“The stabbings—the third in four days—[spotlight] a city spiraling out of control,” Rantz writes. “As homicides soar and violent crime escalates, police staffing dwindles. And the council just made the situation worse.”
The city of Seattle has experienced a mass exodus of police officers, and filling the positions won’t be easy, Rantz says.
“The Seattle City Council seems to be unbothered,” Rantz writes. “They continue to push forward to defund Seattle police while the homicide rate grows as fast as our homelessness crisis. There is no end in sight.”
“Defunding police agencies because of perceived racial bias and replacing trained and armed officers with social workers is as dumb as it sounds,” writes Kip Jones in a commentary for Western Journal. “But leftists in Seattle are demanding that rational people sit back and watch the slow-motion car crash continue. The city’s residents might be in for a rude awakening with regard to the real-world consequences of such decisions.”
Governments that reject force as an option in protecting the public leave the people vulnerable to violence and exploitation.
“A government can legitimately claim that it and it alone has the right to use force to enforce a law or an obligation or to coerce action,” attorney Luis Robles told Budget and Tax News. “It’s that monopoly that prevents private thugs, gangs, from going around, beating people up, and extorting money,” Robles said.
Seattle is not the only western U.S. city reducing its police budget. Los Angeles has cut funding by $150 million, reports FOX News. Meanwhile, the city’s homicide rate reached the highest level in 10 years, Budget and Tax News reports. More than 300 homicides have been committed in the city so far this year. In 2019, the number for the full year was 257.
Problems spiral out of control when city governments cut back on policing in the face of rising crime, says retired SWAT officer Steve Rodriguez.
“Things will get worse in those areas where things are already bad, which are run by bad, or at the least incompetent people,” Rodriguez told Budget and Tax News.
“The fewer the officers, the higher the crime and the longer it will take to respond to violent crimes and track down suspects,” writes Rantz. “And the problem is getting worse.”