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Seattle Offering $30K Bonus To Recruit Police Officers After Years Of Defunding, Escalating Crime

Seattle, WA – After years of defunding its police force and watching crime rates soar, the City of Seattle is now scrambling to draw the attention of new hires by offering substantial hiring bonuses to lateral officers and new recruits.

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) employed 1,315 law enforcement officers back in 2017, which was the highest total number of officers the agency has had on the force in the past seven years, KING reported.

That number now stands at just 961 officers – the lowest number the Seattle police have seen in more than 30 years, according to KIRO.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in July of 2022 that problems with the agency’s staffing had risen to “crisis levels,” KING reported.

Simultaneously, the city experienced its highest crime rate in 15 years in 2022, surpassing the previous record set the year before.

Homicides skyrocketed by 24 percent in 2022, and motor vehicle thefts jumped up 30 percent, FOX News reported.

Harrell discussed public safety and the need for more law enforcement officers during his 2023 State of the City speech on Tuesday.

“We need immediate action and innovation to respond to our public safety issues,” the mayor declared. “Seattle saw a 4% rise in reported crime last year… We need more officers to address our staffing crisis.”

After years of bowing to the “Defund the Police” movement, the city recently increased the SPD budget for the first time since they slashed it 2020, FOX News reported.

Harrell said his goal is to see the SPD’s force sitting at 1,400 officers, according to KING.

The department is offering a $30,000 bonus for lateral officers and a $7,500 signing bonus for new recruits in an effort to drum up interest in its hundreds of open positions, KIRO reported.

Seattle resident and local reporter Jonathan Choe said the rallying cries of the “woke” activists and the politics behind the anti-police movement are to blame for perpetuating the city’s soaring crime rate and police exodus.

“[It’s] a failed social experiment,” Choe told FOX News. “They’re still standing by this and doubling down on it…”

“The mayor laid out the vision and the hope for what he wants going forward, but he’s very sparse on details and an exact plan to execute this and what that would actually look like,” he noted.

Other residents told FOX News they’re afraid the city is already too far gone.

“Right now, I don’t have a lot of hope,” Seattle resident Victoria Beach told the news outlet, describing the city as a “free for all.”

“If you want to commit a crime, move to Seattle,” she said. “I think the mayor is on the right track, but Seattle is in a huge crisis. Our city has been destroyed, and we’re not going to get it back anytime soon.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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