×
× Digital News Videos Opinion Special Reports Lifestyle Central Coast Eastern Nairobi North Eastern Nyanza Rift Valley Western Business News Stocks Financial Standard Africa Asia America Europe Weird News Editorial Commentary Letters Crazy World Features Entertainment Money & Careers Health & Science Sci & Tech Home & Away Generation Next Cartoon Education Pointblank Environment Travel & Destination Columns Kipkoech Tanui uReport Kiambu Murang'a Nyandarua Kirinyaga Nyeri Baringo Bomet Elgeyo Kajiado Kericho Laikipia Nakuru Nandi Narok Samburu Trans Nzoia Turkana Mombasa Kwale Kilifi Tanariver Taita Taveta Kakamega Vihiga Bungoma Busia Siaya Kisumu Homabay Migori Kisii Nyamira Nairobi Uasin Gishu West Pokot Sunday Magazine The Hague Trial Kenya @ 50 Education and Training Health and Environment Insurance and Financial Security Housing Current Affairs Humour Makau Mutua David Oginde Clay Muganda Comand Your Morning Mohamed Wehliye Wednesday Life Alexander Chagema Arts & Culture Kamotho Waiganjo Barrack Muluka Xn Iraki Urban Rights - By Steve Ouma Branding Voice KCB Fredrick Ogola Sunday Magazine Wanja Kavengi Njoki Kaigai David Oginde Ken Opalo Daisy Maritim Houghton Irungu Hustle News Group Stages Round of 16 Quarter Finals Semi Finals Finals Third Place play-offs Opinion Dr Pesa Podcasts Round Table Sepetuko Eve Woman Ramadhan Special Fact Check Correction Explainers The Standard Insider Blog E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×

Seattle reduces police funding, signals deeper cuts ahead

By Reuters | August 11th 2020 at 08:39:01 GMT +0300

Seattle Police officers carry gear as they walk towards the Seattle Police Department's West Precinct in Seattle, Washington, U.S. June 10, 2020.

Seattle’s council on Monday approved a reduction of the budget of the city’s police department of less than 1% after months of protests demanding that it defund the force, but it signaled deeper cuts might be on the way.

By a vote of 7-1 the council approved a revised 2020 budget that reduced the department’s budget by $3.5 million for the remainder of the year and invested $17 million in community public safety programs.

The cut to the $409-million department’s annual budget fell way short of the 50% demanded by protesters following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in police custody on May 25.

Following the budget cut, media, including an NBC affiliate, suggested that Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best would resign and would make the announcement at press briefing on Tuesday.

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Council President Lorena González called the cut a “down-payment for future potential reductions” to the department’s budget.

Defunding advocates oppose the militarization of U.S. police forces and say officers are called on to deal with issues like addiction, mental illness and homelessness that could be better addressed by social services.

Law-enforcement supporters say cuts to police spending will lead to more crime.

The council begins 2021 budget talks in September and Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Best have signaled their willingness to rethink policing and consider $76 million in proposed cuts to the department’s 2021 budget.

The revised 2020 budget came after a council inquest into the department, which revealed that 56% of 911 calls are for non-criminal activity and only 3% of calls result in arrest.

The rebalanced budget reduces executive pay and eliminates 100 police officers. It also reduces the budget for travel, public affairs, training and recruitment and makes cuts to specialized units like SWAT, harbor patrol, homeland security, mounted patrol and officers in schools.

The budget also removes officers from the city’s homeless outreach team. More than a dozen business and neighborhood groups signed a letter from the Downtown Seattle Association opposing that move. “In defunding SPD, the council moved with speed and pettiness rather than with precision and thoughtfulness,” the association said in a statement.

The SPD has been under a federal consent decree for excessive use of force since 2011.

Multiple demonstrations for and against “defunding the police” have taken place at city hall over the past week. Militant anti-police protesters smashed windows at businesses perceived to support the police and set fire to the construction site at a juvenile detention facility.


Read More

Feedback