Due to budget cuts and resignations, acting Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz recently warned of delayed police response times in Seattle.
In an interview with KOMO-TV, Diaz said repeat offenders are responsible for many of the burglaries, thefts, and assaults in the city. He urged the courts to hold repeat offenders more accountable.
Due to budget cuts passed by the City Council last year and a large wave of resignations, the department is down 185 officers, Diaz told Washington Retail board members during a meeting last month. On a positive note, Chief Diaz reported that the City Attorney’s office is more inclined to prosecute suspects arrested for vandalism or acts of violence.
Diaz also noted that some categories of crimes saw increases in 2020. The 50 homicides in Seattle last year were the most in more than 25 years. He added that drug overdoses also are on the rise in King County.
Despite these challenges, Diaz said he was committed to reducing crime so that boarded up businesses can reopen in Seattle.
“I’ve got to make Seattle safe; I have to take down the boards.” he told the WR board. “We’ll get there, it won’t be easy, but we’ll get there.”
With a Mayor’s race on the ballot this year, Diaz will remain acting chief for at least another year. Diaz’s interview with KOMO is here.