Retailer explains why he’s leaving Seattle while police shortfall grows

Mar 6, 2023
Written by WR Communications


Corey Gassmann, owner of School of Bike, a bike shop in Wallingford, detailed to Danny Westneat of The Seattle Times why he’s moving his shop from Seattle. Exasperated by numerous break-ins, Gassmann told Westneat that the final nudge came from a Seattle police officer:

“Here’s a police officer telling me to get the [bleep] out of Seattle, or else it’ll just happen again,” Gassmann said. “I can’t have $30,000 worth of bikes sitting behind a thin layer of glass in this neighborhood, with no protection and nobody to call. There’s just no way I can continue to run this business. . . I’m done. I’m getting out of having a retail business in Seattle ever again.”

Westneat points to the chronic shortage of police officers as a prime reason retailers like Gassmann feel their businesses cannot be protected. Although the Seattle Police Department has hired 190 officers since 2020, 515 officers have left. And the numbers are not improving, despite Mayor Bruce Harrell’s efforts to retain current officers and hire new ones. Last year, SPD suffered a net loss of about 90 officers. Both Westneat and Gassmann blamed the lingering effects of the “defund-the-police debacle.”


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