Seattle City Council approves a partial new police contract

Jun 25, 2024
Written by WR Communications

The Seattle City Council passed legislation approving a new police contract that covers 2021 through 2023 and Mayor Bruce Harrell quickly signed it into law. Negotiations are ongoing for a contract to cover 2024 and future years. The previous contract expired in 2020.

The contract raises the starting salary for police officers from $83,000 to $103,000, with officers earning $110,000 after six months. This contract makes Seattle police officers the highest paid in the state. Officers will receive back pay of up to $60,000 for the years in which they worked under the expired contract.

While the City of Seattle hopes this contract will boost officer hiring, the retroactive pay could trigger a wave of retirements by officers who postponed leaving until the contract was approved.

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) is still subject to the 2012 consent decree with the federal government that is overseen by U.S. District Court Judge James Robart. Although SPD has met many benchmarks in the consent decree, Judge Robart has insisted on stronger accountability standards. The new contract strengthens the police chief’s authority in firing decisions, shifting much of this authority away from independent arbitrators who review such cases.


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