Seattle policing issues major focus at council starts work on 2022 budget

Sep 30, 2021
Written by wpengine

On September 27, the City Council formally received Mayor Durkan’s proposed 2022 city budget. This week, the Council puts aside work on other issues to begin the two-month process of developing the city’s 2022 budget.

The Seattle Police Department’s budget will be of significant importance in the Council’s deliberations. Mayor Durkan’s budget calls for a relatively small increase of $2.5 million, which would raise the SPD’s portion to $365.4 million. Since the beginning of 2020, the SPD has experienced a net loss of 193 officers. The Mayor’s budget discussed how it would address this loss:

“Even with a significant reduction in tasks, patrol staffing increases would be limited to the minimum required to maintain adequate response times for in-progress crimes and emergencies. The budget includes hiring and retention incentives for new and lateral transfer officers.”

The next two months will shed light on what actions the Council will take to provide adequate staffing levels at SPD while addressing public safety concerns.