SEATTLE – The Seattle Police Department has lost so many officers in recent years that it has dropped to staffing levels not seen since 1991, and the losses have mounted as crime is increasing.
According to KOMO News, Mayor Bruce Harrell’s 2024 budget proposal says, “The city’s police staffing crisis, now in its third year, has resulted in only 937 police officers available for deployment in the city as of August 31, 2023, the lowest number of in-service officers since 1991 and significantly below per-capita staffing relative to similarly situated jurisdictions.”
For cities similar in size to Seattle, the FBI recommends the average officer-to-resident ratio as 2.6 per 1,000 residents.
Meanwhile, Seattle currently sits at 1.3 officers per 1,000 residents after the city has grown by about 200,000 people since the 1990s, according to the US Census Bureau.
Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officer Guild, said the city has seen more homicides this year than hired officers.