Don't defund Seattle Police: Reject irresponsible and dangerous budget cut proposal

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We the citizens of Seattle and surrounding cities strongly oppose the proposal to reduce Seattle Police Department funding by 50%. This proposal is going to negatively affect the safety of all people in the region regardless of their race, color, religion, or social status. The proposal comes from individuals and groups with no background in policing or public safety.

In addition:

  1. The proposal is dangerous. Reducing police force will create a power vacuum. Social experience all over the world proves irrefutably that a vacuum of power is quickly filled by gang violence. How is Seattle going to ensure safety of its people if the police manpower is cut in half?
  2. The proposal is irresponsible. It is going to require the police to have the same responsibilities they have now, but with 50% less money and 50% less officers. The proposal authors are asking for police funds, but not offering to take any of the police responsibility.
  3. The proposal is backwards. Instead of looking for a way to improve public safety, it instead tries to find justifiable uses of funds that the proposal's proponents are trying to take from police.

The proposal pushes vague and unproven solutions for the problems of our society. The 4 main points of the proposal are:

  1. "Remove Seattle’s 911 dispatchers from police control." - The misguided premise behind this proposal is that, first, dispatchers always dispatch police officers to deal with any kind of emergency and second, they do it because dispatchers are a part of the police department. It ignores the fact that calls involving domestic disturbance, homeless or mentally ill people are the most dangerous to the responders. 911 dispatchers have one of the most stressful and high-pressure jobs in the world, work long hours and often develop PTSD symptoms. If an overworked dispatcher sends an unarmed social worker to handle a call about a mentally ill person, and the social worker is injured or killed, who is going to take the responsibility for it? The proposal has no answer to this question.
  2. "Scale up community-based solutions to public safety." The proposal does not say exactly what solutions we are going to scale up and what prevents us from doing it now. There is no evidence that these "solutions" will be more effective than a strong police force. Most importantly, it does not say what responsibility the providers of these "solutions" are going to take.
  3. "Fund a community-led process to "imagine life beyond policing." Whether or not this "community-led process" is going to be effective, remains to be seen. The proposal has no description of that process and no justification of its cost. There is no evidence that this process will benefit public safety in any way. 
  4. Invest in affordable housing - We support affordable housing, but not at the expense of public safety.

We the citizens of Seattle and surrounding cities are urging the Seattle Council to reject the irresponsible and dangerous proposal to cut Seattle Police Department budget.