The Seattle Police Department staffing emergency continues. The city is one emergency event away from a serious catastrophe. But leaders and the media remain mostly silent.
The so-called “HR Unavailable” list has grown considerably as of Dec. 10. This list features officers who are on extended leave and cannot be deployed. Officers only appear on the list after being absent for a minimum of 14 days.
Concurrently, the department continues to struggle to fill vacant patrol slots to meet minimum staffing numbers. Every single precinct, in every single watch, has open slots for nearly every single day in December.
Where are Seattle officers?
The HR Unavailable list was at 126 on Oct. 20, two days after the COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadline passed and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan pulled nearly 100 officers from duty.
Now, the HR Unavailable list has ballooned to 155, according to an SPD source. This is on top of the 335 exodus of officers since 2020.
The list includes illness, disability, and maternity and paternity leave. But officers burning accrued vacation or sick time will also appear on the list. It’s a move an officer typically takes before separating from the department. The SPD will likely see several separations before the end of the year.
Many of the officers that are out of service come from patrol. It’s causing a staffing crisis.
Earlier: Nearly 20 Percent Of Seattle Police Force Quits Following Defunding And Black Lives Matter Riots.
MAY 19, 2021 By Gabe Kaminsky
After budget cuts and months of Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioting, Seattle’s Police Chief indicated Wednesday that nearly 20 percent of the city’s police officers have left in the past year and a half.
“The support that we had in my generation of policing is no longer there,” veteran Officer Clayton Powell told CBS News, concurring with Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz’s assessment. More than 260 officers have quit the force since the beginning of last year.
Following the death of George Floyd, protests and riots erupted in Seattle. Amid radicals looting and attacking police, Seattle’s homicide rate spiked to a 26-year high. Nonetheless, the Seattle council attempted to slash the police department’s budget once more, but to no avail. During the particular uptick in crime, the number of deployable officers in the left-wing stronghold was about 1,200. This is the lowest since 1990.