While Seattle’s far-left City Council is currently mulling a budget with cuts to the police department, they might take a lesson from the situation that has developed in Minneapolis, where cuts were already made, and now the city is seeking help from outside law enforcement agencies because of a “wave of violent crime,” according to Fox News.
Published reports say tensions are rising between the Minneapolis council and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. The chief reminded council members that 74 people have been murdered in the city so far this year, and almost 500 have been shot. That’s twice the number of homicides listed by the Seattle Police Department, which shows 37 slayings in the Jet City so far, and that number is above average for Washington State’s largest metropolis.
Seattle’s population is close to twice the number of people living in Minneapolis, according to data found online.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune noted that Minneapolis councilmembers seem reluctant to give Chief Arradondo an additional $500,000 to bring in support from outside agencies, such as the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department. The newspaper also recalled, “Many of the council members (Arradondo) was addressing pledged months ago to work toward “ending” the department following George Floyd’s death.”
It was the Floyd incident that put police on the spot in many municipalities. Marches and violent demonstrations followed Floyd’s death in May, including Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Proposals to “defund” police agencies were heard from municipal politicians and activist groups across the country.
But now the downside of that effort is beginning to show, and it’s alarming.
However, the Star Tribune noted that the department’s budget this year was “roughly $185 million,” and members of the council reportedly “grilled” the chief, wondering how that money has been spent. They wanted to know how an additional half-million dollars might make the difference “if prior efforts to stem the violence had failed.”
Out in Seattle, KOMO News—the local ABC affiliate—Council Budget Committee Chair Teresa Mosqueda reportedly has listed possible cuts to the police budget. The city may take advantage of several department departures of officers to other jurisdictions. There have also been retirements, leaving positions that apparently will not be filled.
According to KOMO, the city will move the 911 call center out of the SPD budget. All of this apparently adds up to a 20 percent cut in the police budget, while some members of the council have wanted to pare 50 percent of the agency’s budget.
Does this mean more violent crime in Seattle? More people have already been murdered in the city this year than in any year for at least the past five. Last year, according to the SPD Crime Dashboard, there were 28 homicides. In 2018, the city logged 32 killings. In 2017, Seattle reported 27 murders. With seven weeks remaining in the year, Seattle still has time to experience more mayhem. So does Minneapolis.