Seattle City Council voted 8-1 to approve its 2022 budget on Monday, fully funding the police department’s staffing plan in the process.
In the end, the council approved the Seattle Police Department for 125 new officers in 2022 and $26.4 million in officer overtime. Further approval was granted for 26 positions with the Community Safety and Communications Center (CSCC), as well as millions of dollars in funding for various triage and community based violence prevention programs.
“The Council has made significant investments in community safety in this budget,” Councilmember Lisa Herbold said in a news release. “It is clearer than ever that the unprecedented fear, pain, and isolation of the COVID pandemic are leading to negative mental health impacts for all of us. That’s why our investments in mental health and substance use disorder support are critical to preserve safety in our homes and communities.”
A primary point of contention was with the potential for trimming the total of salaried positions the department is afforded. Council President Lorena Gonzalez had sponsored a now-failed amendment to the budget which would have curtailed those positions by 101.
That aspect of the budget deliberation was a point of confusion and tension between SPD and the council, after interim Chief Adrian Diaz wrote in a statement last week that the council would “vote on whether to eliminate 101 police officer positions.” Gonzalez later criticized the statement as a mischaracterization of the situation, given that the legislation would have removed positions that have already been vacated, and would not

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