Seattle's Policing Dilemma
Seattleites took to the streets and the polls in 2020 to demand sweeping changes to policing and public safety. Four years later, the Seattle Police Department is grappling with record-breaking crime and multiple department scandals. KUOW took a look at how the department is faring today.
Since 2020, Seattle has lost more than twice as many officers as it has hired. In 2023, Seattle had the lowest police staffing levels in the city since 1991.
Bill Radke discusses the week’s news with Seattle Times investigative reporter Patrick Malone, and KUOW’s Amy Radil and Dyer Oxley.
This week, we're examining the Seattle Police Department and the communities they serve. And that relationship with people in the Central Area and Rainier Beach has been complicated. With or without the police, people have taken positive steps to improve safety in their neighborhoods.
The coming year could be a big one for the Seattle Police Department. City leaders are eager to regain local control of policing after years of federal oversight. Oversight partners and rank-and-file officers say a lot is riding on the contract the city is negotiating with the Seattle Police Officers Guild. But after a scandal that made global headlines in 2023, SPD is still responding to criticism and questions about its internal culture.