Who owes SPD a lot of money?

This is a followup to last week’s briefing on SPD’s overtime audit. In a side note, it was pointed out that SPD bills event organizers after the fact for police services, but has poor follow-through on collecting on those bill. Council member Burgess had asked SPD for a list of the organizations with the biggest outstanding bills, and noted that it was interesting to see who owes SPD money — and particularly how many federal government agencies made the list.

Burgess’s office gave me a copy of the list, and it is indeed interesting.

Here’s the full list.

The award for largest outstanding debt — $168,303 —  goes to One Reel, the organizer of the annual Bumbershoot concert. You would think with the ridiculous amount of money they charge for tickets (for what used to be a free city-wide concert) they could manage to pay their bill, which is over 120 days past due.

But Burgess is indeed right: federal agencies seem to have issues paying their bills as well. Those agencies include:

  • DEA: $27,766
  • FBI: $90,891
  • Immigrations and Customs Service: $10,153

In addition, Seattle Center owes $35,000 — strange, since the Seattle Center is run by the City of Seattle.  The Space Needle, a private corporation, owes $1,455 that is well past due. The Port of Seattle owes $52,909, over a month past due. And VODA Studios, which does TV ads and music video shoots for folks such as Macklemore, is more than two months past due on their $9,247 bill.

You would think that people would be highly incented to pay their police bills on time.   Overall the list accounts for more than $450,000 of unpaid bills; that is a rounding error in SPD’s annual budget, but as was pointed out last week it certainly shows one more aspect of the police department’s operation that is not well managed.




If you enjoyed reading this, please support my work by making a contribution on Patreon!