As budget process draws to conclusion, fight over SPD budget becomes open (memo) warfare

Call it the “War of the Memos.” Rather than actually get in a room and talk, the stakeholders in the debate over SPD’s 2022 budget have spent the last two weeks firing off terse (and often tense) memos at each other. But an editorial in the Seattle Times last Friday has pushed the argument out into the open and exposed the rationalizations and PR spin reinforcing entrenched positions.

Continue reading

Understanding the NICJR report

Given the frequency in which the NICJR report is cited in City Hall and Seattle political circles, you would be forgiven if you thought that copies of it were flying off the shelf. But reading the report (affectionately referred to as “Nick Junior”) is like teenage sex: a lot of people are talking about it, but almost no one is doing it. And yet it has taken a central role in the debate over the nature and pace of changes to 911 response in our city, so it’s worth knowing what it says — and how skeptical we should be …

Continue reading

Sawant introduces resolution to reject Mayor’s executive order on SPD hiring bonuses

On tomorrow’s City Council Introduction and Referral Calendar is a resolution sponsored by Councilmember Kshama Sawant, which modifies Mayor Durkan’s executive order authorizing hiring bonuses for SPD officers and 911 dispatchers. The resolution guts the authorization for SPD officers, while leaving intact hiring bonuses for 911 dispatchers.

Continue reading

Durkan issues emergency order authorizing PD hiring bonuses, provoking confrontation with Council

Late Friday afternoon, Mayor Durkan issued an emergency order authorizing both SPD and the new Community Safety and Communications Center to create hiring incentive programs that include hiring bonuses of up to $25,000, despite the City Council’s unwillingness to consider reinstating hiring bonuses this past July and signs that it is likely to strip out the $1.09 million Durkan has proposed for SPD hiring bonuses in the 2022 SPD budget.

Continue reading

Durkan returns City Council’s ban on less-lethal weapons unsigned, with a litany of critiques

(story updated below) On August 27th, with the City Council in recess, Mayor Durkan quietly returned unsigned the Council’s ordinance restricting SPD’s use of so-called “less lethal weapons,” allowing it to pass into law unchallenged at least for the moment. But she did take the opportunity to attach a scathing letter detailing a litany of complaints about the legislation, calling it “of doubtful legality,” and claiming that the Council knows that “significant parts of the bill will never go into effect” because of its flaws.

Continue reading