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Home / US / The Seattle Sheriff announced his retirement after the city council voted to cut the police budget by nearly $ 4 million

The Seattle Sheriff announced his retirement after the city council voted to cut the police budget by nearly $ 4 million



“I want to thank Mayor (Jenny) Durkan for her continued support during favorable and difficult times,” Best said in a letter to members of the Seattle Police Department obtained by CNN. . “I’m confident the ministry will get through these tough times.”

She said her retirement period will take effect from September 2.

Durkan said the city is losing a peerless leader.

“Her courage, grace and integrity have inspired me and made our city better,” Durkan said in a statement. “In the last few months, I know Sheriff Best is the one who has led our city through these challenging times, to reimagine policy and community safety.”

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Best’s announcement comes the same day Seattle City Council approves a mid-year budget that cuts nearly $ 4 million from the Seattle Police Department’s $ 400 million budget for 2019-2020.

The City Council rebalanced the budget in the wake of the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and called for the redistribution of funds from policy to community programs after the following rallies. the death of George Floyd, Seattle City Council President M. Lorena González said in a statement.

“Reducing the Seattle Police Department budget is a response to calls in favor of racial equity and investment in BIPOC communities,” says González.

The budget cut for the police department will be equivalent to $ 11 million over the course of a year, said González, a much less than the 50% budget cut discussed.

Seattle Sheriff Carmen Best holds a press conference outside of the vacant East Precinct.

The budget cuts call for a cut of 32 patrol officers, a cut in specialized units and administrative costs, cut training and travel costs, and shift victim advocates to sub-services. person and removed two sworn officers from the 911 emergency switchboard.

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The city’s 911 calls involve criminal activity 56% of the time, and González said resources and funds could be better allocated by involving other services.

“What we can do is allow our police to focus on what they are trained to do and fund service providers to solve more complex housing problems. substance abuse disorder, prevention of youth violence, affordable health care and more, “she said.

Spokesman Kelsey Nyland said the budget still had to go to Durkan, who could sign into law rather than sign and allow it to become law or veto.

In June, Durkan asked the council to cut about $ 20 million from the police department’s budget to address the city’s $ 378 million shortfall stemming from lower tax revenues and the need for services. increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. The proposed cut to the police department is the largest in the mayor’s budget proposal.

At that time, Durkan asked the police department to come up with a plan to cut spending by up to 50% in next year’s budget.

CNN’s Joe Sutton and Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.


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