Seattle Police Department is preparing to fire up to 400 officers who have not yet received a Covid shot in accordance with the city’s strict vaccine mandate — despite its already suffering staff shortage, rising crime rates and high 911 response times.
The Seattle Police Department has an October 18 deadline for all sworn personnel to submit evidence of COVID-19 vaccinations or risk losing their jobs.
On Friday, 292 officers still have to submit their vaccination certificate – or 27 percent of the department’s 1,080 deployable police officers.
Another 111 officers — ten percent of deployable officers — are awaiting approval of waiver requests.
If all 403 officers are fired by Oct. 18, the police will lose 37 percent of their officers — a crippling blow to an already understaffed department.
Police Chief Adrian Diaz has already warned officers to prepare for a “Phase 3 mobilization” starting Oct. 13 – an emergency plan that would put all remaining officers on standby to respond to 911 calls.
The Seattle Police Department oversees a population of more than 724,000 people.
The workforce in the department has been at a low point since the 1980s.
In July, it was announced that the department had already lost at least 280 officers as of early 2020 as a result of what they called an “anti-political climate” in the city amid Black Lives Matter protests and calls for police sanctions.
As of Friday, 292 officers have yet to submit evidence and a further 111 are awaiting approval requests, totaling 403 unvaccinated officers
By Friday, 292 officers had not yet submitted a vaccination certificate and another 111 officers were waiting for approval of the exemption
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told city officials in an email Monday that she “appreciates each of you and doesn’t want to lose you as employees.”
She enforced her mandate, writing, “The people who matter most to you are the ones who need you to get vaccinated.”
It’s unclear whether the mayor will actually fire unvaccinated staff on Oct. 18, as she’s evaded the answer since announcing the mandate in August.
When asked in August if she would fire those employees, she replied to Fox 5 by saying, “I don’t believe I’ll be in that position because I believe cops will get the vaccine.”
Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz has advised his department to prepare for the transition to Stage 3 Mobilization, Fox13 reports.
The warrant puts all sworn officers, including detectives and non-uniformed personnel, on standby to respond to 911 calls. It is usually reserved for a crisis in which the police cannot maintain law and order. The order takes effect on October 13.
There are only four levels of emergency planning in Seattle – Phase 3 is the second highest, after a full state of emergency.
According to city guidelines, “During Phase 3 mobilization, each sworn member of the department must be in their Class A/B uniform for the duration of their service. Members who are in non-patrol units must be willing to report immediately to one of the five precincts to answer 911 calls.”
In an internal memo obtained by Fox 13, Chief Diaz wrote, “This Phase 3 mobilization is the result of the need to plan for all personnel emergencies, with an emphasis on ensuring safe manning of patrol operations.”
Seattle Police Department is already struggling with understaffing and long 911 response times after losing nearly 300 officers since 2020
The department is still reeling from a 17 percent cut following pressure from left-wing activists to punish police last year — with more than 300 officers already retired since early 2020.
Addressing the crisis at a press conference on July 28, before the vaccine mandate was announced, Mayor Durkan said: “As a city, we cannot continue on this current trajectory of losing police officers.
“In the past 17 months, the Seattle Police Department has lost 250 police officers, which is the equivalent of more than 300,000 hours of service. We are on our way to losing 300 police officers.’
Durkan had said in July that she plans to submit a new plan to hire more officers to restore numbers.
‘We are now at a low point in the city. I have about 1,080 deployable officers. This is the lowest I’ve seen our department,” Chief Diaz told KING-TV in April.
At times, only about 70 officers patrol the city at night, KKTH reported.
The number of officers leaving the Seattle Police Department has been in free fall since last year, but the trend started in 2015
It comes surging despite violent crime in the city.
The city is on track to break last year’s homicide rate, which was also a new record for the first time in 26 years. In the year to August, 30 homicides were recorded in the city, compared to 52 in all of 2020.
Last year, outgoing officers referred to what they call an “anti-politics climate” in Seattle, city council policies and disagreements with the police leadership.
The Public Safety Committee considered a $5.4 million cut in the Seattle Police Department’s 2021 budget in February to account for a similar amount of overspending by the department last year.
It is unknown whether the proposal went through.
Crime has been on the rise in Seattle throughout 2021. Compared to recent years, crime has increased from 30,816 in 2020 and 31,265 in 2019 to 33,695 in 2021, compared to the same time every year.
DailyMail.com attempted to contact Mayor Durkan’s office and the Seattle Police Department for comment, but received no response.
Crime has risen in Seattle this year with 33,695 crimes this year, compared to just 30,816 crimes last year. While 2019 had higher crime rates, 2021 surpassed them
The homicide rate in Seattle looks set to hit the total homicide rate in 2020, with four months to go before the end of the year
Mayor Durkan (left) emailed employees telling them the value of government[s] each of you and do not want to lose you as employees.’ In addition, Governor Jay Inslee (right) has mandated teachers and staff at public and private schools and universities
Washington Governor Jay Inslee also imposed a vaccine mandate in August on all public, charter and private school teachers and staff, as well as those working at state colleges and universities in August.
Despite the vaccine mandate for police officers, 80 percent of Seattle residents ages 12 and older have been vaccinated, leaving some officers wondering why they are being forced to get a vaccine.
One officer, who remains anonymous and awaits a religious exemption, told Fox 5: “If we lose even 50 to 75 officers in one day, the response times for the city will go up drastically.”
He also said he would “keep working until the day they fire him.”
Another officer, who also remained anonymous, said she would be leaving the Seattle Armed Forces regardless of mandate, calling the environment “quite toxic and negative.”
Over the years, the positive perception of the Seattle Police Department has declined. In 2018, 60.6 percent survey has a positive view of the power. In 2020, it dropped to 53.6 percent. The results of the 2021 survey are not yet available.
Over the years, the positive perception of the Seattle Police Department has declined. In 2018, 60.6 percent survey has a positive view of the power. In 2020, it dropped to 53.6 percent. The results of the 2021 survey are not yet available