Imagine calling the police to report you’ve just been raped and no one responds. Sadly, this scenario is no longer a hypothetical in the Democrat-led city of Seattle, Washington.
As the George Floyd riots swept through the country in the summer of 2020, Seattle protesters, led by socialist Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, demanded that the city immediately slash the police department’s budget by 50 percent. Although the drastic cutback never materialized, the demonization of police officers in the Emerald City had begun. And two years later, residents are getting a glimpse of the consequences.
Staff shortages at the Seattle Police Department have caused the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit to stop responding to new adult sexual assaults in the city.
A copy of an April 11 internal police department memo written by the sergeant in charge of the SACAU, Pamela St. John, to Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz was obtained by The Seattle Times. St. John informs her superior, “The community expects our agency to respond to reports of sexual violence and at current staffing levels that objective is unattainable.”
In 2019, St. John said her unit “was staffed by 1 Lieutenant, 2 Sergeants, 1 Administrative Assistant and 10 Detectives.” Currently, it is staffed by “1 Sergeant, 1 Administrative Assistant and 4 detectives.”
She wrote she was not “able to assign adult sexual assault cases.” Cases involving children and adult cases where a suspect was currently in custody, which the Times points out is just “a fraction of adult sexual assaults reported to police,” were given priority.
Seattle police’s sexual assault unit has been so depleted of staffing that it stopped assigning new adult cases to detectives earlier this year, threatening the viability of prosecutions, an internal memo shows. https://t.co/rKTCmD0025
— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) June 1, 2022
Axios spoke to senior deputy prosecutor Ben Santos, who is the chair of the Special Assault Unit for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Santos said, “Sometimes, an [SPD] officer won’t take a report for hours and often they won’t come out to take a report at all; they may only take a report over the phone.”
Santos explained that reporting delays mean an unknown number of rape cases go unreported. And some victims may “have second thoughts” about reporting the assault at all.
Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette downplayed the predicament of St. John’s unit, saying that all units felt the staff shortage equally. She told the Times that St. John’s portrayal of the situation was “not accurate” and was a “gross oversimplification.”
“Sexual assault cases are still being assigned, but the workload is being triaged based on a number of factors that we would traditionally use to triage those cases,” Nollette said.
Data from the Seattle City Council, however, supports St. John’s perception of affairs; specialty and investigative units took the steepest cuts while leadership, administrative and trained officers (including patrol) saw the smallest cuts.
SPD had 1,290 officers in early 2020. In March 2022, that number had fallen to 968, according to the Times.
KTTH Seattle radio host Jason Rantz reported the SPD “is on track to lose nearly 200 officers by the end of the year. The latest data on officer separations versus recruitment shows the crisis has no end in sight.”
Seattle Police Officers Guild president Mike Solan joined Rantz on Tuesday to discuss what he called “an alarming situation.” Solan said, “If we don’t focus on retaining the current qualified officers from leaving, we’re in deep, deep trouble. Because there’s no way we’ll be able to recruit qualified people to want to even come here. And the numbers are indicative of that. And we’re very, very concerned moving forward.”
This is an extremely scary predicament, especially at a time when violent crime in the city is reaching record levels.
The city’s woke leadership, voted into office by a woke electorate, has brought Seattle to this dangerous moment. How did anyone with a brain think the “defund the police” movement would end?
Who would ever want to become a police officer in today’s America? Particularly in a liberal city like Seattle?
I’m sorry to say it, but these are the wages of wokeness.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.