Seattle Becomes the Latest City to Defund its Police Despite Warnings From Truckers
Seattle, WA – Despite repeated warnings from truckers that they will refuse to deliver to cities with a reduced police presence, Seattle, WA has become the latest major U.S. city to begin defunding its local police department.
On Monday, the Seattle City Council voted to approve a controversial proposal which will cut more than $3 million from the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) annual budget of $400 million.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) leaders and other social justice groups were calling for a 50 percent reduction.
However, the adoption of the measure is the first step in what multiple city council members and many social justice groups supporting the “Defund the Police” movement hope will be more to come.
“While we can’t do everything in this summer rebalancing package, we have set the path forward for tremendous work in front of us as a council and as a city,” Councilwoman Teresa Mosqueda said.
The initial cuts will result in a reduction of more than 100 officers through layoffs and attrition and eliminate the Navigation Team and SWAT unit.
Plus, the measure dramatically slashes pay for 12 non-union, sworn officers that are part of SPD Chief Carmen Best’s command staff.
Chief Best, an African-American woman, urged the City Council not to cut SPD’s budget amid widespread social unrest.
In the wake of the Council’s decision, Best subsequently announced she will retire in the coming days after 28 years of service.
A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday morning where she is expected to discuss her decision.
Multiple reports indicate Chief Best had grown frustrated with Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan’s unwillingness to support the SPD.
Chief Best previously vocalized her dismay with Mayor Durkan after the Mayor ordered the SPD to stand down and allow protesters to take over a police precinct in the lead up to the failed “autonomous zone” earlier this summer in downtown Seattle.
Mayor Durkan has previously proposed a plan that would cut or redirect $75 million from the SPD’s 2021 budget.
Warnings From Truckers Going Unheeded
Seattle joins a growing list of cities such as New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Oakland, CA; Washington D.C.; Portland, OR; Philadelphia, PA; Hartford, CT; Norman, OK; and Salt Lake City, UT, which have taken measures to defund its police departments.
As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has repeatedly reported, recent polling and intense social media activity among truckers about this issue indicates the overwhelming majority say they will not deliver to cities that defund its law enforcement agencies.
As widespread social unrest persists in cities like Seattle, Portland, and Chicago, more truckers say they are refusing loads to these areas.
An outspoken executive of a large refrigerated fleet based in Illinois has been exceedingly vocal issuing warnings to these cities that he, and many executives of other sizable trucking companies, will simply not dispatch loads to these areas.
Click HERE to read more of what he had to say.
Still, a growing list of cities are disregarding the admonitions from many within the trucking community, and such actions could ultimately be to the detriment of the residents.
Stay with TransportationNation.com for more upcoming in-depth reporting on this issue.