Many Seattle residents have expressed disapproval of the Seattle City Council’s measure to slash police department funding by half, with one telling the council Wednesday the proposal is a “radical experiment” that will only “hurt the vulnerable.”
The Seattle City Council is weighing a measure, which would slash police department funding by 50 percent or $85 million for the remainder of the year. According to Q13 Fox, “nearly 300” people signed up to weigh in on the measure during Wednesday’s budget meeting, and many expressed disapproval.
One caller phoned in to describe the move as a “radical experiment that will hurt the vulnerable.”
“Seattle City Council, you are irresponsibly not fully representing your constituents by making the reckless decision of defunding our police department by 50 percent,” another stated.
Another noted the Seattle Police Department is “already understaffed” and pointed out that the need for the department will increase as the city grows.
“I do not want less officers, I want more officers who are able to respond to priority calls in seven minutes or less. We don’t live in Utopia,” the individual said.
The remarks come as the Seattle Police Officers Guild garnered 20,000 signatures for its “Stop Defunding” petition. Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan recently warned that such a massive cut from the police department “will make CHAZ/CHOP, the experience that it was, look like child’s play.”
“Seattle will be a lawless wasteland,” he said during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom.
However, the voices on the other side are just as loud, if not louder, threatening to vote out the council members “if they don’t defund the department to protesters who are showing up at council members’ homes to make sure their voices are heard,” Q13 Fox added.
“Nothing less than defunding will begin to heal the violence committed by police against Seattle’s Black, Brown and Indigenous communities,” one caller said, according to the outlet.
The council will vote on a new budget on August 10.
Seattle Chief of Police Carmen Best made waves last week after issuing a letter, warning that police officers will not “risk their personal safety to protect property” following the city council’s ban on the use of “less lethal tools,” such as pepper spray.
On Wednesday, Best revealed that police seized a van containing explosives and other weapons from the weekend’s violent protests in the city — protests which resulted in 59 injured officers.