News Nov 16, 2023 at 9:00 am

In Return, the City Can Now Tap Parking Enforcement to Direct Traffic Sometimes

SPOG will let the City pay parking enforcement to work as traffic cones in exchange for millions more in overtime pay for cops. TYLER GROSS



“Still, that’s a lot of police involvement for a police alternative.”

Because otherwise the alternative responders won’t enter the scene, out of concern for their own personal safety. Or does their health and welfare just count for exactly nothing at the Stranger?


If an employee of any company didn’t get overtime The Stranger would go bananas. But not when it comes to police?


So much for The Stranger being pro worker rights, and pro collective bargaining. Working conditions and wages are subjects of collective bargaining, or collective bargaining is worthless.


@3 The police guild is inherently different than a union in so many ways, its not even worth pointing out to you types how because if you cared more than trying to get gotcha points by making a false equivalency between police guilds and traditional labor unions.

@2 As a tax payer I think we should all be offended about the idea that we should be paying someone $110+ dollars an hour in excess of their usual contracted hours to do a job that they apparently complain about having to do when someone else who we could pay 1/3 of that to do while part of their usual work and do the job at the same level as the person getting way more money.

Putting how much you might fetishize police officers and the idea that they must be coddled in order to do their job why on earth would you want to pay someone that much money to do not that much in exchange?


FFS get rid of overpaid useless cops. We certainly don't need to be spending extra money on glorified parking attendants and security guards who have weapons and will likely simply end up costing the city more money (when they shoot and kill people). WTF is wrong with the City Council? Spend the money on housing the homeless. Spend the money on funding community spaces. Spend the money on schools. Spend the money on feeding the hungry. Spend the money on literally anything other than paying cops more money than the already too much money they make, when they don't prevent crime or solve it. They are government sanctioned, taxpayer funded terrorists.


@5 Well said.


SPOG: We publish as dashboard that hollers on about what a serious threat crime is to the citizens we (ostensibly) serve.

Also SPOG: Citizens pay us $8M extra dollars to do the same thing we were already doing that could be done by others for less that does absolutely nothing to prevent or solve crime.

There's no bottom.


The Stranger still believes CHAZ/CHOP accomplished something other than killing some young Black men. It applauded the riots which took place in that same neighborhood. Now it complains about the high cost of paying police overtime.

@4: “The police guild is inherently different than a union in so many ways, its not even worth pointing out to you types how…”

Now I understand your frustrated annoyance at my constantly providing quotes and urls to support my points.

@5: “Spend the money on housing the homeless.”

Seattle has spent well over half a billion dollars on homelessness services since 2015. Obviously, that effort has gone so well, we can divert money from preventing street crime (which has somehow risen dramatically) and spend it on more such great success.


Obviously SPOG must be busted and replaced with a real union


"Seattle has spent well over half a billion dollars on homelessness services since 2015. Obviously, that effort has gone so well, we can divert money from preventing street crime (which has somehow risen dramatically) "

Seattle has spent well more than half a billion dollars on police services in 2021 and 2022 alone, and that effort has gone so well that...

Irony is not dead.


When I worked in police departments, we were very concerned about being efficient and effective.

Because if you went into policing for the right reasons, you were keenly aware of and motivated by the fact that if we were more efficient and effective we would literally be saving people's lives. (And if we were less efficient and effective, it meant more people would in fact get killed or injured.)

If you want to know why SPD has problems recruiting "the right kind of officer" look no further than SPOG and this article.


I for one, welcome these cops getting some overtime and having a nice Christmas and catching up on debt and expenses.

I suggest being magnanimous about the matter. They're the ones that put their lives on the line for all of us. And any one of us could need to call 911 at any time.


So, basically, more tax $ for less work.

Which is fine, since nobody actually wants more cops in Seattle


Whoever this task belongs to, calling a worker a “traffic cone” is low.


It continues to be fascinating how many people do not understand what a union's job is. I guess it's understandable that The Stranger doesn't, since it's a non-union shop.

Ah well. Maybe someday!


@15: Imagine members of a nurses' union are collecting lots of overtime because there's a disease circulating that required a week in the hospital to see it through.

Now imagine a pill is invented that cuts the time in the hospital needed in half.

And the nurses' union is able to demand that they won't administer the pill unless they're given a bag of cash.

Is the upshot (1) this a good union of good people doing what unions should or (2) this a gaggle of greed heads who should GTF out of the profession.

My vote is #2.


If we had hired enough police there would be no need for overtime. The far left and far right really are destroying this country.


BK421 dear, that is perhaps the dumbest theoretical scenario ever offered on Slog - and that's saying something. Then you follow it up with a bumper sticker slogan. Well done!


@17 Exactly.

If we had enough police, there would be no need for overtime.

Plus, when did The Stranger start hating Unions?


@18: But wait, it gets better. Imagine you're a nurses union that's been shouting from the rooftops that insufficient staffing for preventative care is causing more illness. Fate hands you $8M worth of leverage with the hospital - and instead of using that leverage to get $8M worth of overtime for nurses to spend on preventative care, you use it to fund $8M of overtime for nurses to wash windows.

That's what SPOG just did only for officer hours vis a vis crime reduction.


@10: Nice false equivalence you’ve made there. The job of homeless services in Seattle is to end homelessness. Starting in 2005, Seattle began a “ten-year plan to end homelessness.” In 2015, this plan collapsed into a homelessness crisis, which remains in effect. So homelessness services in Seattle have failed.

It has never been the job of any police department, anywhere ever, to end crime. (That’s why they are called “police,” not “enders.”)

Irony remains alive and well here.


"It has never been the job of any police department, anywhere ever, to end crime."

But it has been the job of every (good) police department, everywhere, to reduce crime...and SPD isn't.


@22: It would have been easier for the police to have reduced crime if the previous City Attorney had, actually, you know, prosecuted cases the police had referred to the City Attorney’s Office:

“By declining, delaying and ultimately dismissing nearly two out of every three cases transmitted by the Seattle Police Department, the City Attorney’s Office is adversely impacting businesses, chronic victims, police officers and vulnerable defendants.”



@23: SPD was and remains by far the weakest link, burning 2/3 of officer's time driving around to handle non-crime calls for service while delivering crummy clearance rates for actual crime - failing at their #1 job:

The certainty of being caught is a vastly more powerful deterrent than the punishment.
Sending an individual convicted of a crime to prison isn’t a very effective way to deter crime.
Police deter crime by increasing the perception that criminals will be caught and punished.
The police deter crime when they do things that strengthen a criminal’s perception of the certainty of being caught. Strategies that use the police as “sentinels,” such as hot spots policing, are particularly effective. A criminal’s behavior is more likely to be influenced by seeing a police officer with handcuffs and a radio than by a new law increasing penalties.

Certainty refers to the likelihood of being caught and punished for the commission
of a crime. Research underscores the more significant role that certainty plays in
deterrence than severity — it is the certainty of being caught that deters a person
from committing crime, not the fear of being punished or the severity of the
punishment. Effective policing that leads to swift and certain (but not necessarily
severe) sanctions is a better deterrent than the threat of incarceration. In addition,
there is no evidence that the deterrent effect increases when the likelihood of
conviction increases. Nor is there any evidence that the deterrent effect increases
when the likelihood of imprisonment increases.


@24: The conclusions you cited from the study may have general applicability, but the report I cited described the specific situation in Seattle, where many of the non-prosecuted offenders were repeat cases, famously undeterred by the sight of police — and for whom incarceration would have prevented them from re-offending whilst in jail. Prosecution would also have given some of them access to diversionary programs, as drug addiction and mental illness were the root causes of many of their offenses.

The best police work in the world means nothing if the local prosecutor won’t prosecute.


This is a slap in the face to PEOs, who will now do the same work as officers during traffic control shifts, but for less than half the pay of officers. Those posting that this article is missing the point of unions need to consider the unique power and influence of a police union. In SPOGs case, they use this power to bully not only the city, but other workers' unions as well. An extra $8 million to cops while other city workers are forced to take 2-4% COLA (far below inflation) is absurd.

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