Comments

1

They still don’t have a new contract that can pass the consent decree. How about we do that first. No one likes to work without a stable contract.

2

How many times have you read a stranger blogger write something about how if we want workers to work, then we have to pay them more? What's the difference here, besides them being cops? I don't understand Hanna's incredulity on this point.

3

@2 But we do.

According to Forbes average Seattle police salary starts at about $64,000 a year. In 2020 1,326 SPD employees made six-figures or more. 374 Seattle Police Department employees made at least $200,000 or more in 2019-2020.

The five highest paid included Ron Morgan Willis (patrol officer - $414,543); William Edward Jr (sergeant - $360,277); Steven Kim (officer - $332,274); Eric Zerr (sergeant - $331,413); and Brian Miles (sergeant - $328,338). SPD employees earning six figures last year cost taxpayers a total of $237 million and included 1,052 officers, 172 sergeants, 61 lieutenants, and 23 captains. At the police academy, nineteen instructors made between $167,000 and $247,796. The high earner was Sergeant Linda Cook – and she was the only female of the nineteen instructors listed.

Compare that to cities about the same size. Like Cleveland. Cleveland has a crime rate of 1449.57 per 100,000 population. Seattle's is 680.17 per 100,000 population.

But. The average Police Officer salary in Cleveland, Ohio is $59500. Very VERY few make six figures let alone over $200K.

The city has guaranteed $6.2 billion in retirement benefits to its workforce yet hasn’t funded $2 billion of those promises (2018). Therefore, each city resident owes $5,400 just to cover the unfunded liability, according to fiscal accountability organization Truth In Accounting.

We already pay our police way more

4

@3 Professor that is a little misleading. The reason those officers made those amounts was due to overtime. Their base salary was no where near that much. I will grant you that SPD is paid very well compared to other departments in the area but signing bonuses like any job perk are used when you need something more to bring on candidates. The fact is many departments in the area have staffing shortfalls so to be competitive with them you need to match, that is true for any job position. The other issue here is that the SCC through their words and actions have made the SPD a toxic work environment so you are now going to have to overpay to attract new applicants. It's the height of hypocrisy for Herbold to sit there and pretend the SCC has partnered in good faith with the SPD because they allocated budget for them. The sad truth is it will take 5-8 years to unwind the damage the SCC has done in the last couple of years and of course it is the very community they claimed they were fighting for that is going to bear the brunt of that failure.

I'm also amused at the notion that we have no idea if it would work so we shouldn't do it. Can't the same be said for the whole defund narrative or the countless millions we have pissed away on homeless solutions. I encourage The Stranger to fully embrace the mantra that we shouldn't allocate funds for something until we are positive it will work. lol.

5

@3: These stats don't negate the fact that a signing bonus would be very much appreciated by someone seeking a job to help ensure your public safety.

6

@3, thanks for the stats. Who would have thought the crime rate is higher in Cleveland than Seattle! Maybe something is going right after all.

7

@6: Cleveland is also a lot cheaper to live. Also the crime rate is a discordioate metric upon which to evaluate salary. It's like saying Cleveland's fire fighters should get more if it were shown they have more fires.

8

"One of her most likely supporters, Councilmember Alex Pedersen, who never cracked under the defund movement’s pressure,"

And now never will, because last November, voters showed that "pressure" consisted merely of hot air, streaming from the loud mouths of self-appointed activists who never really had any popular support. Sara Nelson serves on the Council with Alex Pedersen because her opponent was a defund candidate, who the voters crushed in a massive, city-wide landslide.

"...may find himself in a moral quandary."

Oh my, that sounds serious! Whatever might it be, exactly?

"By all accounts, Pedersen wants to fund cops, but he also hates resolutions. In fact, he and Nelson both voted no on a resolution to support unionization efforts at Starbucks based on their deeply held belief that the council shouldn’t virtue-signal with resolutions, which typically have no actual power."

While I agree that legislators should spend more time on crafting legislation, and none at all on signalling virtue, describing this as a "moral quandary" seems more than just a tad overwrought. There's rather a large difference between matters that are the Council's proper business and matters that are not. Unless there's some vital civic interest to Seattle in whether or not workers at Starbucks unionize, then that decision belongs to those workers, and the Council should not bother voicing an opinion on a matter over which they have absolutely no say. On the matter of compensation for city employees, that is very much a matter for the Council to decide. Should they legislate more, and resolve less? Sure, but if a resolution is what's required to get to real action on the issue, then a resolution would have some value.

9

I think it’s funny that the city council has to have a study to find out if a hiring bonus works. Seems like the answer to that would be a no-brainer.

10

@3 if the cops are supposed to risk their lives asking 12 year-olds where their parents are, rather than just immediately opening fire, they need 4x the pay to take the job

11

We need more police. Every since Defund the Police, we've seen skyrocketing gun violence and crime that disproportionately affects the BIPOC community.

12

@10: And you probably think that's a real zinger and we're all LOL'ing.

NOT

13

Actually, we know they don't work.

Just like spot policing at 3rd and Pike doesn't work.

Never has.

Never will.

The Council has funded hiring new police and no police chief has EVER hired more.

Not for the last decade.

So stop falling for the SPD lies.

14

"The Council has funded hiring new police and no police chief has EVER hired more.

"Not for the last decade."

Um, that's proof that hiring bonuses worked.

Thank you.

15

I like how "overtime pay" is something that miraculously does not count when it's a counterfactual to the Seattle is Dying narrative that Seattle police are somehow underpaid. When, even with out the obscene amounts of overtime, they are very much paid a premium compared to any other similar sized city.

And literally any of you could take three minutes out of your busy days shrieking about The Stranger all day to find this out.

16

@15: You hate cops. Just say it instead of making up lies.

17

The City Council played politics by pandering to the far left during the turbulent days of black lives matter and now we are paying the price for their lack of vision.

Now having realized how badly they have screwed the pooch, they have to pay a lot more to attract police which they all but abandoned and villified during the BLM protest.... ironic isn't it.... instead of defunding the city has to pay out the nose for police.

Hannah's spurious thought about paying more hasn't been tested rings rather hollow when the city routinely votes to do stupid things which are not tested, vetted... or my personal favorite studied to death by a panel of blue ribbon experts hand selected by political cronies at the city hall

-- sending out "community teams"
--hiring a $125,000/year + benefits -- community liaison
-- promoting "mobile shooting galleries

Ah, I wonder...... What is today's political flavor of the moment?


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