Seattle Mayor Calls for Bonuses to Improve Police Recruitment
July 18, 2022

Contrary to prior calls to cut police funding, the mayor of Seattle proposed bonuses, and other monetary incentives, for police officers looking to join the Seattle Police Department.

Following suit with many other large cities, Seattle set out a plan to slash the police budget in Summer 2020. This resulted in a mass exodus of officers as well as a sharp uptick in crime.

Nearly 400 officers left the department. Detectives are now performing patrol duties rather than investigating violent crime. The Seattle Police Department 2021 year-end crime report indicates that violent crime has been at its highest in 14 years showing a 24% increase in aggravated assault, and an 18% increase in robberies.

New sexual assault cases are unable to be investigated due to understaffing. With the lowest number of police officers in 30 years, and an ever-growing population, Seattle police departments unable to perform with competency.

In order to rectify this shortage, Mayor Bruce Harnell proposed a $2 million budget to go towards monetary incentives for prospective officers. This plan includes recruitment bonuses. It also compensates officers along the application process—reimbursing application fees, travel costs, and relocation expenses. Additionally, this plan proposes help with college tuition.

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