Seattle PD already in staffing ‘crisis’ braces for mass firing as hundreds yet to show vaccine proof

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Seattle, a city of over 750,000 residents, has about 1,000 police officers protecting it. The number of police officers has been falling since the George Floyd protests in summer 2020 and now the department faces a brand new hurdle during the pandemic.

According to its spokesman, the Seattle Police Department had already experienced 124 “separations” by August this year. Now the department is preparing for the mass layoffs of officials as hundreds have yet to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccination deadline, announced by Washington Governor Jay Inslee in early August, is set for October 18th.

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By Wednesday, 292 sworn employees still had to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. That number is down from 354 on Tuesday.

To add another level of concern, a Seattle PD spokesman Sgt. Randy Huserik said an additional 111 officers are awaiting the results of the exemption requests. Those 111 are not counted in the number of 292 – that is, if their placement is refused, the actual number of unvaccinated officers could be up to 403.

Graphic from the Seattle Police Department

Seattle PD has already lost more than 300 civil servants since the height of the defunding debate in 2020 – the number of deployable staff is 1,043, according to FOX 13 Seattle.

In the spring, the Seattle Police Department described a “personnel crisis” after 66 officers had left their jobs by April 2021.

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“We value each of you and do not want to lose you as an employee,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told city officials in an email on Monday. “But the people who count on you the most are the ones you need to get vaccinated.”

Durkan has remained evasive as to whether she will actually fire unvaccinated officers at a time when staff are low and emergency calls are prolonged.

In anticipation of the October 18 deadline, Seattle Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz advised his department to enter into a “phase 3 mobilization” effective October 13.

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Fox News reached out to both the Seattle Police and Mayor Durkan’s office for comment, but received no response when this article was published.

Seattle local radio host Jason Rantz covered the departures on the Jason Rantz Show.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/seattle-pd-124-separations-so-far-this-year