July 21, 2020
To: Seattle City Council
While we are not the bargaining agent of the Seattle Police Department, we are writing due to concerns we have regarding the impacts both on public safety and the community as a whole if the Council continues to consider defunding the police department by 50%.
As the largest police union in this country and Washington State, we have had many community members contact us, including some spouses of Seattle Police Officers as well as non-commissioned employees, expressing their deep concern with the above notions. Defunding the police department, especially by that amount, would have lasting and negative consequences, not only in the City of Seattle, but all across the State of Washington.
We ask that the Council pause and consider the severity of these consequences should these plans come to fruition. We recognize that the Council's relationship with the police department and the union have not always been the best, but our request stands.
The Washington State Fraternal Order of Police has and will always be a solution-orientated organization. We have a proven track record of engaging and working with all stakeholders to come up with real solutions that have a positive effect on both our profession and the communities they serve.
As such, we would like to ask the City Council to reach out to all stakeholders, especially law enforcement, and have a conversation on the defunding of the police department, specifically regarding what could be unintended consequences, as well as impacts on the communities and implications for the safety of the public.
As always, the WAFOP stands ready and willing to participate in that conversation. Thank you for taking the time to read this and please do contact us if you would like to work on a solution.
President, WA FOP