Seattle police staffing shortage expected to worsen after Monday’s vaccine mandate deadline
Seattle business owners are fearing a vaccine mandate deadline for police officers and firefighters will further lengthen response times to 911 calls, as the city, which saw months of violent demonstrations last year, is already waiting for police workers Struggling with shortage and rising crime.
Maher Yusuf, owner of Yusuf’s Pluto Organic Cafe in Belltown, told king 5 news He’s dialed 911 several dozen times over the years, including two separate break-ins that were captured by a coffee shop’s surveillance camera.
Seattle police responded to both robberies, but Joseph said response times were long and that staff shortages are expected to worsen with Monday’s vaccine mandate deadline for the city and state, which could worsen business.
“I feel like I’m on my own. I can’t get help from anywhere. I just open the door every day and don’t know if I’m going to be home safe and well for my family or if something is going to happen.” is going,” said Joseph. “Tourists are not going to come, people are not going to buy things outside their house. It’s going to be like a ghost town.”
Seattle Police Employees Disturb Immediate Emergency Dispatch Plan as Vaccine Mandates for Officers Loom
The extent of the vaccine order on police staff shortages will not be known until after Monday’s deadline. October 18 is the date that employees in Seattle, King County and Washington State must submit proof of full vaccination, request a waiver, or face termination.
Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, said officers will not face immediate dismissal on Monday, but instead, those who choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be given a “loudermill hearing” or a public hearing. Will receive notice for the stage where an employee may be present. His argument for going against the mandate before formal secession. An internal memo distributed Thursday by the King County Sheriff’s Office indicated that non-vaccinated representatives would also hold a similar hearing before it ends.
As of last Wednesday, the Seattle Police Department activated its emergency three-stage mobilization plan, which involves sending detectives and non-patrol officers to emergency calls due to a shortage of patrol officers. The Seattle Fire Department canceled non-essential training and community events as part of its contingency plan.
“That’s the contingency, so that we have officers who are available to handle 911 calls, not knowing what our numbers are going to be on October 18th,” Sgt. Randy Husserich told King. “Our first concern is the priority calls to which crimes are in progress and what not, and the staffing levels available to respond to those high priority calls.”
The union, representing nearly 1,000 Seattle police personnel, suggests the COVID-19 vaccine mandate could exacerbate staffing shortages, which in turn could put public safety at risk. Union president Mike Solan said the city’s police force had lost nearly 300 officers in the past 18 months and feared another “mass exodus” in the coming weeks.
Solan said, “Crime is on the rise in this city. Our community is demanding more police officers to answer 911 calls, and the fact is that we have already fired 350 police officers due to political betrayal of politicians.” Lost it.” The union president said city officials described the Seattle Police Department as a “model” agency when it came to police reform before George Floyd’s death, but increased its budget by 50% after Floyd’s death. Started calling for reduction.
Solan said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is refusing to allow officials who prefer not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 instead of routine testing and wearing masks. As of last week, about 300 of 1,000 uniformed officers in Seattle had either not shown in paperwork that they had been vaccinated or were seeking exemptions, the mayor’s office said. But more scores are believed to have been vaccinated since then.
“People believe in individual choice, and as a union we have to represent everyone,” Solan said. “We’re not going to play the game of separation between waxed and unwaxed, it’s not about that. It’s about saving jobs.”
In response, Durkan’s office said, “COVID-19 is currently the number one cause of death for our first responders. During the pandemic, we exposed dozens of firefighters and officers to tests and hospitalizations with PPE This deadly disease puts our families, children, colleagues and communities at risk, so Mayor Durkan sincerely hopes anyone at risk of being left out in departments across the city or state will decide to stay vaccinated.”
Durkan is not seeking a second term after a year of controversies related to the pandemic-era lockdown, anti-police protests and a final autonomous region. During a debate last week, opposing Seattle mayoral candidates, Lorena Gonzalez and Bruce Harrell, both said they would tell those interested in serving as law enforcement in Seattle that they should get the vaccine.