Tags: seattle | police chief | police defunding | carmen best

Seattle Police Chief: City 'Much Less Safe' If Police Defunded

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best addresses the press in her uniform
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best addresses the press as city crews dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest area outside of the Seattle Police Department's vacated East Precinct on July 1, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (David Ryder/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 13 July 2020 03:00 PM

The city of Seattle will be "much less safe" if City Council members push through an "incredibly reckless" measure to cut police department funding by 50%, Police Chief Carmen Best said Monday. 

"They don’t have a plan that I’ve heard to do anything to maintain public safety," Best told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" in an appearance three days after she told Mayor Jenny Durkan in a letter that the proposed cuts are "not realistic or rational solutions," but instead are "political gestures." 

She also posted a video address to police officers, saying the City Council is engaging in "political pandering" and asking citizens to test a "theory" that crime will go away if the police do. 

"If they decide to defund the police department by 50 percent, I think that will have negative consequences, particularly if there's no plan," Best told Fox News, adding that as a department veteran of almost 30 years, she remains committed to both the police department and to the city.

"I'm hoping that the council will reconsider this very rash and reckless decision and allow us to do the work that we're supposed to do for the city of Seattle,” Best said.

The cuts could lead to either the termination or the transfer of 50% of her department's total workforce, Best added, and could also cause the department to lose up to 50% of officers who are people of color.

Durkan has not supported the police department cuts but just last month proposed a $20 million cut to its budget for the rest of 2020 to help with the costs the city has incurred with the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We’re not opposed to change, but not a change at the risk of public safety for everyone,” Best said. "The decisions need to be practical so that we can maintain our public order and so I’m committed to that.”

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The city of Seattle will be "much less safe" if City Council members push through an "incredibly reckless" measure to cut police department funding by 50%, Police Chief Carmen Best said Monday. 
seattle, police chief, police defunding, carmen best
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2020-00-13
Monday, 13 July 2020 03:00 PM
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