Seattle’s First Black Female Police Chief Announced Her Resignation After the City Council Voted to Cut the Department’s Budget and Ax Dozens of Jobs
Ashley Collman, Business Insider, August 11, 2020
The police chief of Seattle announced her resignation on Monday, hours after the City Council reduced her department’s budget by nearly 1%.
In a department-wide email, Chief Carmen Best — who was the first Black woman to lead the Seattle police — said her resignation would be effective September 2.
Best went on to say that she is “confident the department will make it through these difficult times.”
“You truly are the best police department in the country and please trust me when I say the vast majority of people in Seattle support you and appreciate you,” she said, according to KOMO.
Earlier Monday, the Seattle City Council approved amendments to the current city budget, reducing the police departments $409 million budget by $3.5 million, according to Reuters.
The cuts were made to top officers’ salaries and eliminated the Navigation Team and SWAT Unit, according to KOMO.
“Why on Earth – for the people who’ve worked so very hard – would we ever consider not having the best of the best and compensating them fairly?” Best said at a press conference about the cuts last week.
These cuts amounted to less than 1% of the police budget, which is far less than the 50% Black Lives Matter protesters have been calling for. However, City Council members have suggested that bigger cuts are on the way for 2021.
The latest cuts could result in about 100 officers being eliminated through layoffs or attrition, according to KIRO 7.
Chris Daniels, chief political reporter at KING 5, attributed Best’s resignation to “council actions, including a proposed massive pay cut, plus the council’s refusal to denounce marches to her house.”