SEATTLE — Editor's note: The above video is from a July 2019 story about a workplace survey of Seattle Police officers.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a plan to invest $1.6 million of the city's budget to increase recruitment and improve retention in the Seattle Police Department.
“The Seattle Police Department – like many other departments across the nation – has been facing staffing shortages and challenges in recruiting and retaining officers. Our city deserves the best quality police services, and the members of the SPD deserve to be supported in their careers," said Chief of Police Carmen Best.
According to a new SPD report, more fully-trained officers are resigning or going to different departments. However, there is still a gap to make up for their departures-- entry-level recruitment applications have declined since 2015.
The finalized report proposed that SPD implement 12 initiatives to address staffing challenges the organization is facing.
Three initiatives focus on recruitment, hoping to expand the number and diversity of applicants. Other initiatives focus on increasing the efficiency of the hiring process and working on an environment to better retain well-trained staff.
In July, an internal survey depicted a "toxic culture" and "low morale" within the Seattle Police Department.
The $1.6 million for these initiatives is a part of the Mayor's 2020 proposed budget. The budget will also include $847,000 to continue community-based emphasis patrols.