Seattle mayor grants hiring bonuses for officers amid staffing crisis’

FILE - Seattle Police officers confer after taking part in a public roll call at Hing Hay Park in Seattle's Chinatown-International District Thursday, March 18, 2021. Seattle's police department is having detectives and non-patrol staff respond to emergency calls because of a shortage of officers union leaders fear will be made worse by COVID-19 vaccine mandates. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

FILE – Seattle Police officers confer after taking part in a public roll call at Hing Hay Park in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District Thursday, March 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

UPDATED 11:39 AM PT – Monday, November 1, 2021

The mayor of Seattle is facing major backlash after offering big hiring bonuses to incoming police officers to make up for staff shortages. Democrat Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an executive order Friday, granting bonuses for new hires up to $25,000 depending on their experience and skill levels.

However, the police union fired back at Durkan for the move while suggesting the city betrayed its loyal police officers after violent protests over the death of George Floyd. The union added, the staff shortage was caused by the ‘defund the police’ movement and worsened by the city’s vaccine mandate.

Just a few months ago, the mayor claimed she was focused on police response amid rising crime in the city.

“So we are focused on two things: number one is to make sure we have the adequate police response we need when police are needed and two is to continue our work community-based strategies to interrupt this violence,” she stated.

President Donald Trump and other Republicans have criticized Mayor Durkan in the past, specifically over Seattle’s police-free autonomous zones. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) even went as far as to offer out-of-state police who move to Florida bonuses.

“NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle, if you’re not being treated well, we’ll treat you better here,” stated the Republican. “You can fill important needs for us and we’ll compensate you as a result.”

Meanwhile, the Seattle Police Department reportedly doesn’t have enough cops to meet daily minimum staffing in any precinct across the city. It appears that both vaccine mandates and the ‘defund the police’ movement are to blame.

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