Follow N'dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg, Seattle police chief to retire amid budget cuts, Seattle police chief Carmen Best says she will retire.
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"Her example should be an inspiration to all who respect the rule of law and cherish safety and security in their communities. On Monday, King County Equity Now (KCEN) hosted a remote press conference to announce the culmination of the planning efforts and the beginning of something exciting- the formation of a 100+ member Black-led community-led research team, in partnership with local Black-led organizations including Bridging Cultural Gaps, East African Community Services, Freedom Project, and Wa Na Wari.
The City's total proposed appropriations are approximately $6.6 billion per year, including about $1.5 billion in General Fund spending per year. Earlier this summer Seattle City Council approved $3 million from the remaining 2020 public safety budget towards a Black community-led research process to support the groundwork for a truly participatory budget in 2021- one that will transparently and equitably guide the redistribution of funds from the hands of police into communities. While there’s a lot to reveal about where this year’s budget process will land, there’s one thing we know for certain.
Mayor Jenny Durkan, who picked Best to lead the department in 2018, appointed Deputy Chief Adrian Diaz as the interim chief.
Her plan to convene a community task force to disperse the funds is no replacement for the 2021 participatory budgeting process communities have been fighting for. The Seattle City Council on Monday voted 7-1 to reduce the police department’s budget by $3.5 million, less than 1%, for the remainder of the year while investing $17 million in community safety programs. The move comes as the Seattle City Council has approved reducing the police department through layoffs and attrition. The Seattle mayor and its outgoing police chief pointed the finger directly at the City Council for the latter’s unexpected departure amid a national reckoning about the role of policing. Last month, the mayor sketched out a plan to reduce the police budget by about $75 million next year by transferring parking enforcement officers, the 911 call center and other areas out of the department.