Tomorrow at Seattle’s Housing and Finance committee meeting, the SPD’s proposed spending plan for the ~$15m in salary savings for 2021 will be discussed and voted on through an amendment to the supplemental budget. New amendments to this public safety amendment have just been added today, so it is still an evolving situation. You can view the revised amendment here
, as well as two amendments
to the amendment. (Now there’s a mouthful!)
These amendments will fund most of what SPD asked for in their proposed spending plan, including civilian positions within SPD, the Work Scheduling Timekeeping Project, the NICJR Contract, the SPD Mental Health Provider Program, contract background services, separation pay, deferred compensation, and paid parental leave. It also authorizes $5.4m for new investments: $340k acquisition of a protocol system for the CSCC 911 dispatchers; $3m to HSD for the Community Safety Capacity Building RFP; $500k to HSD for the King County Regional Peacekeepers Collective; $700k to the CSCC to implement a new specialized triage response that will provide an alternative model for some non-criminal 9-1-1 calls and reduce the need for a sworn officer response for some calls; $500k to FAS to address SPD evidence storage capacity issues by leasing additional space; $50K to Seattle IT for a PDR position to perform e-mail searches for SPD; and $50k to SPD for a PDR position in OPA.
The original amendment gave the SPD leeway to spend an additional $3.3m however they saw fit; however, amendment 1 to amendment 8 takes $2.25m of that money to allocate specifically to “Technology Updates” within SPD.
Is this a win for those who are proponents of the divest and reinvest strategy when it comes to policing in Seattle? Not really, but it could be worse. Some of the new investments are promising, but less than $5m of the total $15m of savings is being allocated for projects that could be considered alternates to public safety. It is worth noting the proposed hiring bonuses for new police officers are not approved by this legislation and will require separate action, so that’s something we’ll be looking for in upcoming months.
There will be time for public comment on this amendment tomorrow morning at 9:30am, or you can email your CMs. The final vote on the supplemental budget (including this amendment) won’t be until mid-September because of the summer recess.