If President Donald Trump wins re-election, Seattle police may no longer be able to cope with significant unrest. And if widespread riots or looting were to occur in the city, nefarious actors could take advantage of an already light staffing situation to harass Seattleites, while antifa and anarchists destroy buildings in downtown Seattle.
Thanks to months of relentless attacks and inappropriate investigations, the Seattle Police Department experienced a historic mass exodus. By the end of September, at least 118 officers separated from the police. Some retired early, while others moved on to neighboring cities. The majority of them were patrolmen.
As a result, Seattle has only 1,200 officers ready for action-the fewest the city has employed since 1990. But even this number is somewhat excessive. Of the 1,200, many burn up the accumulated sick leave while looking for other work.
To put it bluntly, Seattle is understaffed. Interim head Adrian Diaz warned at the end of October that the city was not safe.
“You have to have almost 1,400 employees to have a reasonable number, which brings us to about 1,250, 1,275 deployable employees,” Diaz told The Jason Rantz Show at KTTH. “So you really need about 1,400 people to have a much more reasonable staffing level when it comes to having enough people on patrol investigations and special operations.
Of course the SPD has a personnel plan and is ready to implement its gold/blue plan if necessary, as is reported from various sources. This essentially means that the department would work on 12-hour days without vacations. But what happens if there is unplanned mass violence on Tuesday or Wednesday after a Trump re-election?
A non-partisan, radical city council has put the city in this precarious situation.
Seattle City Council offers little more than anger when police disperse demonstrations, including violent ones. And the mayor believes that the mere presence of the police can make a bad situation worse. These views were incorporated into the decisions that created the deadly Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone over Seattle’s now infamous “Summer of Love.
As police focus on downtown riots – something the Antifa has been happy to do in recent months – other neighborhoods may remain vulnerable. If there is a significant need for police in other areas of Seattle, not only will they be dangerously thinned out, but response times could be extremely problematic.
Even more alarming, however, is the impression of one officer who tells me that he has the impression that the “department is trying to save money and hope for the best. Just a few weeks ago, Seattle City Council voted to reduce police debt and proposed an additional 17 percent cut in the 2021 budget.
The King County Sheriff’s Office could help during a personnel crisis, either directly in response to riots or in surrounding neighborhoods that need help. In fact, the sheriff is increasing staffing levels across the county. But Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht is concerned.
“We have prepared and will establish a command post and support the King County elections when we are asked to do so,” Sheriff Johanknecht tells me. “My concern is that we do not have enough deputies and officers when protests or rallies get out of hand.
Cities across the country, from Denver and Portland to Los Angeles and D.C., are planning for possible riots. Companies are boarding up their windows and law enforcement agencies are on alert, although no specific threats are publicly reported.
One would hope that the election results will not lead to mass unrest, but we have seen conflicts erupt because restaurant patrons do not skip their meal to participate in a demonstration. In Seattle, the antifa and other agitators showed their willingness to riot at first sight. It is hardly imaginable that they do not take advantage of the election results that they do not like. For the sake of the city, I simply hope that we are ready.
Jason Rantz is a frequent guest on Fox News and host of the Jason Rantz show at KTTH Seattle, which is on weekdays in the afternoon. You can subscribe his Podcast here and follow him on Twitter @jasonrantz.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author…