Ex-Seattle top cop blasts City Council over ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to cut police fundingcloseVideo
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Seattle’s former top cop, who tapped outgoing Police Chief Carmen Best as her own deputy, said in an interview Monday that the City Council’s move to cut funding for the police is “irresponsible” and based on a “knee-jerk” reactions.
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Kathleen O’Toole, who led the city’s police department from 2014 to 2017, told the Seattle Times that she does not blame Best for announcing her resignation and said it seems as though there is “no plan” in place to safely implement the resolution.
The council voted earlier this month to cut the department’s current $400 million budget by less than 1%, which advocates described as a down payment on more ambitious cuts — including removing 911 dispatch from the department and other changes.
Best announced her retirement just hours after the City Council voted to cut her annual $285,000 salary by $10,000, as well as the salaries of her command staff, and to trim as many as 100 officers from a force of 1,400 through layoffs and attrition.
The Times pointed out that the City Council is aiming to cut the department’s funding by half by this fall. The paper spoke to Councilmember Alex Pedersen who was skeptical about the process taking place.
“To do a percentage in advance is the cart before the horse,” he told the paper. “First, you need a plan then the percentage will be known after that plan is finalized.
The Associated Press contributed to this report