Re: “Seattle City Council moves toward compromise on police hiring incentive” [May 10, Local]:
As a Seattle citizen, I disagree that the unspent salary of the Seattle Police Department should fund staff incentives. This money — if not more of the police budget — should go toward social and community services such as housing, mental health, education, health care, job and food-access programs, as well as community-based safety strategies. Such a reallocation of funds would reduce the need for police and enable services that are better equipped to respond to many crises to do so. With social services being starved of funds, the already outsized budget of the SPD should not be increased.
Research shows that increasing police funding does not reduce crime rates. Moreover, police inflict discriminatory violence against people of color and other marginalized groups.
Seattle must look toward solutions based around transformative justice to get to the root of our community’s problems and ensure all people are protected. We must respond to violence in ways that don’t create more violence — meaning, ways that don’t rely on oppressive state systems and normalized systemic violence.
Police disinvestment and community reinvestment would enable transformative solutions and allow for truly safe and equitable communities to be built.
Samantha Goetze, Kenmore