Seattle Police Officers Have Had Enough

 

Seattle police officers are starting to walk away from a dysfunctional city, and its dysfunctional city council. Part of the problem is the civilian Office of Professional Accountability (OPA).

Recently, SPD management broke with OPA when it recommended discipline for Officer Nick Guzley after he tackled an ax-wielding man, despite repeated attempts to convince the man to drop his weapon. Only OPA seemed to think this was a case of misconduct. In fact, a leading, national expert in use-of-force had volunteered his time to present a case on Guzley’s behalf to Chief Best. Guzley, it turns out, was cleared of any wrongdoing by Chief Best, according to a source (though this has not yet been made public and the Chief explained she cannot yet confirm details either way).

This problem could be solved by forming SHARP teams. Seattle Hipsters Axe Response Patrol. Issue them pagers, and when a police officer confronts someone with an axe, knife, or any edged weapon they can defuse the situation because they are not armed. Issue them Starbucks gift cards to incentivize the individual to drop his weapon.

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  1. Bob Armstrong Thatcher
    Bob Armstrong
    @BobArmstrong

    Doug Watt:

    … This problem could be solved by forming SHARP teams…

    Such cutting wit!

     

    • #1
  2. Umbra of Nex Inactive
    Umbra of Nex
    @UmbraFractus

    Yeah, but they finally got that lemonade stand menace under control, so there’s that.

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Yes, I have been reading about that.  Please remember that the city of Seattle is run by ex-1960s radicals who view police as racist pigs.  The department is headed by a black woman.  Seattle police responding to calls are sometimes confronted not only by the lawbreaker, but by jeering crowds of citizens with smartphone cameras.  How long could any of you work under similar conditions?  They are absolutely justified in leaving.

    • #3
  4. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Hard to believe, unless he was a lumberjack wearing suspenders and a bra, which makes the tackle either a hate crime or something a little weirder.

    • #4
  5. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    They are absolutely justified in leaving.

    A new form of #walkaway

    • #5
  6. Dave of Barsham Member
    Dave of Barsham
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Gotta love it when a bureaucrat thinks “this could have been handled differently,” when they haven’t taken on more than a stapler, let alone an axe.  

    • #6
  7. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Was the ax-wielding man Japanese?

    • #7
  8. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Was the ax-wielding man Japanese?

    W/M, possibly of Swedish descent. He was told if he put Lutefisk underneath his front porch the rats would leave. The rats left, but he lost it when he couldn’t get rid of the  Norwegians, tragic story, but true.

    • #8
  9. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    Dave of Barsham

    Gotta love it when a bureaucrat thinks “this could have been handled differently,” when they haven’t taken on more than a stapler, let alone an axe.

    Oh, great. Now we need a SHSRP teams, Seattle Hipsters Stapler Response Patrol.

    • #9
  10. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Doug Watt: This problem could be solved by forming SHARP teams. Seattle Hipsters Axe Response Patrol. Issue them pagers, and when a police officer confronts someone with an axe, knife, or any edged weapon they can defuse the situation because they are not armed. Issue them Starbucks gift cards to incentivize the individual to drop his weapon.

    Doug,

    Yes, this is the obvious ‘solution’ to the problem. Perhaps if we could give illegal migrants trying to cross the border, gift certificates from Amazon if they would just go back to their own countries this could incentivize a solution to the border difficulties we’ve been having.

    Remember a snowflake and his/her logic can’t be separated because there’s no logic there, to begin with.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #10
  11. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Not sure what the issue is.  SPD is just pushing out undesirable LEOs and replacing them with new ones that have the correct mindset and belief system.  Out with the old, in with the new.  By asking the officers not to look too closely the city should see the city’s crime numbers improve and city liability decrease.  All in all an improvement from a certain of view.  

    • #11
  12. Simon Templar Inactive
    Simon Templar
    @SimonTemplar

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Was the ax-wielding man Japanese?

    W/M, possibly of Swedish descent. He was told if he put Lutefisk underneath his front porch the rats would leave. The rats left, but he lost it when he couldn’t get rid of the Norwegians, tragic story, but true.

    rats will do that to a man

    • #12
  13. JosePluma Thatcher
    JosePluma
    @JosePluma

    The article cited is poorly written, poorly sourced, and left me with a lot of questions.

    The department I used to work for had similar problems with morale, recruitment and retention. There were many stories in the local media about this. “The number of officers who left the department” is a meaningless statistic without context.  The newspaper where I was a cop would tell how many officers were on the force, how this compared to similar cities in the area, the ratio of officers to the population, and how this affected the crime rate.

    How many of the officers had left to seek employment at another department vs. retiring or leaving for other reasons?  We don’t know.  “Over the course of just one week, one officer was told that 21 colleagues announced  they left or planned to leave the department.”  This is an unsubstantiated rumor and has no place in a news story.  The writer also misuses or misunderstands the concept of “attrition.”

    The one case specifically mentioned in the article has few details and no rationale for the discipline suggested by the Office of Professional Accountability.

    The Seattle Police Department may indeed be losing officers at an unprecedented level, but there is no evidence of this from the article.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Loved this post, Doug. Thank you for making my day!

    • #14
  15. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    The article cited is poorly written, poorly sourced, and left me with a lot of questions.

    The department I used to work for had similar problems with morale, recruitment and retention. There were many stories in the local media about this. “The number of officers who left the department” is a meaningless statistic without context. The newspaper where I was a cop would tell how many officers were on the force, how this compared to similar cities in the area, the ratio of officers to the population, and how this affected the crime rate.

    How many of the officers had left to seek employment at another department vs. retiring or leaving for other reasons? We don’t know. “Over the course of just one week, one officer was told that 21 colleagues announced they left or planned to leave the department.” This is an unsubstantiated rumor and has no place in a news story. The writer also misuses or misunderstands the concept of “attrition.”

    The one case specifically mentioned in the article has few details and no rationale for the discipline suggested by the Office of Professional Accountability.

    The Seattle Police Department may indeed be losing officers at an unprecedented level, but there is no evidence of this from the article.

    Any comparison of officers lost should probably be compared to their minimum staffing requirement. For example my agency required a minimum of 18 patrol officers per shift, per precinct. Shifts are staggered so you don’t have everyone in roll call, and everyone ending their shift at the same time.

    The length of time of the hiring process is a factor. About half the applicants fail the written exam, the oral interview will reduce the applicant pool even further. There will be applicants that will fail the background investigation, and then fail to pass the physical agility test. If an applicant makes it to the police academy the attrition rate stabilizes. The length of time from written exam to actually ending up on the street can take as long as a year. The background investigation consumes the most amount of time.

    In my daughter’s testing group there were approximately 800 applicants, 19 of them ended up on the street. One other factor is that agencies recruit on a national basis, that increases the competition between agencies for qualified applicants.

    It can be difficult for an agency to keep up with retirement losses, and the loss of officers due to morale problems. Your good officers will leave first because they know they will be hired elsewhere.

    • #15
  16. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Civilian police oversight boards are usually staffed by community activists, there are some that might include police officers. Chicago is having a problem between officers and their oversight board.

    The only LE experience they have is make work projects for police officers, like organizing confrontations, or if you prefer demonstrations. They cannot understand why you didn’t shoot the gun out of someone’s hand, or if someone is beating another person, or coming after you with a baseball bat why didn’t you get a baseball bat instead of shooting them. Yeah, I’m a cynic.

    • #16
  17. Autistic License Thatcher
    Autistic License
    @AutisticLicense

    @josepluma :  It’s a fair criticism, modern journalism being what it is.  It would make a good springboard for investigation, though.  If FBI is not maintaining statistics on local police attrition, they ought to.  Even without lots of studies about stated motives for leaving, cities could be compared by population and climate.  If it is actually the case that cops are voting No Confidence, that’s vital information.

    • #17
  18. JosePluma Thatcher
    JosePluma
    @JosePluma

    Autistic License (View Comment):

    @josepluma : It’s a fair criticism, modern journalism being what it is. It would make a good springboard for investigation, though. If FBI is not maintaining statistics on local police attrition, they ought to. Even without lots of studies about stated motives for leaving, cities could be compared by population and climate. If it is actually the case that cops are voting No Confidence, that’s vital information.

    I could probably have dug a bit deeper and found some of the information myself. ( I did look up some more information on the officer who was disciplined without finding any more pertinent details. )  But, frankly, that is not my job.   I’m not going to do anymore research about a problem that has no bearing on my life, for a police department I know little about, in a place I’ve never visited.   I just find it odd that a newspaper in the boondocks of Albuquerque could do a better job of reporting than a news station from a major metropolitan area like Seattle. 

    • #18
  19. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Autistic License (View Comment):

    @josepluma : It’s a fair criticism, modern journalism being what it is. It would make a good springboard for investigation, though. If FBI is not maintaining statistics on local police attrition, they ought to. Even without lots of studies about stated motives for leaving, cities could be compared by population and climate. If it is actually the case that cops are voting No Confidence, that’s vital information.

    I could probably have dug a bit deeper and found some of the information myself. ( I did look up some more information on the officer who was disciplined without finding any more pertinent details. ) But, frankly, that is not my job. I’m not going to do anymore research about a problem that has no bearing on my life, for a police department I know little about, in a place I’ve never visited. I just find it odd that a newspaper in the boondocks of Albuquerque could do a better job of reporting than a news station from a major metropolitan area like Seattle.

    It is very difficult to get any real information on any internal investigation of an incident concerning a police officer. The best info usually comes from a pdf of a grand jury investigation. An honest media outlet will link to the pdf. That being said Vox, the Leftist version of Breitbart still claims that Michael Brown was unarmed when shot in Ferguson. There is never any mention of the fact that his DNA was found on the pistol when he tried to take it from Officer Wilson. There is no doubt that some officers make mistakes, but to recommend disciplinary action for an officer that chose to tackle an axe wielding suspect rather than shooting him is a bit surreal. 

     

     

    • #19
  20. JosePluma Thatcher
    JosePluma
    @JosePluma

    Doug Watt (View Comment)

    There is no doubt that some officers make mistakes, but to recommend disciplinary action for an officer that chose to tackle an axe wielding suspect rather than shooting him is a bit surreal.

    That was why I was interested in it.  I was involved in a similar incident (the guy had a bat instead of an axe), and the officer who tackled him got nothing but praise.  I just wondered what the OPA’s rationale was.

     

    • #20
  21. Umbra of Nex Inactive
    Umbra of Nex
    @UmbraFractus

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment)

    There is no doubt that some officers make mistakes, but to recommend disciplinary action for an officer that chose to tackle an axe wielding suspect rather than shooting him is a bit surreal.

    That was why I was interested in it. I was involved in a similar incident (the guy had a bat instead of an axe), and the officer who tackled him got nothing but praise. I just wondered what the OPA’s rationale was.

     

    In the mind of the modern leftist (and, it must be said, too many libertarians) the police are always wrong. If they use force, it’s police brutality. If they don’t use force, it’s negligence. If they address a potential school shooter before he does anything, people ask, “Why are you harassing this innocent child.” If they wait until after the shooting, it’s, “Why didn’t you do something?!”

    • #21
  22. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    No surprise that Seattle failed to train and arm their officers with axes so that they could correctly give a proportional response. 

    • #22

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