Seattle City Council pulls cops from public schools, angry parents ask 'who will protect the children?'

It will reduce the department’s size by about $3 million, representing around 100 positions, this year


                            Seattle City Council pulls cops from public schools, angry parents ask 'who will protect the children?'
(Getty Images)

The Seattle City Council’s budget committee approved a package of cuts on August 5 to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) budget. It will reduce the department’s size by about $3 million, representing around 100 positions, this year. The decision comes after long-standing demands to defund police. On August 5, protesters marched to City Hall in support of police cuts. They demanded that police money be reallocated to other public safety approaches, housing, social services and programs led by Black people.

In response to the council’s vote, a spokesperson for Mayor Jenny Durkan called the council’s proposal “unattainable and unworkable” as reported in South Seattle Emerald. “[With] a few hours discussion and without consulting the Chief of Police, City Council has voted to reduce the police force by 105 this year, cut the Chief’s salary by 40 percent, and eliminate the City’s team of specially trained social workers that conduct outreach and address encampments and RVs that pose significant public health and safety concerns,” said the spokesperson.

As reported in Seattle Times in July, “The protests against police killings and institutional racism have brought intense scrutiny to the police department, which began this year with a budget of more than $400 million. Defunding advocates have seized the moment, noting the department mostly responds to noncriminal calls and winning widespread political support for the concept.”

The recent move of defunding police at schools is being considered as a step for “public safety” with some users supporting the protests. “Wow. Incredible protest in Seattle today. The movement just doesn’t stop,” posted a user with the video of protest from Seattle on August 6.



 

“Seattle City Council just removed all police from their public schools. Every city should follow suit. This is how we keep our youth safe,” tweeted writer and civil rights activist Shaun King.



 

Some users rejoiced, tweeting that the cops stationed at school did little to protect children. A user tweeted, “School cops run away from shootings, they've done it almost every time, theyre literally only there to arrest kids for drug possession”.



 

On the contrary, many users, especially parents, slammed the decision to reduce the number of cops at schools. Parents are fearing about the safety of their children and ask, “Aren’t police there to PROTECT children, though, from shootings”. A user tweeted, “Aren’t police there to PROTECT children, though, from shootings? (Very FL school now has an officer for this reason.) I would not be happy about this news as a parent.”



 

Some supported stationing of police and want the cops to be in school, saying that not all cops are bad. “This is the only time I’ll have to disagree w/you on this bro. I get it, but we can’t classify all officers are bad officers, if some disgruntled teacher/student decides to wreak havoc at school w/o an officer there, who knows how long the response could be for recuse to arrive,” a user tweeted. 



 

Many people raised concerns over mass shooting and gun violence that exacts an enormous toll on Americans. “What about school shootings? Do we not need to worry about those anymore?” tweets a user. Another user said, “Was whatever protection police provided for a possible school shooting worth the downsides of having them in the school?”



 



 

Others asked if the city council will take responsibility if anything that happens to the children. One tweet read, "Does that mean the city council assumes all liability for anything that happens where a police officer could’ve helped?"



 

Many feel that absence of police will break laws and decorum resulting in bullying by gangs in school. A user tweeted, “So what are your plans when all the gangs start moving into the schools?? Or how about the school shootings?? How are you going to stop that from happening??”



 

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