Seattle City Council OKs police budget cuts; police chief to retire

2020 Protests

Both announcements were made Monday

FILE – In this July 20, 2020, file photo, police officers look on at protesters in Seattle. The Seattle City Council is scheduled to take votes Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, on proposals that would reduce the police department by up to 100 officers through layoffs and attrition, actions supported by demonstrators who have marched in the city following George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis but strongly opposed by the mayor and police chief. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle City Council has approved proposals that would reduce the police department by about 100 officers through layoffs and attrition.

The action is supported by demonstrators who have marched in the city following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis but strongly opposed by the mayor and police chief.

Budget measures approved Monday would cut less than $4 million of the department’s $400 million annual budget this year.

Seattle has about 1,400 police officers and the reductions fall far short of the 50% cut to the department that many Black Lives Matter protesters are seeking. Council members say the cuts are a first step.

Seattle police chief to resign following department cuts

Seattle’s police chief says she will retire. The move was reported Monday, the same day the City Council approved reducing the department through layoffs and attrition.

The cuts were supported by demonstrators who have marched in the city following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The reductions were strongly opposed by the mayor and police chief.

KING-TV reported that Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, the city’s first Black police chief, told the department of her decision in a letter, saying her retirement will be effective Sept. 2.

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