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SPD has largest new officer class in 20 years; 186 officers left in 2020

KIRO Seattle logo KIRO Seattle 6/8/2021 Alison Grande
a group of people in a room © Provided by KIRO Seattle

The Seattle Police Department announced it has 186 officers to hire to replace those who left last year. They just hired 20 new officers — the biggest new class in 20 years.

Officers left the department by the dozens after protests against police brutality and a push to defund the police.  In their exit interviews, many of the officers talked about a lack of support from city leadership.

The department stated it is off to a solid start filling those vacant positions, with the biggest class of new hires the department has had in 20 years.

Twenty new hires, already through the academy, were sworn in last week. The department is just getting started.

“We would like to replace every officer that we lost. The more people we can get to sign up for testing and perform well on the initial test will move on to our background unit,” said Sgt. Randy Huserik, Seattle Police Department.

It was clear SPD was going to have to replace many officers after a massive departure. In September, they would normally see about five to seven officers leave. But last September, 39 officers left.

In a push to defund the police, the Seattle City Council cut the budget by nearly $70 million.

But SPD has plans to fill every officer position.

“If you want to be a part of the solution, this is a great place to start. You can see the inner workings and see what we’re doing to improve relations throughout the city with every community and be a part of that. We welcome you to come and join us,” said  Huserik.

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