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Report: Seattle police face crime spike as manpower shortage surfaces

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Crime is up while manpower is down in Seattle.

In what may be the biggest non-surprise of the year so far, KOMO News in Seattle—the local ABC News affiliate—is reporting that after “a spate of weekend violence… the police department’s staffing levels are under scrutiny again.”

After more than 19 months of steady manpower losses—KOMO says the department is “budgeted for 1,350 officers” and there are only 1,100 officers on the force with only 950 that can be deployed—due to a variety of reasons including a strong “defund police” sentiment remaining after the riots and demonstrations in 2020, the Jet City is in trouble.

Newly-installed Mayor Bruce Harrell wants to build back the department, but he also wants to use the dilemma as a launchpad for attacking, and possibly repealing, Washington State’s model firearms preemption law, which has been around 38 years. Harrell is taking heat because he wrongly claimed during a press event recently that Washington is “one of the few states” with a preemption statute preventing cities from adopting their own gun control laws.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms immediately took Harrell to task, noting that in reality, 42 states have adopted preemption statutes. It is essentially “the law of the land” placing all authority for gun regulation in the hands of the Legislature. The result is uniformity in gun laws from one state border to the other. Seattle and other municipalities do not like this situation.

The city has, according to critics, descended into violent lawlessness. This may be best illustrated by a recent attack during which a woman walking down the street in the Belltown neighborhood was attacked from behind by a man using a baseball bat. The woman collapsed and was rushed to the hospital with a skull fracture, according to KIRO News, the local CBS News affiliate.

What’s worse, the suspect in this case, identified as Wantez Tulloss, is a repeat offender with two prior felony convictions. He also had 10 outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court.

One glance at the Seattle Police Blotter reveals the city is experiencing increased violent crime. Over the weekend, a gunfight erupted in the city’s Capitol Hill district—scene of the infamous month-long CHOP zone takeover by anarchists during the summer of 2020—during which at least 40 shots were fired. This is one more signal that the city’s gun control effort, a tax on firearms and ammunition sales to raise money to fight so-called “gun violence,” has been a failure.

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