Seattle in ‘Top 10’ cities to begin career…except maybe in law enforcement

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The on-line Seattle P-I.com reported this week about a study showing that Seattle is among the best cities “to start your career in,” but that might not apply for anyone looking to pin on a badge.

Seattle Police take down a suspect in a multiple shooting incident in April. (YouTube, KING)

That is the strong impression one gets by reading a report from KUOW that details the reasons why police officers are leaving the Seattle Police Department. The station obtained copies of exit interviews via a public records act request, and some of them aren’t terribly flattering.

On the other hand, there were some comments about good training, professionalism, a willingness to come back; all things that should not be discounted.

Wading in with an opinion about this is Dori Monson, popular mid-day talk host at KIRO-FM. His take at MyNorthwest.com is blunt: “Cops just want out of Seattle. I don’t blame them. We’ve seen how disrespected they are.”

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Monson took a swing at Socialist Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who recently offered a solution to drive-by shootings: Install raised flower beds and speed bumps in the streets.
The study, by WalletHub, details the reasons that Seattle and other cities are good choices. Wages and job availability are high on the list. In all, according to WalletHub, “We examined each city based on 29 key metrics that range from the availability of entry-level jobs to monthly average starting salary to workforce diversity.”

The Seattle P-I.com story noted that the quality of life is another plus. That tells the sunny side of life in the Puget Sound metropolis.

On the dark side, however, beat cops are beating feet for such reasons as “Hyper-aggressive oversight, Non-supportive city government, No backing from city, OPA (Office of Police Accountability) and community, and an increasingly spineless legal system,” according to the story. Some are taking lateral jobs in other departments. Others have retired, including one veteran cop who spoke via telephone earlier this week with CFL to explain his own disappointments.

Things apparently got so bad that a pair of Seattle officers involved in a fatal shooting sued Sawant for defamation in federal court when she asserted that the killing was a “brutal murder.” The lawsuit was dismissed March 1, according to the Seattle Times, but the two officers said they would appeal.

The Jet City (which also goes by the nickname “Emerald City”) has, say critics, turned into a magnet for so-called “professional homeless” people, drug addicts and derelicts. A one-hour special titled “Seattle Is Dying” that was broadcast on KOMO, the local ABC affiliate, has been both praised and pilloried for taking a hard look at the city’s decay under decades of liberal leadership.

Earlier in the week, KOMO reported on a breaking story about police raids on two “crime rings” that netted drugs and guns that were being sold out of homeless encampments. In a statement, KOMO said:

“Wednesday night’s sweep is the action business owners, citizens and many SPD officers have demanded. Consistently, people voiced a growing anger and resentment at community forums and Seattle City Council meetings. They spoke of real and collateral damage inflicted on all of us by current policies allowing encampments to fester. But some city of Seattle leaders and others affiliated with programs to assist with homelessness and drug addiction didn’t want to hear the crescendo of voices in and around “Seattle is Dying.” Instead of watching and listening, many entrenched and invested in failing strategies chose to lash out at KOMO rather than adjusting approaches to the myriad of problems we exposed. Perhaps adjustments have been made? If so, we commend the pivot.”—KOMO

Seattle police officers went for several years without a contract. That finally was resolved, but the boost in morale apparently wasn’t lasting, at least for some lawmen and women.

Who gets the blame? There appears to be plenty to go around. City officials, especially those who have served on the city council and in the mayor’s office, but Seattle voters aren’t without sin, either. By voting farther to the left, or not at all, they’ve allegedly allowed people into office who are more social justice warriors than they are administrators and public servants.

So, the city might be a great place to visit in search of a new job, but you might not want to live there.

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