Seattle mayor Ed Murray says putting more police officers on the street will be one of his big-ticket budget priorities next year.
Murray’s 2015 budget proposal seeks to hire 100 additional police officers, a move that would cost $3.3 million dollars over two years.
SPD is also developing new policing plans for specific neighborhoods based on its most recent data.
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole says she plans to hire some civilians for in-house positions so officers can be freed up.
O’Toole: “I’d like to get the sworn police officers out into the field, more visible and doing jobs that require police training and experience.”
SPD is also under federal court order to better monitor police interactions.
A pilot program for police officers to wear body cameras has been delayed but the mayor says his proposed budget will retain funding for it.
Murray: “We’ve got some things to work out here so people don’t think the police are gaming the situation. And I also wanted the chief in place.”
Now O’Toole says she’s ready to go forward.
O’Toole: “I’m absolutely committed to the body-worn cameras, I’d like to see the policies and procedures finalized very soon and just get to it.”
Another big priority for SPD is more nimble data collection and analysis. O’Toole says SPD has a new tracking system in place and they’re meeting with King County law enforcement officials every other week to discuss crime and accident statistics.
I’m Amy Radil, KUOW News.