By Spencer Pauley
(The Center Square) – The number of shootings in the City of Seattle in 2021 represented a 10 year high, but 2022 is on pace for even higher numbers.
There were more than double the amount of shootings in 2021 (174) as compared to 2013 (70). In the current year, the number of shootings is on pace to pass the 2021 total.
As of June 30, there had been 99 shootings. That’s more than the 68 shootings in the 2021 year to date total, according to Seattle’s crime dashboard.
There are already as many fatal shootings (21) through the first six months of 2022 as there were all of 2020. There were 31 fatal shootings in all of 2021.
As part of an investigative series on the Seattle Police Department’s efforts to reinvent policing in Seattle, The Center Square has looked at how that has been progressing.
The city’s plan has funding and staffing is now down to around 370 deployable officers, according to SPD Chief Adrian Diaz. This has caused response times for 911 calls deemed not an emergency to rise to an hour and 40 minutes as of June 30, according to Mayor Bruce Harrell’s SPD Recruitment and Retention Plan.
“Because of the shortage of officers, SPD often limits patrol dispatches only to Priority 1 calls [which are] life threatening emergencies, serious crimes in progress and other circumstances where police are immediately needed with a target response time of seven minutes,” the plan states. “SPD has historically dispatched officers to other lower priority calls, however, officers are now rarely dispatched to these calls for service due to the current staffing crisis.”
When the city released the 2022 proposed budget, 23% of the general fund was dedicated to SPD.
Mayor Harrell, Seattle City Council and SPD did not provide comment to The Center Square regarding the rate of shootings.