The defunded Seattle Police Department Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit no longer takes on new adult sexual assault cases due to staffing shortages.
The shocking news comes from a four-page memo written by the unit’s Sgt. Pamela St. John and addressed to interim police chief Adrian Diaz. The memo, dated April 11 and revealed by the Seattle Times, calls the caseloads detectives face “unsustainable.”
St. John says the unit’s personnel is so depleted that it has now stopped assigning new cases with adult victims to detectives. She wrote that the community expects a certain level of response to sexual violence, but with staff shortages “that objective is unattainable.”
The sergeant told the interim chief that the piles of cases along with their nature leads to issues such as “burnout and compassion fatigue” on the force. St. John reports having 30 adult sexual assault cases this year that should be assigned to a detective, but are not.
And it’s not just the word from the special unit. King County senior deputy prosecutor Ben Santos, the top litigator for these special cases, paints a harrowing picture of the plight of victims in the Democratic stronghold.
He says officers may wait for hours to take a report and many times only gather it over the phone. The prosecutor says his information comes from Harborview Medical Center, a well-respected level one trauma center.
The unit had 12 detectives just three years ago, but that number is down to a paltry four. By contrast, Seattle PD’s Alternative Response Team that enforces homeless encampment removals has twice the number of officers.
Seattle PD is down to 134 detectives compared to 234 just three years ago. Overall, the struggling department is over 300 officers short of its level two years ago. However, SPD Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette called St. John’s memo inaccurate and a “gross oversimplification.”
Seattle was one of the first cities to fall into the “defund police” trap, and as even Democrats realize the folly of this approach, the city held its ground. Without public safety, few other municipal responsibilities even matter.
The mass exodus of officers and failure to replace them has misguided local leaders crowing about “savings.” What good are a few dollars when police cannot investigate crimes as depraved as sexual assault? None.
Those “savings” will be quickly forgotten as residents and companies decide their safety is more important than following “woke” lunacy. Being the last traveler on the road to destruction is not an honor, it’s merely a shame.