Spokane Police Dept. hires 4 officers who left the Seattle Police Dept. earlier this year

new spokane officers
Credit: Nadine Woodward

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Police Department has hired four lateral officers who left the Seattle Police Department earlier this year.

Mayor Nadine Woodward announced their hires on Monday night. In August, she put out a call to departments saying SPD was hiring amid calls for cities to defund their departments.

A record number of Seattle police officers left the department this year, including Chief Carmen Best. Many of those departures came amid calls to defund the department and protests in response to the police killings of Black people across the country.

Seattle has been the scene for clashes between police and protesters, including “CHOP;” the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

In November, the Seattle City Council voted to cut nearly 20% of the police department’s budget, which also included a $2 million reduction that could slow future hiring of new officers.

A report from KOMO News detailed the reasons officers listed for their departures. Some said it was because of efforts to defund the department, while others said it was the handling of riots in Seattle.

According to some of the exit interviews, officers left for other departments across the state, including Everett, Kennewick and Des Moines.

The four officers joining the Spokane Police Department each spent between five and seven years with the Seattle Police Department.