Seattle Violent Crime Up, While Police Staffing Dwindles

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

It’s a perfect storm for Seattle: a growing number of violent crimes and fewer officers on the street working to make arrests and prevent the next shooting from taking place. On Tuesday, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz was joined by several city officials at a press conference to discuss the rising rates of violence and the dwindling number of uniformed officers able to respond.

According to Diaz, the city is on track to have more shootings this year than in the chaotic months of 2020, when far-Left activists clashed with cops and briefly established their own “autonomous zone” that was plagued with its own mini-crime wave.

“We are not just seeing an increase in gun violence among youth,” Diaz said, adding that gun incidents in Seattle are not entirely driven by gang violence. “We are seeing an increase in gun violence in our homeless encampments, we are seeing an increase in road rages and gun incidents.”

Diaz said there’s a need for more mental health resources to help address the gun violence.

“We need investments in a variety of different areas that aren’t necessarily where police can take a visible presence,” he said. “I think that it really is two things: we have to make sure we have the amount of officers needed to provide public safety across the whole city, but we also need to make sure we continue those long terms efforts to prevent future levels of violence.”

Diaz pointed to a reported 40% increase in 911 calls to the Seattle Police Department for shots fired in 2021, compared to the same time last year. He further noted that drive-by shootings are up 100%.

Keep in mind that Washington State has put several gun control laws on the books in recent years, through both legislation and voter referendums. For some strange reason, however, the state’s universal background check law, training requirements for those purchasing modern sporting rifles, and bans on those under the age of 21 from purchasing modern sporting rifles haven’t had an impact on the state’s violent crime. Why, it’s almost like those who would pull the trigger and take an innocent human life don’t really care if they’re violating the law.

While Diaz is encouraging Seattle residents to “put down the guns,” it appears as if more of them are actually choosing to arm themselves in self-defense.

Diaz spoke hours after a 39-year-old man shot and killed a 24-year-old that was trying to rob him in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The shooting happened around 1:15 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of 10th Ave E and E John St, which is near the Capitol Hill light rail station.

 

When officers arrived, they found the 24-year-old on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound. The man was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

 

The 39-year-old man told police 24-year-old was trying to rob him when he opened fire. Officers are interviewing the 39-year-old “in an attempt to understand what led up to the shooting,” according to a SPD Blotter post.

It’s only natural that with fewer cops and more criminals on the streets, getting a concealed carry license is becoming an attractive option for residents, even those who may have been apathetic or even opposed to gun ownership in the past. Given Seattle’s penchant for electing far-Left politicians, I’m not holding out much hope for a quick turnaround in either the violent crime rate or the declining number of uniformed police, but a growing number of gun owners and concealed carry holders seems like a pretty safe bet.