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Mayor Durkan’s 2021 Proposed Budget Address

Today, Mayor Jenny Durkan is releasing her 2021 Proposed Budget. This budget comes during a series of challenges for the City. A pandemic, an economic recession, a civil rights reckoning, climate related wildfires, and failing infrastructure in our City have all combined to make this budget unlike any other in our history. Our revenue challenges are a direct result of the pandemic causing a significant and immediate slowdown in economic activity. In 2020, we froze spending, delayed projects and spent down our one-time revenue sources to delay impacts to the City. 

The Mayor’s 2021 budget prioritizes maintaining investments in community that promote equity as well as critical funding to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. To the extent possible, this budget maintains core services in an effort to minimize the impact of filling a more than $300 million dollar shortfall to our City budget. 

Chief of Police Adrian Diaz has committed the department to five focus areas to anchor itself throughout the on-going work around the future of community safety:  

  1. Re-envisioning Policing – Engage openly in a community-led process of designing the role the department should play in community safety. 
  1. Humanization – Prioritize the sanctity of human life in every situation and affirm each individual’s worth. 
  1. Reinventing Community Engagement – Establish true and lasting relationships through respectful interactions in every situation.  
  1. Fiscal Stewardship – Examine critically every dollar spent to ensure it meaningfully contributes to community safety. 
  1. Employee Wellness and Morale – Support exceptional police services by ensuring the department retains the best employees. 

The following is a summary of SPD’s key changes in the 2021 Proposed Budget: 

  • General Budget Reduction – This budget action reduces the department’s budget for personnel, equipment, supplies, and overtime by $22,402,317.  
  • Transfer Parking Enforcement to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) – This item transfers Parking Enforcement, including all budget, personnel, support staff, overhead costs, and overtime funding, to SDOT. As SDOT already manages the right-of-way and street parking, transferring the parking enforcement unit will allow for the functions to be unified in one department.  
  • Transfer Office of Emergency Management (OEM) out of SPD – This item transfers OEM, including all budget, personnel, support staff, overhead costs, and overtime funding, out of SPD to a new, independent department.  
  • Transfer 911 Communications Center out of SPD and create the Seattle Emergency Communications Center – This item transfers the 911 Communications Center, including all budget, personnel, support staff, overhead costs, and overtime funding, out of SPD to a new, independent department (the Seattle Emergency Communications Center).  
  • Transfer Victim Advocates to the Human Services Department (HSD) – This item transfers ongoing salary and benefits for nine Victim Advocates, a Manager 1 CL&PS and a Volunteer Programs Coordinator from SPD to HSD. The transfer of these 11 FTE was approved in the 2020 rebalanced budget.  
  • Add funding for Automated Enforcement – This item adds overtime funding to SPD to support additional uses for automated traffic safety cameras in SDOT. This program is a pilot program through 2023 to permit enforcement of the following traffic violations: stopping at intersection or crosswalk, stopping when traffic obstructed, public transportation–only lane violations, and stopping or traveling in restricted lanes (including Lower West Seattle Bridge during restricted hours). 


Over the next two months, the City Council will review the Mayor’s the proposed budget. Final adoption of the budget is expected on Monday, November 23. More information about details in the budget can be found at, and you can also direct any broader budget questions to