The Lynnwood Police Department has been told to cut 25 percent — about $9 million — from its budget due to the city’s financial crisis.
Although nothing is final, cutbacks of that magnitude could mean a loss of 25 out of 80 officers and most special programs including narcotics, special operations, reserves, animal control and community services.
That’s leaving many Lynnwood police officers wondering if they’ll have a job next year.
“Right now up to 16 officers are looking for employment elsewhere,” Lynnwood Police Guild President Mark Brinkman told us. He said morale in the department is low right now. “Even some that are likely not to be laid off are wondering if they want to continue to work for a city that may have major financial issues for years to come.”
Councilman Jim Smith addressed the situation at Monday night’s council meeting. “I get a call from another mayor in another city ribbing me saying, ‘Well, Jim, I’m getting all your cops calling me looking for jobs.’
“We’ve got an investment in these people that we’re letting walk out the door. And the reason they’re walking out the door is because they’re not getting answers,” Smith said.
“Until the council and mayor figure out what they are doing with the budget all we have to go on is the mayor’s statement to us that the PD will have to cut $9 million out of a two-year budget,” Brinkman said.
The City Council says they can’t decide where to cut until they get a budget from the mayor, which has not happened yet.
Two weeks ago the police union passed a unanimous no confidence vote over the mayor’s handling of the budget.