Lynnwood police official calls out the City Council on budget cuts

The Sessions family has a unique perspective of Lynnwood’s budget crisis.

She works in the Crime Prevention Unit of the Lynnwood Police Department. Her husband is a Lynnwood firefighter. Together, the future of their jobs is uncertain as the City Council considers sweeping cuts.

Shannon Sessions, who also serves as the police department’s spokesperson, told the City Council Monday night that public safety is at risk if they slash the police and fire budgets.

“Please don’t keep me if you’re going to cut half the police and fire departments and then leave me to try to explain and spin on TV, radio and through the newspapers why Lynnwood public safety can’t respond to them as quickly any longer and why we don’t have the resources we once had to cleanup their drug houses or clear the drug buys from our grocery store parking lots and curb the overt prostitution and gang activity from our corners — because I won’t do it,” she said.

As we reported last month, the Lynnwood Police Department has been told to find ways to cut 25 percent of its budget. That could mean a loss of 25 out of 80 officers and most special programs. The fire department has also been told to cut back.

“As much as we love and use many of the departments of this city, they have nothing if they’re not safe and protected. All departments aren’t equal.” She continued, “this is a sad state that we’re in and unfortunately no matter how hard or how well Lynnwood city employees work, we and the city residents will be held accountable for not only the downturn in the economy, yes, but also the ongoing mismanaging of funds, bad decision making and egocentric politics that this leadership continues.”

She encouraged the council members to visit each department to find out what really happens and what’s really needed — even in good times.

“What I wouldn’t do is cover my head in the sand and declare that this city isn’t in a crisis, and instead tell media, staff members and any citizens I can that all is OK and we don’t need to panic. Or say anyone who is out looking for another job is ‘jumping the gun.’ These are real people with real families. They don’t have time to wait for you,” she said.

“We know cuts and raising taxes is inevitable. As we are waiting for you, we’re losing great people — many highly talented young officers and support staff will now be lost to other departments. Not to mention how each officer/firefighter who is left will be personally impacted.”

Sessions told unnamed council members they were being too passive and not taking a leadership role, not asking hard questions, and allowing the rest of the council to “flounder about.”

Some council members have urged people to be cautious because it’s still relatively early in the budget process. The new budget must be approved in December.

  1. “B.S.” is more like it. She works for the LPD and her husband works for the LFD — she knows what side her bread is buttered on. She wants council to reach directly into *my* pocketbook to make sure *her* family still has a paycheck.

    Sorry honey, but the serfs are tapped. The very police dept you're a paid cheerleader for is busy extorting revenue from motorists via speed traps and these traffic cameras (which have yielded up RECORD REVENUE lately), and the city is continuing to piss away millions and millions on a public pool and other waste-of-money departments.

    Make about $30 mil in cuts to non-LPD and non-LFD spending black holes and then get back to us. Meanwhile, tighten your belt like everybody else. I enjoy police and fire protection and want to see it continued, but I do not exist only to subsidize your paycheck.

    It said much to me that the first solution you reached for was to raise my taxes instead of going after low-hanging fruit budget cuts.

  2. I can side with our outstanding public safety forces on this one any cuts to the city budget will come from other dept's 1st before anything else. I am a former Income tax Professional what all you fail to learn Lynnwood is not the only city that is having problems with budget problems. Our Grandparents went though their Great Depression in the 1930's and early 40's. Now we are going our modern day great Depression this time is worse since the ression of the 1980's I will always support a strong Law enforcement dept and strong Fire dept as well because we need them. As a mental health advocate in this area I will fight for our city police force and fire dept I for one would not like for city to be taken over by the Fire District nor the sheriff dept It is still early in the budget process I know many on the council tough questions will be asked I promise.

  3. Obviously Bsj hasn't tried walking around the busy streets of Lynnwood. If he did he would see the red light camera's saves lives. Nothing like being in a crosswalk when some fool driver decides to run the light. I agree with Fred I want police, fire dept and the other goods and services my city provides, so quit your whining and pay your taxes.

  4. My comment must have been misunderstood. I App;auded Ms. Sessions for speaking out about saving the Police and Fire. I've paid taxes in this City for 50 years and will continue to do so.

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