The mayor of Seattle is calling on the city to rebuild its depleted police force after six separate shootings that killed four people rocked the city over the weekend.
"As a city, we cannot continue on this current trajectory of losing police officers," Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said during a Monday press conference. "Over the past 17 months, the Seattle Police Department has lost 250 police officers which is the equivalent of over 300,000 service hours. We’re on path to losing 300 police officers."
Durkan added that the weekend violence is a "reminder" that there are certain emergency situations that require sworn police officers, Fox reports.
"We are creating meaningful alternatives," Durkan said in reference to efforts in the city being made to redirect funding and personnel to community-based groups. "But, as I said last year, the city has an obligation to still continue constitutional policing and respond to 911 calls.
"It is a false choice between community-led solutions and police officers," Durkan said. "We need both."
Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz also spoke at the press conference and agreed that the lack of officers has made his job more difficult.
"I need more officers," Diaz said, adding that he can hire more officers but also needs support from the city "making it clear to officers, current and prospective…that they will have our support, financially and otherwise, to do this job well and know they will not be laid off due to budget cuts."