Seattle’s King County on track to set new homicide record in 2023

"...anybody that voted for defunding needs, and that's running for re-election, the community that votes need to really take a hard look at what the defunding movement did to Seattle."

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Washington’s most populous county is on track to have record homicides again.

After another bloody weekend, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that there have been 117 confirmed homicides so far in 2023 and that the area is on track to break the all-time high record of 147 in 2022. 

Seattle, the largest city in King County, at the current rate of 6.5 homicides a month, is also on track to beat its all-time homicide record, not seen since the 1990s.

The updated numbers followed a weekend of murders in Ravensdale and Seattle, causing the Emerald City to hit 60 homicides on the path to the record high of 69 in 1994 with over 3 months remaining in the year.

In 2022, there were 57 homicides in Seattle, the most the city had seen in a quarter of a century..

According to the Council on Criminal Justice Crime Trend Mid Year Update, in the first half of 2023, homicides in Seattle jumped by 7 percent, and the city was one of 10 in the US to report an increase, with a percent change greater than that of New York at 4.9 percent, even as other cities saw a decline during the same time frame.

Homicides in Seattle jumped by 63 percent between 2019 and 2020, more than New York at 43 percent or Chicago at 55 percent.

Earlier this month, the president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) Mike Solan told The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI, "This year alone, we've got more homicide numbers, as tragic as that is, than we do police recruits."

"So, we've had more people die in the city of Seattle than we've had police hires in the year of's horrifying."

The spike in homicides was directly attributed to the ongoing shortage of police officers by Jim Fuda with Crime Stoppers Puget Sound. Since the Seattle City Council began defunding the department in 2020, SPD has lost nearly 600 officers. Fuda previously told KOMO News that because of the shortage of officers, cases are piling up and not getting solved.

“There’s people out there that think that they’re not going to get caught. I mean you see it in the robberies that are going on and even the children that are stealing cars and now the home invasion robberies are up."

Solan added, "...anybody that voted for defunding needs, and that's running for re-election, the community that votes need to really take a hard look at what the defunding movement did to Seattle."

"I don't want to be the next San Francisco. I don't want to be the next Portland. We can't absorb any more losses in the police department."
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