Seattle police staffing woes prompt emergency dispatch plan

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s police department is sending detectives and non-patrol staff to respond to emergency calls because of an officer shortage that union leaders fear will become worse because of COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The department on Wednesday moved to the emergency officer dispatching scenario because of the staffing crunch. KOMO reports the department has lost more than 300 officers over the past year. Hundreds could face termination if they don’t comply with an Oct. 18 deadline to be vaccinated. According to figures from the Seattle mayor’s office, 782 officers have turned in proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Ninety eight officers are seeking exemptions and 186 have not submitted paperwork.