Seattle’s mayor is facing a lot of backlash from local police after issuing new guidelines that call for fewer veterans and White men to be part of the recruitment materials that the Seattle Police Department uses.
The new memo, sent by the office of Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, was first obtained by KTTH’s “The Jason Rantz Show,” which then shared it with Fox News Digital.
The memo, called “SPD Marketing More and Less,” was dated from March of this year. It was written by Ben Dalgetty, who serves as the mayor’s office’s digital strategy lead and is in charge of all recruitment efforts for the SPD.
In it, Dalgetty writes that there need to be more videos and photos of “offices of color,” who are “younger” and of “different genders.” These items should be included in the marketing materials that the department produces and sends out when they are undertaking new recruiting efforts.
At the same time, Dalgetty wrote that there needs to be “less” videos and photos of “officers who are white, male [and] officers with military bearing.”
In the aftermath of this memo being released to the public, it has received a lot of criticism from people who have referred to it as “flat-out discrimination.”
The memo was sent to staff members who work in the SPD’s human resources department in March of 2023. It explains:
“This doesn’t mean no officers who are white or male or only young officers of color, but guidelines to shift the proportions of our photo/video collateral to more of some things and less of others.”
Despite that explanation, the Seattle Police Officers Guild is none too happy with the memo. Officer Mike Solan, who serves as president of the guild, recently spoke with Jason Rantz on his radio show, saying that the policy union completely supports “95% of what is listed in this recruiting document.” That being said, the union can’t get behind it and abide by the “discrimination” that’s included.
Sloan issued a statement on the issue to KTTH’s “The Jason Rantz Show,” which read:
“What I condemn and will forever continue to push back on is the verbiage within the recruitment document that calls for less of white male officers. Less of people in leadership positions, and less of humans with military backgrounds. This is flat-out discrimination. Period.
“It is an affront to decency, reasonableness and further divides our communities. When politics is intentionally inserted into the public safety policing conversation, we all lose. It is embarrassing, shameful and detrimental to a healthy functioning society.”
Police recruitment is lagging in Seattle, and this memo is part of a strategy focused on DEI – or diversity, equity and inclusion – that’s being put forth by Harrell and his administration.
In fact, the City Council in Seattle last year passed a Comprehensive Police Recruitment and Retention Plan proposed by Harrell’s office. It prioritizes applicants to the SPD who come from “diverse racial and immigration backgrounds.”