Military and Police

U.S. Army Jumps to Help Seattle PD

According to, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) has signed a contract with the U.S. Army, hoping to boost its dismal recruiting of new officers. The agreement is in conjunction with the Army’s Partnership for Youth Success (PAYS) program. Commander of the Seattle recruiting battalion Lt. Col. Mark Davis and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best “praised the agreement.”

I spent six years as a field training officer (FTO) with the SPD. In my experience, former (or current reserve) military, both male and female, were some of the best and most successful trainees I taught. They arrived primed to learn and performed well. They knew how to treat their superiors, colleagues, and the public with courtesy and respect.

Now, this description shouldn’t surprise anyone. However, though no one from the city would ever admit it, FTOs know Seattle’s liberal leadership has leaned toward recruiting officers who “reflect Seattle [far left] values.” For most leftists, this does not favor military veterans.

Remember, these are community values that denied a group of mothers from the Fallen Hero Banner Project an entry in the city’s annual Seafair Torchlight Parade. It took negative public feedback for the parade organizers to reconsider. Still, Seafair only allowed the group by having it accompany an existing parade entry.

Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (police academy) training division supervisor Rex Caldwell says, “He’s seen departments change their hiring preferences over the years…” Fortunately, Caldwell adds, “it hasn’t stopped veterans from getting jobs.” Caldwell says, “Those are people that have a dedicated history [of] service… they understand what it means to work long hours and weekends and holidays.” I think he’s trying to say they are not “snowflakes.”

The thing is most people who “reflect Seattle’s [neo-leftist] community values” do not join the military or become police officers. So, combine this reality with the city’s leftist leaders indoctrinating Seattle’s cops with social justice nonsense and city council members disparaging officers as “murderers,” and it’s easy to understand the mass exodus of veteran officers and the persistent recruiting drought.

In recent years, the city has been trying anything and everything to attract cops: proactive outreach in minority communities, lowering hiring standards, and most recently offering a $15,000 bonus. And now that their efforts to recruit cops who reflect Seattle’s leftist, social justice “values” has failed, they’re turning to the military. I know they’re forced to, but I’ll give them credit for actually doing it, though. Still, unless city leaders are willing to get treatment for their cop-derangement syndrome, the officer exodus and hiring drought are likely to continue.

SPD recruiting office lead Det. Carrie McNally said, “last year 109 people retired from SPD, and the department was only able to hire 68.” This is, as the left is fond of saying, unsustainable.

The recruiting contract with the Army shows how desperate Seattle’s political leadership is that they will grant such a concession. Chief Best’s sensible leadership likely had something to do with convincing Seattle’s politicians to support this program. It’s ironic that, by conceding to working with the Army, city leaders are doing much more of value for their community, begrudgingly, than when they’re being proactive.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at

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