Seattle police spouses: Defend, don't defund

The Seattle City Council is set to vote on August 10 whether to defund the police department's budget by up to 50 percent.

The possibility has some officers looking at law enforcement careers elsewhere – with the wholehearted support of their families. 

"He loves Seattle and he's always loved SPD, but this is ridiculous," said Nicole, whose husband had a long career as a pastor before following his true calling to protect and serve.

Q13 agreed to withhold Nicole's last name and the full names of the other spouses we spoke to for this story due to concerns they'll be targeted for speaking out.

"If Seattle cannot promise us or show us that there's going to be a future there, then I don't see what other option we have then to look elsewhere," Nicole said. 

Her message to those who would say "good riddance"?

"I would say, I'm scared for you. I'm scared for you. We’ve poured our hearts into Seattle. We love Seattle. We love the people of Seattle. At this moment I am scared for the people of Seattle should the defunding go through," she said. "CHAZ is going to look like a birthday party is comparison to what will follow."

Katie, whose husband also serves with SPD, said he will leave if the Council votes to defund the agency. She questions whether Seattle is worth dying for – a sacrifice officers risk each time they go to work. 

"If you're going to put your life out like that, the support is huge. Not just from friends and family," she said, in tears. 

Michelle said her husband is committed to staying at SPD, despite the current climate. 

"He always tells me 'we're going through a hard time, we're going to get through it together and we're going to see a better tomorrow.' He always tells me that and I support him whichever way he goes." 

"As messy as it is right now, as much hate as we feel right now. He'd lay down his life for (Seattle)." 

Asked about the concerns of officers and their families, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said it leaves her heartbroken.

“I said it earlier this week and I’ll say it again – I’ve never seen a series of protest or protest events where so many police officers have been injured. And I think the silence about that by so many elected officials is unfortunate," she said.

“We can’t be in a place in Seattle where we dehumanize everyone.”