Why Don't Seattle Cops Live In Seattle?

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee February 24, 2011

After we posted our map of where Seattle cops live yesterday afternoon, we got several emails from SPD officers, explaining why they choose to live outside of the city.

We're going to run several of these over the next few days--with names and some identifying info removed, of course--so stick around.

So, why don't Seattle cops live in Seattle?

On the surface the quick answer is I would love to live in the city. 

 The whole idea of living in the big city has always been a draw to me, especially living in a city that is on first glance a really safe for most people. 

 I come from the mid west where the big city isn’t for the faint of heart or the unarmed.  But I also have to take into account that I am married with a child. 

Now we could theoretically live up north or down south but I am the only person working in my household.  I live in Kent because the cost of living is so much lower. 

I still don’t live extravagantly; I have a [redacted] year old car [an] old car and a house. I’m not one of those cops making $100,000 a year.  I just can’t afford to live in Seattle proper with its $300,000 houses and $4 gas. 

But my first priority is making sure my family has a safe stable place to live so my child can grow up and lead a life so he too can contribute to society. But while I have worked for the Seattle Police Department I have had my life threatened multiple times. 

Bangers have threatened to find my family.  People...keep track of each officer’s comings and goings. 

Every night when I go home I take a different route so I become a harder target. 

Now this might sound a bit crazy but there have been incidents where suspects follow an officer to their home and confront them there.

  The way I figure, the further I live from the city the higher my chances are that I won’t be followed home.

 And even with the distance I have given myself, I still run into people I have dealt with at work in Seattle and Kent.  So for now the idea of living in the city will remain just that, an idea.

If you're a Seattle officer, and you'd like to tell us why you do/don't live in Seattle, email me at [email protected]

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