Seattle business owners Andrea and Joe Raetzer of Steepologie Teas have closed their downtown store location due to public safety concerns, citing the Seattle City Council’s 7-1 vote to defund the Seattle Police Department by $3.4 million.
The budget cuts mean the department will lay off 100 police officers including officers from the Navigation Team, a unit designed specifically to deal with the city’s homeless population. (RELATED : Seattle Police Chief Sends Simple Message To Businesses During Riots: You’re On Your Own )
“We were putting all of our resources into this business, we are not funded by anyone else, everything put into the business came out of our pocket,” Andrea told the Daily Caller. “This hurts, but it was absolutely necessary to take a stand and say we can no longer be put at risk nor can our team members.”
The lack of police presence and the recent uptick in crime in the downtown area will push many more businesses out of the area, the Raetzer’s told the Caller.