You can watch the press conference here:
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today delivered his first State of the City address to the Seattle City Council. He was joined by his husband, Michael Shiosaki, members of his staff, and a capacity crowd in council chambers. Murray focused on his accomplishments to date and his next steps in office.
You can watch the speech in its entirety here:
President Burgess and members of the Seattle City Council.
In this, my first State of City address after several weeks in office, I would like to focus on our Future as a City and how we collectively can build on your work and the work of those who came before us to address the challenges that we face.
It was just days ago that over 700,000 people crowded the streets of Downtown Seattle to celebrate the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl victory.
They were celebrating something very Seattle.
The Seahawks’ use of intelligence, getting the fundamentals right, teamwork and leadership that was both positive and innovative.
And just weeks ago we saw Macklemore and Ryan Lewis honored for those very Seattle traits of creativity, independence, authenticity and focus.
As I spoke to those gathered on the street, I found folks that are positive and hopeful about what we can accomplish as a City.
An attitude that contradicts the cynicism that has creep into our politics and media about what we as public servants can accomplish to improve the lives of all our people.
There is no better example of this spirit than the response to the damaging of the historic Pergola in Pioneer Square.
Shana Pennington-Baird and a friend took it upon themselves to launch a fundraising campaign via social media to pay for the repairs, much of it in $12 increments in the spirit of the 12th Man.
Shana is here with us today – I want to welcome and thank her for the innovation and community spirit behind her creative campaign.
It was only six weeks ago that I started a conversation with City Council, with the people of Seattle and with our region as a whole about the challenges and opportunities before us.
About the great diversity of our city, but also its fragmentation.
About our city’s great progressive legacy, and its emphasis not just on debating problems but on tackling and solving them.
And about government not as the problem, but as a collaborative partner in solving the problems we face.
It’s a conversation that we return to today as we discuss the state of our City – and one that we will continue to have together throughout my Administration. [Read more…]
As the Community Advisory Committee outreach process draw to a close and the Search Committee process begins, Mayor Ed Murray today provided an update on the overall police chief search process, and named the firm that will conduct the search for applicants to the position.
Murray said the Mayor’s Office vetted eight firms and talked with three before ultimately selecting California-based Bob Murray & Associates (no relation).
“The experience and expertise of Bob Murray &Associates in conducting nationwide searches for executives in general and chiefs of police in particular made them stand out,” said Murray. “This firm knows how to identify and recruit top talent, and I’m confident in their ability to deliver exemplary applicants for me and my search committee to review and evaluate.”
The firm has more than 25 years’ experience, and has placed more 1,000 local government and special district executives, including more than 150 chiefs of police in cities with populations as small as 2,000 and as large as three million. The firm’s police chief searches have included the cities of Pasadena, Sacramento and San Francisco. [Read more…]
Yesterday, U.S. District Judge James L Robart approved a newly developed Crisis Intervention Policy for the Seattle Police Department that is designed to better prepare officers in dealing with mentally ill or drug affected people. The policy becomes official on March 3, 2014 and training will begin shortly thereafter.
The Mayor said of the new policy: “People experiencing a behavioral crisis are victims who deserve of our care and attention, and our SPD officers deserve clear expectations for how to approach and interact with those in this kind of situation. The many lessons learned from the tragic John T. Williams shooting have helped inform the Department’s new crisis intervention policy, which I believe will be of significant help to officers as they face these kinds of encounters in the future.”
A full press release from the Department of Justice about the new policy and it’s federal approval is in full here:
DOJ AND CITY HAIL FEDERAL JUDGE’S APPROVAL OF THE NEW SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT CRISIS INTERVENTION POLICY
Policy Sets New Procedures and Training for Officers Dealing with Mentally Ill or Drug Affected Individuals
U.S. District Judge James L. Robart today approved a new Crisis Intervention Policy for the Seattle Police Department, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. The policy, developed with local, regional and nationally-recognized experts in the fields of mental health and drug addiction, is designed to improve community safety and provide officers with the guidance and training they need to treat those having a behavioral crisis with dignity and respect, and to resolve crisis incidents by connecting those individuals with community services that can provide long-term stabilizing support. One key component of the policy calls for officers to de-escalate the situation when feasible and reasonable.
The new policy will become the official policy of the Seattle Police Department on March 3, 2014, and initial training to the policy will begin soon thereafter. [Read more…]
Crosscut’s Bryan Johnson sat down with the Mayor in an exclusive interview to discuss how to make sure waterfront projects fit together, what his biggest frustration in office has been and the status of changes to the police department.
The major topic of conversation was the waterfront, including what the Mayor intends to do about a $40 million cost overrun for the rebuilding of Seattle’s Elliott Bay seawall and how a damaged tunnel boring machine might affect progress on the waterfront. Mayor Murray reaffirmed that, despite problems with the tunnel project, work on the waterfront will continue and will do so under the management of a newly created Office of the Waterfront.
“It is a serious problem. It’s one that we tried to raise during the campaign and were told it wasn’t a problem. It turns out that actually the Seattle Department of Transportation had the information that [there] was a 40 billion cost overrun. That came out after the election. It’s now my problem. …
“We are bringing on new project managers, individuals who have had experience managing major mega projects, including tunneling. I think the problem has been, [SDOT] has not had the capacity and the skill level to manage a mega project. So we’re going to bring people in who can help us manage that project and help us keep costs under control.
“I believe in the current budget that we can find the savings to make up the difference for the cost overrun, but that’s just our preliminary look.”
Last night, Mayor Murray sat down in front of a sold-out Civic Cocktail crowd at City Hall with show host and Seattle Times Assistant Political Editor Joni Balter to discuss his vision for Seattle and how he hopes to realize that vision. The discussion touched on several topics, including the process of looking for a new Police Chief and the Mayor’s regional approach to city issues, especially in regards to transit and human services.
The second half was a panel discussion about making downtown a more family-friendly environment. Panelists included Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, Downtown Seattle Families’ Steve Gillespie, Seattle Chamber’s Maud Daudon and Kate Joncas of Downtown Seattle Association.
Watch the full discussion here:
Today, Mayor Murray convened a “public safety summit” to discuss the progress that has been made on the settlement agreement with the Department of Justice related to the Seattle Police Department. In attendance were representatives from the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Justice, Seattle Police Department, and City Council.
Following the summit, the Mayor held a press conference to provide an update on that progress. He was joined at the lectern by Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division Jocelyn Samuels, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, Federal Monitor Merrick Bobb and Seattle Police Chief Harry Bailey.
The summit, the Mayor said, was an opportunity to reach consensus on how to move forward with reforms and provide a time to agree to various policy, training and supervisory issues for 2014.
“We don’t have time to wait for a new Police Chief to begin implementing these reforms,” the Mayor said. “I have a goal of making Seattle a national model for urban policing. This is not just about getting out from under the consent decree.”
Asked whether implementation of these reforms were hampering SPD’s policing efforts and potentially slowing response times, Chief Bailey said he had not seen evidence of that.
Durkan, who recently praised the Mayor for his “steady work and strong leadership” in implementing reforms, followed up on that point:
“At the end of the day, this is about public safety and Constitutional policing,” Durkan said. “There is no conflict between effective policing and Constitutional policing. Police need the community to solve crimes and support them in their work.”
Mayor Murray agreed and added: “This is a police force that I am ultimately responsible for. My police department will institute these reforms.”
Watch the full press conference here:
Full press release after the jump…
Press availability will include U.S. Attorney for Western Washington Jenny Durkan as well as AAG and Acting Head of the Civil Rights Division Jocelyn Samuels.
You can watch the press conference live here at 10 a.m.:
Today, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan released a statement regarding reform of the Seattle Police Department and the ‘strong leadership’ shown by Mayor Murray. The statement reads:
“True and effective reform of the Seattle Police Department will require steady work and strong leadership. Today Mayor Murray continued to show such leadership, making structural changes to ensure compliance and reform efforts are unified and come from the top. We have met with Interim Chief Harry Bailey and believe he is strongly committed to constitutional and effective policing. He and the Mayor have made public safety and reform the top priorities of the Department and have set an important tone. They understand both the challenges police officers face, and that those officers must have public trust to succeed.
Next week, the acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department (Jocelyn Samuels) and I will be meeting with the Mayor, Chief Bailey and other elected officials of the City of Seattle, along with the Monitor, and members of the police department. We will work together to identify and agree on the reform goals for 2014, discuss structural changes in SPD, and work to ensure everyone is moving towards the same goals. The next several months are critical to the reform process, and the commitments by all parts of City government are essential for success.
Done right, the new Chief of Police will have the necessary framework to lead the Seattle Police Department to be the national model for urban policing.”
The Mayor’s office today launched a new website to gather public input on what qualities the Mayor should be looking for in a new Police Chief for the Seattle Police Department. Input from community members and police officers is critical to helping us find a Police Chief that is the best fit for Seattle residents and the Seattle Police Department.
The site asks four questions, three of them open-ended, including:
- What are the top three qualities we should look for in a Police Chief?
- What is important to you or your community in finding a new Police Chief?
- What skills, qualifications, or issues do you want to make sure the search committee considers?
- What would you like the new Police Chief to focus on?
Public input will be collected from the site — spdchiefsearch.com — and from our dedicated email address — firstname.lastname@example.org — through February 6, 2014. The Mayor’s Police Chief Search Committee and Community Advisory Committee will then consider the public’s input and make final recommendations to the Mayor.
In addition to our digital outreach process, we’re also reaching out through community workshops we are holding in multiple Seattle neighborhoods starting January 28 – February 6, 2014. We hope you can join us to learn more about our process and to give us your input!