Today, Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) announced the selection process and search committee for the director of the Office of Police Accountability and the civilian Inspector General, the first under newly-passed police accountability legislation. The search committee and its two subcommittees have been formed with representatives from the Office of the Mayor, City Council, the Community Police Commission (CPC) and the Seattle Police Department (SPD), with multiple members serving on both committees. The City has posted a website (www.seattle.gov/civilian-oversight) to receive public comment during the search period. Police accountability legislation, proposed by Mayor Murray in February and passed by Council in May, created the most civilian oversight of the department in city history.
“Building trust with the community requires independent oversight of the police department and we are seeking leaders who will help us continue our path toward becoming a model of 21st century policing,” said Mayor Murray. “Each step we take to implement these historic reforms gets us closer to that goal and helps fulfill our promise to make lasting, institutional change. Seattle has led the nation in building the model for constitutional policing, but we know we have work to do and bringing in leaders for these independent and civilian-led offices will be a major step.”
“My vision for Seattle’s police accountability system – and for reforming SPD – has had at its center restoring trust between the police and communities most impacted by policing,” said Councilmember González. “Establishing a new Office of Inspector General will require a trusted leader who understands the operational complexities of a major city police department and the need to ensure that Seattle’s system of police accountability is constantly reforming even after the federal police monitor is long gone.”
“Now that Seattle has passed landmark police accountability reforms, it’s time to continue the work to make sure the reforms are successful. Success or failure will rest in large part on the shoulders of the people chosen to lead the OPA and new OIG,” said Isaac Ruiz of the CPC. “It is essential that Seattle pick leaders who understand how police practices can negatively affect communities of color and who will be respectful and responsive to community concerns.”
Throughout the search process, the public is encouraged to comment on their desired qualifications for candidates for each job, through the website, by contacting Mayor Murray, Councilmember González or the CPC, or by attending a public meeting co-hosted by the three offices on August 2. Additional details for the joint hearing will be released in the coming weeks.
The search committee is comprised of 10 members, with two subcommittees having seven each. The OPA subcommittee is co-chaired by the Office of the Mayor and the CPC, and the Inspector General subcommittee is co-chaired by Councilmember González and a member of the CPC. The search committee will meet once as a whole to review requirements of the legislation, receive a briefing on human resources and legal issues, and develop recruitment strategies. The coordinated effort reflects the accountability system created by the legislation, while maintaining the integrity of each appointing authority’s independence to appoint OPA director and the Inspector General.
Committee members are:
|OPA Subcommittee (OPA Interview Team)||IG Subcommittee (IG Interview Team)|
|CPC: Isaac Ruiz||CPC: Isaac Ruiz|
|CPC : Lisa Daugaard||CPC: Enrique González|
|Mayor: Bernard Melekian||Mayor: Bernard Melekian|
|Mayor: Beth Takekawa||Council: CM Gonzalez|
|Mayor: Monisha Harrell||Council: CM Burgess|
|Council: CM Lorena González||Council: CP Harrell|
|SPD : Assistant Chief Lesley Cordner||SPD: Assistant Chief Lesley Cordner|
More information, including the public comment page, can be found at the website. The search will begin immediately and last several months.