Mayor Ed Murray nominated Colleen Echohawk and Emma Catague to serve on the Community Police Commission (CPC), the City’s panel of community members and stakeholders monitoring reform and accountability of the Seattle Police Department.
“The Community Police Commission has and will continue to play a vital role in the oversight of the Seattle Police Department,” said Mayor Murray. “We now have landmark police accountability legislation that establishes unprecedented, independent civilian oversight and a permanent community seat at the table. We must ensure constitutional policing is a reality for all residents. Colleen and Emma are proven community leaders that will carry on this mission and help continue to improve the relationship between communities of color and the police.”
Colleen Echohawk is the executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, an enrolled member of the Kithehaki Band of the Pawnee Nation and a member of the Upper Ahtna Athabascan people of Mentasta Lake. She serves on the boards of several local organizations, including KUOW, All Home, Metropolitan Improvement District and the Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre. Echohawk’s career has focused on meeting the needs of homeless and low-income urban Native people living in Seattle.
“I am honored to serve on the Community Police Commission,” said Echohawk. “I deeply believe in the goodness of our City and hope to assist in moving the conversation and policies forward in a good way; remembering our commitment to lead with a race and equity lens. I have had the privilege of working with the Seattle Police Department to solve safety issues in Pioneer Square and am excited to continue this partnership as a member of the Community Police Commission.”
Emma Catague co-founded the Asian Pacific Islander Women and Family Safety Center (now known as API Chaya) and is the former executive director of the International District Housing Alliance (now part of InterImCDA). Catague currently works for the Filipino Community of Seattle. During her career, she has worked closely with the Seattle Police Department to diversify hiring of personnel to better reflect the Asian Pacific Islander communities in Seattle. Catague is long-time advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
“I am excited to be a part of the Community Police Commission,” said Catague. “I look forward to representing the diverse voices of American Pacific Islanders and play a role in helping the Seattle Police Department understand the needs of the community.”
Beginning in March of 2013, the CPC has been providing community input into the effort to reform the Seattle Police Department under the Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. The CPC continues to make recommendations to improve the department’s accountability system to better support constitutional policing and promote public confidence. In May of this year, City Council passed Mayor Murray’s police accountability legislation, which is now pending before the U.S. District Court overseeing the Consent Decree. The legislation includes a provision making the CPC a permanent body.