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…
Rosalind Brazel, Mayor’s Office Press Secretary, 206.684.8379
Jeff Reading, Mayor’s Office Communications Director, 206.684.3952
SEATTLE (Jan. 4, 2014) – Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today convened an all-party summit to discuss progress on the settlement agreement with the Department of Justice related to the Seattle Police Department. Participants included 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. A consensus was reached on various policy, training and supervisory issues for 2014.
“We want to solidify our good working relationship with the Department of Justice and re-affirm our commitment to compliance, reform and cultural change within the Seattle Police Department,” said Murray. “Our continuous goal is to be a national model for urban policing.”
“Mayor Murray continues to set a strong tone and show his commitment to the settlement,” said Durkan. “We are moving into a crucial phase of the agreement and will work together to set goals for the next few months to see the progress we need.”
The Seattle Police Department is currently working to comply with a federal court order issued in 2012 by the Department of Justice. The court order was issued to regulate the use of excessive force and biased policing.
Bobb will be filing his second year monitoring work plan in early March.