Councilmember Bruce A. Harrell
Seattle City Council passes ordinance to create Community Police Commission
Seattle – Through Council's independent authority to establish the Department of Justice (DOJ) agreement's Community Police Commission (CPC) by ordinance, the Seattle City Council voted today (9-0) to formally create the Commission (Council Bill 117608).
The Community Police Commission is established to leverage the ideas, talent, experience, and expertise of the community. The Commission's primary focus will be to review and make recommendations on policies related to use of force and biased policing.
The Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology committee worked directly with community members to write an ordinance that would create an empowered commission community members have long wanted. This inclusive legislation is critical in demonstrating the City's commitment to providing effective and constitutional policing for all of Seattle's residents.
The legislation, in conjunction with Executive Order 02-2012, will implement the provision for creating a Community Police Commission as part of the settlement agreement and memorandum of understanding between the United States Department of Justice and the City of Seattle approved in Federal Court on August 30, 2012.
"This is a time when building trust between the Police Department, the Office of Professional Accountability and the public is a priority and we must demonstrate this by our action; not simply our talk," said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Public Safety Committee Chair. "This ordinance demonstrates that the Council takes seriously its obligations to listen to the public faithfully and effectuate positive police reform."
"The establishment of the Community Police Commission is an important first step in reforming the practices and perception of our police department. I believe the CPC is an opportunity to gain the full faith and trust of the people of Seattle for the reforms we need to bring about and I look forward to supporting the work of the CPC in any way I can," said Councilmember Mike O'Brien.
"The Community Police Commission will provide our citizens with a seat at the table in reforming our police department. I expect it will represent our city's ethnic diversity, and involve those who have direct interactions with our police, as well as professionals practicing in the justice system," said Councilmember Nick Licata.
The Community Police Commission will consist of 15 members. All 15 members will be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. There will be one member from the Seattle Police Officers Guild and one member from the Seattle Police Management Association. The remaining 13 members will be selected from applicants who reside or work in Seattle and will include residents from each of the five geographic police precincts. It is the City's goal to select 13 members representative of Seattle's diverse population by selecting equally qualified members from all communities including minority, ethnic, and faith communities, student and youth organizations, and any other community organizations reflecting the overall population demographic of Seattle residents.
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