Mayor McGinn to reappoint police oversight auditor
SEATTLE - Mayor Mike McGinn is reappointing retired Judge Anne Levinson to a second term as the Civilian Auditor for the Office of Professional Accountability, to help oversee investigations of allegations of police misconduct. The OPA Auditor is an outside consultant with legal expertise who provides oversight to help ensure that all complaints of possible misconduct are appropriately addressed and all investigations that are conducted are objective and thorough. The OPA Auditor also makes recommendations to the Mayor, Council, City Attorney and the Police Department for systemic reforms and suggests ways to improve performance through changes to policies, procedures and training.
First appointed in July 2010, Levinson has issued several reports highlighting, among other things, needed changes in supervision, training, stops, de-escalation of minor incidents, interacting with those with mental illness and with juveniles, use of force, and in-car video, as well as improvements to the internal investigations system.
"Judge Levinson's oversight and recommendations have highlighted the significance of a strong police accountability system," said Mayor McGinn. "Her work has been particularly helpful as we have implemented a range of important reforms that will address some long-standing community concerns. I am very appreciative of her willingness to continue to serve in this important position."
"As the Mayor said when he first asked me to serve in this role, he knows I will raise whatever issues need to be addressed that will help rebuild trust and mutual respect between the community and the Police Department as well as improve the ability of officers to successfully address whatever challenges they may face day-to-day," Levinson said. "The complexity and long-standing nature of some of these issues mean that they won't be solved overnight, but a lot of good work is well underway."
"Judge Levinson has been a superb OPA Auditor with excellent recommendations for the betterment of OPA investigations and procedures. Working alongside Pierce Murphy, she will help improve the relations between Seattle's diverse communities and OPA," said court-appointed police monitor Merrick Bobb.
The OPA Auditor is appointed by the Mayor and subject to confirmation by the City Council. There have only been three previous Auditors since the position was created. They were former US Attorney Katrina Pflaumer, former Judge Terrance Carroll and Judge Michael Spearman.
The OPA Auditor serves a three-year term and may be reappointed to two additional terms by the Mayor, subject to City Council confirmation.
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