Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Council Committee to vote on Police Oversight Auditor
Seattle - Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council's Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, will call for a vote at Committee tomorrow to reappoint retired Judge Anne Levinson as the Civilian Auditor for the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA).
The Auditor is a civilian who serves as an independent advisor to the City. The Auditor has the opportunity to review every case to see if it is properly classified, reviewing each investigation to make sure it is thorough, objective and timely. The Auditor has access to all documents and records that are relevant to any investigation. The Auditor has the capacity to improve police accountability and professional conduct by making recommendations to advance procedural changes on how complaints are handled and processed.
By ordinance, the Auditor is required to issue a public report twice per year, summarizing her activities; the number of complaints and investigations reviewed; her requests for reclassifications of complaints or additional investigations to be conducted; recommendations for additional officer training and policy or procedural changes; and, findings from audits of OPA records or OPA Director's reports.
If voted on in committee, the Full Council will vote on the reappointment of Judge Anne Levinson on Monday, September 30.
The Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee collaborated with the following organizations during the confirmation process: Community Police Commission, Seattle Human Rights Commission, United Black Christian Clergy of Washington, Washington State Commission on African American Affairs, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Columbia Legal Services, Public Defender Association, American Civil Liberties Union, Chief Seattle Club, Seattle King County NAACP, El Centro de la Raza, Minority Executive Directors Coalition of King County, Washington Human Rights Commission, Office of Professional Accountability Review Board, and Sea-Mar Community Health Centers.