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Council News Release

4/17/2007  1:09:00 PM
CONTACTS: Lisa Herbold, Licata Office (206) 684-5331

Council President Nick Licata

An additional sergeant will be moved into the Office of Professional Accountability

An additional sergeant will be moved into the Office of Professional Accountability

Seattle Council President Nick Licata announced today that after a meeting with Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske on Friday, April 13, an agreement has been reached to add an additional sergeant to the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) investigations unit.

The Council, last November, as part of the 2007-2008 budget deliberations, added funding to hire a new Sergeant-Detective. The Council added this funding in order to improve the timeliness of OPA investigations. The OPA Auditor named these delays in investigations as perhaps the single weakest aspect in the oversight structure and former OPA Director Sam Pailca has also in her reports identified the length of investigations as a serious problem whose correction was a prerequisite for success.

Last week there was some question of whether the Chief intended to fulfill the Council intent in this matter. After meeting with the Chief, Councilmember Nick Licata, Chair of the Public Safety, Governmental Relations, and Arts Committee, said, Im happy that we were able to reach this agreement that underscores the fact that for complainant and officer alikegetting the case settled as soon as possible is a very big deal.

Although Chief Kerlikowske has agreed to add an OPA sergeant now, the decision whether to retain the new position will be left up to a newly appointed OPA Director after a six-month review. Her confirmation is pending with the City Council.


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