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Council News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
4/29/2008  2:22:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Nigel Herbig, Burgess Office, (206) 684-8806

Councilmember Tim Burgess

COUNCIL TO EXPAND ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD IF POLICE CONTRACT APPROVED

SEATTLE The tentative agreement between the City and the Seattle Police Officers Guild, if approved, will result in an expansion of the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) to as many as seven members, Councilmember Tim Burgess announced today.

Councilmember Burgess chairs the Councils Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee which has primary responsibility for police oversight. Members of the Guild are voting on the proposed contract now and, if ratified, the contract will be presented to Council for consideration in early June.

The OPA Review Board independently evaluates the quality of the police departments misconduct complaint handling and investigation process and advises the City on policies and procedures to improve the process. Under the proposed new labor agreement with the police union, the Review Board will have expanded responsibility for community outreach and researching national best practices on police accountability and civilian oversight of law enforcement.

For many years we have been bogged down in squabbles over police accountability. The new labor agreement with the Guild resolves these issues in favor of strong accountability and transparency, said Councilmember Burgess.

The Council is accepting applications for the expanded Review Board through Friday, May 23, 2008 at 5 p.m. We are looking for leaders with strong backgrounds in community service, unquestionable integrity, and a desire to serve our city. Councilmember Burgess said. We want individuals who understand and value Seattles diversity and who appreciate the complexities of law enforcement in an urban setting. The time commitment for Review Board members varies but the board usually meets at least four hours a month, and will organize and conduct community outreach at various times throughout the year. Board members receive a $400 monthly stipend.

Applications for appointment to the Board should include a resume and cover letter which explains how the applicant meets the required qualifications and why they want to serve on the board. Applicants should include three references and their contact information. Applications are due by Friday, May 23, 2008, at 5:00 p.m. Applications may be mailed to Councilmember Tim Burgess, Chair, Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee, Seattle City Council, P. O. Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025; e-mailed to tim.burgess@seattle.gov; or faxed to 206-684-8587. If faxing, please note on a cover sheet that the materials are to be delivered to Councilmember Burgess.

For additional information, review the accompanying OPA Review Board Appointment Fact Sheet, or call Councilmember Tim Burgess office at 206-684-8806.

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