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Council News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
6/25/2008  2:50:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Newell Aldrich, Licata Office at (206) 684-8803

Councilmember Nick Licata

COUNCIL COMMITTEE RATIFIES SEATTLE POLICE OFFICERS’ GUILD (SPOG) CONTRACT
This is a win-win for Seattle police officers and the people of Seattle

SEATTLE – Councilmember Nick Licata today said “I am pleased that the actions of my Council committee to ratify the proposed SPOG contract means after long negotiations, we have enhanced police accountability and now pay our police officers better than any other in the State of Washington.”

This contract substantially increases officer compensation, similar to recent increases in comparable West Coast cities. The City will be better able to compete for qualified recruits in a tough national recruiting market. With additional hires, the Department has a better likelihood to meet the hiring goals the City Council established in 2007 with the Neighborhood Policing Plan.

An accompanying Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) addresses two laws that Licata led the Council to pass in 2007. The first concerns the City’s appeal of the PERC examiner’s decision on Ordinance 122126, which gave the citizens’ Review Board access to unredacted OPA files. With the MOA if the City prevails, the ordinance will have full effect from the date it was adopted. A second MOA provision states that the City will amend the Municipal Code to be consistent with the new contract language protecting officer privacy when the Chief gives written explanations of his disagreements with the OPA Director’s recommendations as provided in Ordinance 122513. Licata said, “These accompanying agreements preserve the City Council legislative intent for a more transparent and accountable system of police oversight.”

The contract also allows for the implementation of the recommendations of the Police Accountability Review Panel, including an enhanced role for the OPA Auditor.

Finally, the contract provides for new shifts that will allow a better fit of patrol deployment to workload, which in turn should result in faster 911 responses during peak demand times and more time devoted to proactive policing.

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