Despite what you may have read or heard in the media, I am very much still the Police Accountability Director for Seattle. At the request of the Mayor, I remain the OPA Director for the foreseeable future- there is just too much work to do! Recent tragic events across the country have reinvigorated my passion and commitment to provide accessible, trusted, transparent and most importantly independent oversight of the Seattle Police Department. To accomplish this, OPA needs the support and involvement of the community. While addressing the inherent challenges the police face when society places on them the burden of being our front line against systemic issues such as poverty, homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, racism and mental illness, we recognize there are many in our communities who continue to feel marginalized by the police. As your Police Accountability director, I strive each day to open the doors of OPA to allow for issues to be raised and addressed through, investigations, supervisor mentoring, or mediation.
Now is the time for more accountability, not less - allowing all options of redress to build trust between the community and their policing service. Through trusted and transparent accountably we can build a safer Seattle.
The Office of Professional Accountability is an independent office within the Seattle Police Department (SPD) which investigates complaints of police misconduct made by members of the community and complaints made internally by members of the Seattle Police Department.
The mission of the OPA is to provide for civilian oversight of the complaint process; to promote public awareness of and full access to that process; and to advance accountability within the Seattle Police Department.
HOW IT WORKS
All public contacts are documented by OPA and evaluated to determine how best to respond. Every allegation of misconduct by an SPD employee goes through an extensive review process and is independently investigated.
Learn more about the complaint process
CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT IN SEATTLE
The structure of the OPA was designed to ensure objective, thorough and transparent investigations. All OPA investigations are reviewed by an independent Auditor. The Office of Professional Accountability Review Board furthers the mission of the OPA and assures public trust in the process.
The Auditor is appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The role of the Auditor is to ensure the thoroughness, fairness and timeliness of the OPA investigations. The Auditor reviews all the OPA complaints and investigations, reviews and assesses Police Department policies and practices, and makes recommendations accordingly.
The Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) consists of 7 members appointed by the City Council. The OPARB's mission is to provide community oversight and awareness of Seattle Police Department practices and its employee accountability system. The OPARB works with the OPA to implement its mission.