About Us

The Office of Police Accountability helps ensure the actions of SPD employees are constitutional and in compliance with federal, state, and local laws by investigating and making recommended findings regarding allegations of misconduct. OPA is a hybrid oversight-agency comprised of both sworn and civilian personnel. The OPA Director and Deputy Director are civilians responsible for carrying out the purpose and mission of OPA including classification of complaints for investigation and making recommended findings to the Chief of Police for all sustained cases. Currently sworn SPD Sergeants conduct the investigations initiated by OPA. Under recent legislation passed by the Seattle City Council and signed into law by the Mayor, OPA will eventually have a combination of both sworn and civilian investigators. In addition, under the new legislation, OPA will have civilian Complaint Navigators, who will be working directly in the community to forward the mission of OPA.

CIVILIAN OPA STAFF


Andrew Myerberg, OPA Director

Andrew Myerberg, a civilian lawyer, was sworn in by Mayor Tim Burgess November 21, 2017, to serve as the first OPA Director under the new police accountability legislation adopted in May of 2017. Andrew leads the work of OPA by overseeing the intake, classification, and investigation of complaints, certifying investigative findings, suggesting revisions and clarifications to Seattle Police Department policies, and making recommendations on discipline to the Chief of Police.

Andrew comes to OPA from the Seattle City Attorney's Office, where he was the lead attorney for the City of Seattle in the Consent Decree over the Seattle Police Department and provided legal advice to City departments on criminal justice and law enforcement issues. Andrew also previously served as legal counsel to the Community Police Commission.

Education
• American University, Washington College of Law - Juris Doctorate
• Hamilton College - Bachelor of Arts


Tonia S. Winchester, Deputy Director

Tonia Winchester has been working within the criminal justice field for more than a decade to bring about reforms to build trust between law enforcement and the community. After years serving as a prosecutor for the cities of Seattle and Wenatchee, where she handled large volumes of misdemeanor cases, Tonia was the Outreach Director for the New Approach Washington campaign that successfully legalized marijuana in Washington State. Her high pressure role included forging alliances and winning endorsements from many groups traditionally seen as hostile to marijuana reform, such as the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Children's Alliance, and El Centro de la Raza. Tonia was also called upon to speak across the state advocating for the sensible use of law enforcement resources to focus on violent crime.

Tonia's Persian heritage combined with her professional experiences are the foundation for her passion to ensure constitutional and bias-free policing. Working alongside community members, local leaders, SPD employees, and OPA staff, Tonia has diligently sought to ensure OPA brings accessible, trusted and transparent oversight to the Seattle Police Department. By working to establish classification standards and ensuring transparency into all processes within OPA, she hopes to achieve long-lasting and tangible positive transformation within the Seattle Police Department.

Tonia received her B.A. from the University of Washington and her law degree from Seattle University School of Law. Born and raised in Alaska, to a Persian mother, Tonia has made the Greenlake area her home with her Great Pyrenees dog Sephideh.

Education
• Seattle University School of Law - Juris Doctorate
• University of Washington - Bachelor of Arts


Miriam VonAschen-Cook, Management Systems Analyst

A recent transplant to the Seattle area from the Midwest, Miriam has 20 years of experience as an information technology and data systems professional. She has a Bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University where she studied Political Science and American Studies. Miriam and her wife have 2 sons, one in college and the other in high school. When not commuting and working Miriam enjoys exploring the natural beauty of her new home in the Pacific Northwest. Miriam is passionate about serving the community and she believes that creating an avenue of trust between the community and police is a vital duty of OPA.



Kajhyla Washington, Admin Specialist III

Kajhyla came to OPA from the City Attorney's Office, having worked with both the Civil and Criminal Division. Her duties at OPA include providing direct support to the OPA Director and Deputy Director in scheduling, processing requests, and general office management and support to the unit. Growing up in a community that lacked strong ties with the police, Kajhyla welcomed the opportunity to work within an organization looking to help bridge the gap between minority communities and law enforcement. In addition to her work within OPA, Kajhyla holds an Associates of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies and is currently completing her Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Social Science full-time at Central Washington University. Kajhyla plans to attend law school and hopes to pursue a career in Public Policy and Legislation.



Trina Smith, Admin Specialist I

Trina started her career with the Seattle Police Department in the Training Section and soon transitioned to the Office of Police Accountability, both have been valuable learning experiences. Working as a transcriptionist for OPA has given her a meaningful insight to the various departments within the Police Department and a profound knowledge of the SPD policies and procedures. Trina has also had over 10 years of Executive Administrative experience prior to working for the City. Outside of work Trina loves to spend time with her husband, boating and organizing events.

Beverly Kikuta, Admin Specialist II

Beverly provides administrative support in processing the complaints received by OPA. She joined this office in 2016, having previously worked in similar administrative capacities at Seattle Central College and the University of Washington. Beverly came to this position with an interest in the dynamics of law enforcement in the community, and appreciates this unique opportunity that provides both civilian and sworn perspectives on these dynamics.

SWORN OPA STAFF

The OPA is a hybrid accountability office that includes sworn staff. OPA currently has a Captain and two Lieutenants, who supervise eight Sergeants. OPA has also created an Acting Sergeant position that rotates through OPA for a 6-month assignment to gain supervisor insight and experience. The sworn personnel come to OPA from a diverse set of backgrounds and with a broad depth of experience. They currently represent more than 215 years of combined law enforcement experience and have served with the Seattle Police Department for an average of 18 years. The Sergeants who investigate OPA complaints have knowledge of SPD training, tactics, use-of-force, and other areas. They have served within various departments including Patrol, Homicide, Force Review Board, Domestic Violence, Force Review Unit, Information Technology, Narcotics, and Education and Training.