What We Do

Core Functions

OPA's authority and responsibilities include:

  • Establishing and managing processes to initiate, receive, classify, and investigate individual allegations of SPD employee misconduct
  • Promoting public awareness of, full access to, and trust in the complaint investigation process
  • Identifying SPD system improvement needs and recommending effective solutions
  • Helping reduce misconduct and enhancing employee conduct

Independence

OPA is physically and operationally outside of SPD but within it administratively. This ensures complete and immediate access to all SPD-controlled data, evidence, and personnel necessary for thorough and timely complaint handling.

Vision, Mission, and Values

Vision

To safeguard a culture of accountability within the Seattle Police Department

Mission

To ensure the actions of Seattle Police Department employees comply with law and policy by conducting thorough, objective, and timely investigations, recommending improvements to policies and training, and engaging in collaborative initiatives that promote systemic advancements

Values

Independent

  • Make decisions based on the consistent application of facts, policies, and laws
  • Maintain neutrality and exercises impartial judgment
  • Ensure all viewpoints are heard and respected

Transparent

  • Maintain honest and open communication with all stakeholders
  • Communicate process, reasoning, and conclusions
  • Remain accountable to vision, mission, and values, both internally and externally

Collaborative

  • Build meaningful and cooperative working relationships
  • Solicit and values the community's perspective and expertise
  • Work with system partners on initiatives to advance accountability and improve Department policies and training

Innovative

  • Set the national standard for police oversight agencies
  • Explore ways to improve processes and services
  • Data-driven and research focused