CREATING CHANGE THAT WILL ENDURE
The City of Seattle established the Community Police Commission (CPC) to provide community input on proposed Seattle Police Department (SPD) reforms. The CPC was mandated under a memorandum of understanding between the City and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) which details work to be done over three years to ensure bias-free policing and address the past use of excessive force.
The CPC plays a key role in the reform efforts. The CPC’s charge is to represent a broad range of community perspectives and to reach out and engage communities directly, to get critical feedback, and to then recommend changes to SPD policies and practices. It gives community members a voice and stake in the reform process.
The CPC is depending on community involvement over the long haul—community perspective is needed in the short-term on suggested changes, but we also need to know if changes SPD makes really work. CPC will foster that dialogue over time which CPC believes will also build trust and strengthen community-police relations.
CPC recommendations are intended to:
- Ensure police services comply with the Constitution, and the laws of Washington and the United States
- Increase the effectiveness of the police accountability system
- Promote public confidence in SPD
The CPC works closely with other agencies to promote reform, develop policy recommendations and ensure accountability. Key partners include SPD and other agencies and departments of the City of Seattle, the Court-appointed Monitor who oversees the settlement agreement, and the DOJ. The CPC works independently of its partners and will incorporate community perspectives in its final policy recommendations.