About Us

The 2010 shooting death by Seattle police of First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams, and a series of other serious incidents involving police and people of color, ignited public concern about bias and the use of excessive force in the Seattle Police Department (SPD). 

After a federal investigation, the City of Seattle signed a settlement agreement and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to reform SPD practices. Those two documents are referred to as the Consent Decree. The Consent Decree is overseen by a federal judge and appointed police monitor who are charged with ensuring SPD's unconstitutional policing practices are corrected.

The Community Police Commission (CPC) was mandated under the Consent Decree to provide community input on needed reforms. The City of Seattle established the CPC by ordinance and it began work in 2013. Under landmark Accountability Legislation adopted in 2017, the CPC was made permanent, its scope of responsibilities and authority broadened, and the number of Commissioners increased. While it continues to be responsible for its obligations related to the Consent Decree, it now is mandated to also provide ongoing, community-based oversight of SPD and the police accountability system.

There are three parts to the accountability system and they all work together in different ways to promote effective, constitutional policing. The partners include  (OPA) Office of Police Accountability, (OIG)  Office of the Inspector General and the (CPC) Community Police Commission. Together, these partners are mandated to offer critical analysis and advice to the City Council, Mayor, City Attorney, and each other, while also making policy recommendations and engaging in collaborative conversations with the Seattle Police Department.

Vision
We envision our communities and Seattle's police aligned in shared goals of safety, respect, and accountability.

Mission
The Community Police Commission listens to, amplifies, and builds common ground among communities affected by policing in Seattle. We champion policing practices centered in justice and equity.

The CPC has 15 Commissioners, with the Mayor, the City Council, and the CPC each appointing five. Commissioners represent the diversity of Seattle and include individuals from communities of color, ethnic and faith communities, immigrant communities, the urban Indian community, the LGBTQ community, and the business community. Commissioners also include youth representatives, civil rights advocates, and individuals familiar with the challenges faced by homeless people and those with mental illness or substance abuse issues.

Two positions are designated for public defense and civil liberties lawyers, one position is designated for a member of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, and one position is designated for a member of the Seattle Police Management Association. Commissioners live or work in Seattle. 

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Lars W. Erickson

Commissioner
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2025

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Lars Erickson is the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He has more than 25 years of experience in public and government relations, communications, and politics – serving over nine years as Senior Director of External Relations for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). In this role, Lars oversaw external and internal communications, government relations, community outreach efforts, strategic planning for special projects, and liaising with the Governor’s Office and partner agencies.

During his time at WSDOT, the agency received national recognition for its emergency/crisis communications efforts, social media engagement, and comprehensive user-focused website redesign. Lars’ experience also includes serving as Public Relations Officer at Pierce Transit, as Press Secretary for Gov. Chris Gregoire, and on multiple campaigns including Kerry/Edwards in 2004. Lars is a proud member of the Washington State LGBTQ Commission, appointed by the Governor, and also serves as a volunteer advance and press lead for the Biden Administration. 

 Commissioner.Lars.Erickson@seattle.gov

Rev. Patricia Hunter

Rev. Patricia Hunter, Co-Chair

Commissioner
Seattle First Baptist Church, Mount Zion Baptist Church
Appointed by: Seattle City Council
Term: January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2023

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Reverend Patricia Hunter serves as Interim Pastor at Mount Zion Baptist Church.

Previously, she served as Minister for Outreach and Education at Seattle First Baptist Church,
and Minister of Worship at Mount Zion Baptist Church. Both congregations are advocates for social
justice, marginalized communities, and police accountability. She has advocated for justice in sacred
and secular institutions for decades, including the financial planning industry. As an African American
clergy lesbian, she has experienced oppressions based on race, gender, class, sexual orientation and sexual identity. She is also a Certified Financial Planner, and served as Financial Wellness Program Director and Planning Manager for the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board before retirement in June 2020. She has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Saint Paul School of Theology and a Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. She previously served on the Seattle Women’s Commission.

Commissioner.Patricia.Hunter@seattle.gov

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Adrien Leavitt

Commissioner
Attorney
Appointed by: Community Police Commission
Term: January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2025

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Adrien Leavitt is an attorney at the King County Department of Public Defense. He graduated magna cum laude from Seattle University School of Law. Through his experience representing over a thousand individuals charged with all levels of crime—including adults and juveniles—he has gained a nuanced insight into the role of policing in marginalized communities. He was the first attorney to represent a family under King County’s updated inquest process. Outside of this work, he has devoted his time and expertise to issues impacting the transgender community, providing free legal services through a long-standing community legal clinic for trans and gender non-conforming people.

commissioner.adrien.leavitt@seattle.gov

Suzette Dickerson

Commissioner
Staff Representative at WSCCCE AFSCME Council 2
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2023

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Suzette is an experienced Staff Representative at WSCCCE AFSCME Council 2 with a demonstrated history of working in government relations. She is skilled in team building,management, leadership and labor relations.  She is also a strong business development professional with a Project Management Certificate focused in Project Management from Bellevue College.  Prior to her current role,  Suzette worked as a Business Representative for Teamsters Local 11.  

Suzette has a strong passion for helping others and is driven by equity and social justice-- two components that are a driving force for her work, day in and day out.

commissioner.suzette.dickerson@seattle.gov

Lynne Wilson

Lynne Wilson

Commissioner
Attorney
Appointed by: Community Police Commission
Term: March 22, 2023 - December 31, 2023

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Lynne Wilson is a civil rights attorney who has practiced in Seattle for more than thirty years.  She focuses on police misconduct, prisoner civil rights, and personal injury law in state and federal courts.  She graduated cum laude from Seattle University Law School after previously working as a journalist.  Lynne has published articles about police accountability in the Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Report [PMCRLR] a peer-reviewed legal publication.  These illuminate the legal aspects of policing such as body cameras, Tasers, pepper spray, police collective bargaining agreements, deadly force and de-escalation policies, racial profiling, disciplinary records, private prisons and less-lethal weapons.  Since 2004, she has served as a neutral arbitrator for King County and Snohomish County Superior Courts.

Ms. Wilson served on the board of Mothers for Police Accountability for 27 years.  She actively participated in Mothers’ community organizing as well as providing legal and policy expertise.  She served on the ACLU Legal Committee for ten years in the 1990s and was an active board member of the National Coalition on Police Accountability during that time.  In 1999, she was a founding member of the National Lawyers Guild's Police Accountability Project.  In 2013, she helped launch the Northwest Police Misconduct Attorneys group and currently serves as a co-facilitator.  The Seattle City Council appointed her to two community police task forces (1993 and 2007).  She also provided expert testimony on police collective bargaining and community conflict at Amnesty International’s hearings on the 1999 WTO Seattle protests.  She recently spoke to the Washington Association of Justice on the qualified immunity defense in federal civil rights cases and to the Washington State Bar Association regarding the use of the United Nation’s Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to hold local police and jail officials accountable. 

Commissioner.Lynne.Wilson@seattle.gov

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Raven Nicole Tyler

Commissioner
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2024

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Raven is an Army veteran, having served 7 years in the United States Army as a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear officer and an all-source intelligence analyst. Prior to her time in the Army, Raven was contracted as an intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency providing experience in mapping and predictive analysis. She currently works as an associate at NWP Consulting in Seattle, Washington.

 

As an active member in her College’s Social Justice Leadership Institute, she worked closely with social impact organizations in multiple states through volunteerism. During her undergraduate studies she was an intern and Unite Here Labor union, where she worked with union organizers to unionize the Baltimore-Washington Airport workers.

 

Raven studied Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Marketing, at Marietta College. She later attended Bowie State University earning a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in public policy and management. Raven currently works at NWP Consulting where she works as a political consultant with a focus on campaigns, communications, and causes.


Commissioner.RavenTyler@seattle.gov

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Vacant

Commissioner
Appointed by: Seattle City Council
Term: January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2024
Harriett Walden

Rev. Harriett Walden, Co-Chair

Commissioner
Reverend
Appointed by: Mayor

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Rev. Harriett Walden has been a vocal advocate for better police-community relations in Seattle since she co-founded Mothers for Police Accountability in 1990. She has been appointed to and served on numerous task forces and commissions that involve efforts to improve and heal community-police relations and to achieve greater transparency and accountability in the criminal justice system.

Joel Merkel

Joel Merkel, Co-Chair

Commissioner
Assistant Attorney General, Washington Attorney General's Office
Appointed by: Seattle City Council
Term: January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2024

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Joel Merkel, Co-Chair, is an Assistant Attorney General in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Washington Attorney General’s Office. Previously, Joel served for nearly a decade as a Deputy Prosecutor at the King County Prosecutor’s Office. Joel tried dozens of domestic violence and sexual assault cases while working closely with victims thrust into the criminal legal system, many of whom are from diverse and marginalized communities. Joel served on an office-wide Equity Action Work group to develop internal recommendations on criminal justice reform and racial equity. Joel also spent nearly six years as Legislative Counsel for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell in Washington D.C. and Seattle, carrying out oversight over multiple federal agencies, including complex investigations and legislative responses following the 2008 financial market crisis. Joel was appointed to the Commission by the City Council in 2022 to a term ending December 31, 2024. 

Commissioner.Joel.Merkel@seattle.gov

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Philip J. Sanchez

Commissioner
Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
Appointed by: Community Police Commission
Term: January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2025
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Le'Jayah Washington

Commissioner
King County Equity Now
Appointed by: Seattle City Council
Term: January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2024

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Le'Jaya Washington serves as Operations Specialist for King County Equity Now, where her duties include tracking policy projects and participating in panels and community events. Her professional experience includes working at Seattle C.A.R.E.S Mentoring, Cultivating the Genius of Black Children and the Black Community Impact Alliance. Previously, she served as assistant to the Deputy Coroner in the City of Pasco and interned in the Office of King County Councilmember, Larry Gossett. Her volunteer experience includes the Urban League, Central Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Tyree Scott Freedom School.

commissioner.lejayah.washington@seattle.gov

Mark Mullens

Commissioner
SPOG representative
Appointed by: Community Police Commission
Term: January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2025

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Officer Mark Mullens was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio.  Before becoming a police officer,  Mullens worked for Intel Corporation, Microsoft and Airborne Express. He became a Seattle Police officer in 1990 and has worked in all precincts -- making the South Precinct his home for 29 years as a patrol officer.  

Officer Mullens has worked on the Anti-Crime Team and served as a Community Police Officer, working closely with El Centro de La raza and the residents of the housing program. He is also one of the original mountain bike patrol officers. 

In 2017, Officer Mullens was voted Officer of the Year for the South Precinct.

Currently, Officer Mullens serves as Shop Steward for The Seattle Police Officer's Guild (SPOG).

commissioner.mark.mullens@seattle.gov

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Anthony Gaedcke

Commissioner
SPMA representative
Appointed by: Community Police Commission
Term: January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2025

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Captain Anthony Gaedcke has been in law enforcement since 1994. During his time with the Seattle Police Department, he has held assignments in the Patrol Operations Bureau, the Professional Standards Bureau, and the Criminal Investigations Bureau. He is member of the Seattle Police Management Association (SPMA).  

commissioner.anthony.gaedcke2@seattle.gov

Jeremy Wood

Commissioner
Environmental and Indian Law Attorney at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2023

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As a former Seattle Assistant City Attorney, former chair of the Seattle Human Rights Commission, and most of all the cousin of a formerly-incarcerated person, I bring a passion and experience that I am confident would serve the Commission’s crucial work. City Council appointed me to the Seattle Human Rights Commission and the members of that body later elected me its chair. In that role, I led the successful effort to end Seattle’s longtime practice of conscripting prison labor to clean homeless encampments. Outside my day-job as a labor and employment attorney, I served as pro bono counsel for the caucus of state legislators of color in New York, prevailing in litigation to open police disciplinary records to public disclosure against challenge from New York police unions.

Commissioner.Jeremy.Wood@seattle.gov

Tascha Johnson

Tascha Johnson

Commissioner
Choose 180
Appointed by: Seattle City Council
Term: January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2025

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Commitment Statement:


I commit to participating fully in all required activities with the Community Police Commission, to attendall required meetings and indulging myself fully to the communities that we serve. I am committed to working towards having safe and healthy communities by participating in the change work necessary to achieve meaningful police reform by improving operations and strengthening relationships within those communities.


As a community leader, I am constantly looking for ways to involve myself in my community. With an understanding the power that the community has through organizing and the creation of policy, we can work towards moving our communities forward. As the Associate Executive Director at CHOOSE 180, I have the ability to work towards the transformation of many young lives on a daily basis, while also working to transform systems by providing alternatives to youth detention and confinement and I am eager to put these skills to use in working with the Community Police Commission.


In the year and a half that I’ve had on the commission, I have not had an opportunity to make as big an impact as I had hoped. However, I would welcome the opportunity to continue on as a commissioner for another term in order to better position myself to make a difference and be a voice of the communities that I serve.

Tascha R. Johnson

Date: 1/3/23

Commissioner.Tascha.Johnson@seattle.gov

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Erica Newman

Commissioner
King County Council Legislative Policy Staff
Appointed by: Community Police Commission
Term: January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2025

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Erica Newman is longtime resident of the City of Seattle.  For the past decade,  Erica has spent a large amount of her time helping individuals and families navigate the education and criminal justice system. She has worked as a legislative analyst for the Metropolitan King County Council
and a legal administrative specialist for the King County Prosecuting Attorney. 

Her volunteer experience includes work with community organizations like Africatown, Antioch University, and the NAACP.

commissioner.erica.newman@seattle.gov

Although the Community Police Commission (CPC) is independent, it works closely with others to engage with the community to advance measures that support effective and respectful policing.

The CPC partners with many community organizations. In 2013 it directly contracted with 13 organizations (through which 100 other organizations were also involved) to obtain insights about Seattle Police Department (SPD). All of these organizations are identified in the CPC's January 2014 Community Outreach Report. The CPC continues to partner with these and other groups to ensure that a wide variety of community perspectives about the police are heard.

Other key partners include SPD, the Office of Police Accountability (OPA), the Inspector General's Office (OIG), the Mayor's Office, and other City agencies and departments.

The CPC also partners with the Seattle Police Monitor who oversees the settlement agreement and with the United States Department of Justice.

Cali Ellis, PhD
Executive Director
Cali.Ellis@seattle.gov

Felicia Cross
Community Engagement Director
Felicia.Cross@seattle.gov

Mergitu Argo
Community Engagement Specialist
Mergitu.Argo@seattle.gov

Staff picture, Jo-Nathan Thomas

Jo-Nathan Thomas, MBA
Community Engagement Specialist
Jo-Nathan.Thomas@seattle.gov

Jessica Phares
Data & Policy Analyst
Jessica.Phares@seattle.gov

Dani Sullivan

Dani Sullivan
Senior Policy Analyst
Dani.Sullivan@seattle.gov