Accountability Ordinance Tracker

In 2017, after years of work by the Community Police Commission (CPC) and the community, the City of Seattle unanimously adopted the landmark Accountability Ordinance. The Ordinance mandated police disciplinary reforms, created the Office of the Inspector General, made the CPC permanent, and expanded the powers and scope of civilian-led accountability agencies, among other reforms.

Fulfilling CPC's mandate in the Ordinance, this dashboard tracks its "purposes, duties, and responsibilities." It does not include introductory language or definitions under 3.29.020. See more information at the bottom of this page.

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ORDINANCE ITEM: Any purpose, duty, and responsibility in the 2017 Accountability Ordinance. The items generally correspond to subsections in the Ordinance.

NUMBER OF ORDINANCE ITEMS CURRENTLY SELECTED: The number of items selected in the current view. The total number of items is 258, so the Tracker will always begin by showing 258. If you use filters, the number of items displayed will decrease to only those selected by the filter.

TOPIC: While the Ordinance is organized by Chapters, Subchapters, and Sections, we re-grouped the items by topics and subtopics so that they are easier to locate. The topics are somewhat parallel to the Ordinance subchapters and include: 

  • OPA: The Office of Police Accountability (75 Ordinance items)
  • OIG: The Office of Inspector General (55 Ordinance items)
  • CPC: The Community Police Commission (52 Ordinance items)
  • Mechanisms to support accountability: includes collective bargaining, discipline, recruitment, and others (61 Ordinance items)
  • Ordinance interpretation and implementation (9 Ordinance items)
  • Oversight system (6 Ordinance items)

SUBTOPIC: The subtopics are related to the topics, so the options in the filter will change based on the topic selected. For example, within the topic "CPC," there are subtopics related to "CPC independence," "CPC functions and authority," and the "CPC Executive Director."

STATUS: The Ordinance item's implementation status, which the pertaining agencies determine.

  • Implemented: The Ordinance item has been implemented and is the current practice in the agency(ies) involved.
  • Partially implemented: Part of the Ordinance item has been implemented and is the current practice in the agency(ies) involved, but not all of it.
  • In progress: The agency(ies) is(are) currently working on implementing the Ordinance item.
  • Not implemented: The Ordinance item has not been implemented and is not the current practice in the agency(ies) involved.

SEARCH: This field searches for words in the complete Ordinance language. Note that it does not search the summaries or notes, only the original Ordinance language.

GRAPH - WHAT IS THE STATUS OF ORDINANCE ITEMS?: This pie chart displays all selected Ordinance items by status, defined above. The size of each pie slice generally corresponds to the share of items with a certain status, also displayed in percentages. Hover over the slices to see the number of items in each category.

GRAPH - WHY ARE ITEMS NOT IMPLEMENTED?: The primary reason an Ordinance item has not been implemented, is only partially implemented, or is still in progress. The category is based on the information that was relayed to the CPC by the agencies involved.

  • Collective Bargaining Agreements: Agencies have not implemented this item because of restrictions in the last police union contracts negotiated between the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Officers Guild and Seattle Police Managers Association. Learn more here.
  • Agency capacity: Agencies have not implemented this item due to competing priorities and staffing limitations.
  • Insufficient partner collaboration: Agencies have not implemented this item because it requires inter-departmental collaboration that has not fully taken place.
  • Insufficient implementation: Agencies have implemented part of this item but not sufficiently to consider it fully implemented.
  • COVID-19 restrictions: Agencies have not implemented this item due to challenges or priorities imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Other

ORDINANCE ITEM SUMMARY: A brief summary of the original Ordinance language, written by CPC staff. You can read the complete original Ordinance language when you hover over or click on the colorful icons on the right side of the table.

TOOLTIP: A textbox with more information which appears when you hover over a graph or table element.

CHAPTER: A level of organization for the text in the Accountability Ordinance. The Seattle Municipal Code is organized into Titles, then Chapters, then Sections. The Accountability Ordinance amends three chapters of the Seattle Municipal Code: 3.29 - Civilian and Community Oversight of Police; 14.12 - Collection of Information for Law Enforcement Purposes; and 4.08 - Public Safety Civil Service.

SUBCHAPTER: A level of organization for the text in the Accountability Ordinance. The Ordinance is organized into Chapters, then Subchapters (see above).

AGENCY/AGENCIES: The agency or agencies involved in implementing a certain Ordinance item. Note that several agencies may be charged with collaboratively implementing a single item, directly or indirectly.

NOTE: More details about the implementation status of an Ordinance item that the agency(ies) chose to report to the CPC, particularly for items not yet implemented.

What is the purpose of this tracker?
This tracker serves primarily to hold the City accountable to the community. Additional purposes include fulfilling the CPC's legislative mandate, allowing for more informed communication with system partners and the community, and addressing roadblocks preventing the full realization of the Accountability Ordinance. 

How do I use this tracker?
You can use the tracker to get an overview or summary of the general status of all items in the Accountability Ordinance by looking at the graphs. You can also look for individual items using the filters and search box.

Where does the data originate?
Behind the tracker is a database maintained by the CPC team. The Ordinance items come directly from the original legislative text. The status updates and notes come from the agency or agencies involved.

How and when is this data updated?
The database and tracker are updated when the CPC team becomes aware of new information. The CPC plans to update the tracker at least annually when it publishes its annual report.

How do I find a specific Ordinance item?
If you know the details of an item, you can locate it using the TOPIC/SUBTOPIC filters. You can also try the search bar. Note that this only searches the text in the original Ordinance, not the summaries or notes. 

How do I use or reset filters?
The filters apply to both the graphs and table. Use the dropdown filters to select recommendations by topic, subtopic, or status. Type a word into the search box to search the text of an Ordinance item. Click on graph elements to filter by the status or by the reason why items are not implemented. You can also click on an individual item in the table. You can unselect all filters by clicking 'Reset' (arrow pointing left to a line) at the bottom-right corner of the tracker.

Who provides the statuses and notes?
The agency or agencies involved in implementing a particular Ordinance item provided most of the information. You can verify which agency provided which update at the end of the note, in brackets (for instance, "[CPC]"). Some notes were provided to the CPC in the past for previous CPC Annual Reports. In addition, the CPC added recent updates about items related to the Commission and determined some statuses after reviewing the information received. 

What parts of the Seattle Municipal Code does the 2017 Accountability Ordinance alter?
The Ordinance amends/adds several parts of the Seattle Municipal Code:
- Chapter 3.29, relative to civilian and community oversight of police (most of the Ordinance)
- Chapter 14.12, relative to the Auditor
- Chapter 4.08, relative to the Public Safety Civil Service Commission (appeals)

Why has the 2017 Accountability Ordinance not been codified into the Seattle Municipal Code?
The Ordinance includes a clause that attaches the date it becomes effective to when Seattle completes its collective bargaining obligations. Because the last contracts signed by the City rolled back reforms mandated by the Ordinance, they were not approved by the Judge overseeing the Seattle consent decree. As a result, the Ordinance is not yet officially considered effective.