Recommendations tracker

As part of Seattle's Police Accountability System, all oversight agencies - including the Community Police Commission (CPC), Office of Police Accountability (OPA), and Office of Inspector General (OIG) - issue recommendations to the Seattle Police Department (SPD), one another, and other City departments.

Fulfilling CPC's mandate in the 2017 Accountability Ordinance, this page tracks recommendations, responses, and implementation statuses from 2018 onward. Explanations and definitions are below.

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FROM: Seattle accountability agency issuing a recommendation

TO: Seattle accountability agency receiving a recommendation STATUS (What is the implementation status?): The implementation status of a recommendation. This is generally determined by the issuing agency based on the latest update.
  • Implemented:Dark green check mark The recipient fully implemented the recommendation and it is now closed (CPC will not request updates). For OPA recommendations, this corresponds to the OPA status "Fully implemented."
  • Partially implemented:Lighter green check mark The recipient implemented part of a recommendation and it is now closed (CPC will no longer request updates). For Management Action Recommendations, OPA's definition is: "OPA considers the MAR complete. SPD implemented one or more recommendations. For the recommendation(s) SPD did not implement, a rationale was provided."
  • Reported as implemented:Lightest green check mark The recipient has reported implementing or partially implementing a recommendation, but the issuing agency has not yet verified this implementation. At the moment this status is only used for recommendations issued by OIG and CPC.
  • In progress:Yellow triangle The recipient is currently working to implement a recommendation. For OPA recommendations, this corresponds to the OPA status "In Development."
  • Pending:Yellow exclamation mark The recipient is not currently working to implement a recommendation but has demonstrated intent to do so.
  • No response:Dark yellow envelope The recipient has received the recommendation but not responded or shared any updates about it.
  • Active (OPA):Light yellow envelope This status only applies to recommendations issued by OPA. According to the OPA definition, the recipient is "reviewing the recommendation(s) and will notify OPA when action has been completed." It may include recommendations that have no response or are pending.
  • Declined:Red X The recipient declined to implement part or all of a recommendation and it is now closed (CPC will no longer request updates).
  • Withdrawn:Grey X The issuing agency has decided to withdraw a previously issued recommendation and it is now closed (CPC will no longer request updates).
  • Letter or report recommendation (CPC and OPA): The recommendation was issued in a report, letter, or similar document created by the CPC, OPA, or a group of agencies.
  • Audit recommendation (OIG only): The OIG separates its documents into audits and non-audits. Audits follow Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), which set specific procedures for receiving formal responses, independently following up on recommendations, and determining when they have been implemented. 
  • Non-audit suggestion or consideration (OIG only): For various reasons, including mandated timelines, some OIG reports are completed as non-audit projects. Because they don't follow GAGAS independence requirements, OIG considers them suggestions, not recommendations. SPD is not obliged to formally respond or issue a timeline for implementation of these.
  • Management Action Recommendation (OPA only): During an investigation, OPA may identify issues with policies and/or training beyond the case at hand. OPA can issue a Management Action Recommendation (MAR) in the form of a letter to the Chief. SPD is not required to implement them but usually collaborates and attempts to find solutions.
SEARCH: This field searches for words in the recommendation text. Note: it does not search the original documents or any responses or updates.
DATE: Date in which a recommendation was issued.
CONCURRENCE (Did the recipient concur?):
  • Yes: The recipient explicitly or implicitly (based on initial response) agreed with the recommendation.
  • Reviewing: The recipient has not yet responded to the recommendation.
  • No: The recipient explicitly or implicitly (based on initial response) disagreed with the recommendation.
TOPIC (What are the primary topics?): The main policing topic addressed by a recommendation (for example, crowd management). Recommendations are categorized by CPC staff. Note that many recommendations touch on several topics. For example, a CPC recommendation for OIG to conduct a survey of officer wellness falls under both "OIG work plan" and "officer wellness." Because recommendations are only categorized into their primary topic, we advise against using this filter to identify all recommendations that may touch on a specific issue.
RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY: A short summary of the original recommendation, written by CPC staff. You can read the full original recommendation language when you hover over or click on the colorful icons in the recommendations table, as well as in the original documents (see below).
RESPONSE SUMMARY: A short summary of all or the most recent responses and updates, written by CPC staff. You can also see the full original responses and updates when you hover over or click on the colorful icons in the recommendations table, as well as in the original documents (see below).
ORIGINAL RECOMMENDATION DOCUMENT or RESPONSE/UPDATE DOCUMENT: The recommendations and responses come from letters, reports, tables, or other documents issued by the CPC, OIG, OPA, SPD, or other agencies. You can find links to the original response and update documents when you hover over or click on the colorful icons in the recommendations table. Note that some of these documents were exchanged between agencies in the past and not originally intended for public consumption. However, the relevant information has been extracted and added to the dashboard and tooltip (so there is no need to navigate the original documents other than accessing original records). The original recommendation and response documents are also linked below, in "Original Documents."

What is the purpose of this tracker?
This tracker serves primarily to hold the City accountable to the community. Additional purposes include to fulfill the CPC's legislative mandate, allow for more informed communication with system partners and the community, create institutional memory and accurate records, inform the CPC's advocacy and policy agenda, and measure performance. 

How do I use this tracker?
You can use the tracker to get an overview or summary of the general status of all recommendations by looking at the graphs. You can also look for individual recommendations using the filters and search box. You can track the details of these specific recommendations by reviewing the related original documents (click or hover over colorful icons in the table, or see links below). Watch a 5-minute video tutorial on how to use this tracker above or through this link.

Where is this data from?
Behind the tracker is a database maintained by the CPC team. The information in the database itself comes from the original documents - letters, reports, and others - exchanged between the City agencies involved. You can find links to these original documents when you click or hover over the colorful items in the table or below, under "Original Documents."

How and when is this data updated?
The database and tracker are updated as soon as the CPC team becomes aware of new recommendations or updates. If real-time updates are not feasible at any point, the tracker will be updated at least quarterly, after the accountability agencies meet to update one another on the implementation of previous recommendations.

How do I find a recommendation?
If you know the details of a recommendation, the most certain way to locate it is using the TO/FROM/DATE filters. If you are looking for all recommendations that touch on a specific topic, you can try the search bar. Note that this only searches the text in the actual recommendation, not the original documents or any of the responses and updates. Beware of looking for recommendations by filtering the topic, since several recommendations touch on one or more topics but have only been classified according to the primary one. Watch a 5-minute video tutorial on how to use this tracker above or through this link.

How do I use or reset filters?
The filters apply to both the graphs and table. Use the dropdown filters to select recommendations by agency issuing or receiving them, implementation status, type, or date. Type a word into the search box to search the text of a recommendation. Click on graph elements to filter by whether the recipient concurred, status, and topic. You can also click on an individual recommendation 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 responses and updates?
Most of the responses and updates in this tracker have been provided by the recipient agency, while most of the statuses have been determined by the issuing agency. The author of a specific update is listed in the tooltip (for instance, "SPD RESPONSE LETTER"). The CPC is initiating an effort to make the process of recommendations follow-up more effective and transparent.

Why are some update documents long tables?
The accountability agencies meet quarterly to discuss the status of recommendations, among other items. In the past, SPD has provided the CPC with a table of recommendation updates. We have published these tables through this tracker to make the full record of communications related to recommendations public. These tables were not, however, originally intended for public consumption and may thus be hard to navigate. Note that you do not need to locate a specific recommendation in the tables because the information relevant to a recommendation has been extracted and added to the tooltip. To see the tooltip, hover over or click on the colorful icons in the tracker table.

What are the "due dates" in certain OPA recommendations?
Management Action Recommendation (MAR) "due dates" are soft deadlines discussed between OPA and SPD. They may not reflect the most up-to-date information.

Do agencies verify the implementation of recommendations?
Verifying whether a recommendation has been implemented falls on the issuing agency. OIG and CPC have adopted the status "Reported as implemented" to signal that the recipient has reported completing implementation, but the issuing agency has not been able to fully verify it. According to OPA's status definitions, OPA uses a "Partially implemented" or "Fully implemented" status when it considers a Management Action Recommendation complete, with the recipient having implemented one or all recommendations proposed.

Do agencies have authority to enforce implementation of their recommendations?
No. The CPC, OPA, and OIG all issue recommendations in an advisory capacity and SPD or other recipients have no obligation to implement them. This is why making these recommendations and their statuses public and easily accessible is an important step to increase transparency, community pressure, and accountability.

Do recipient agencies have an obligation to respond to recommendations?
Yes. The 2017 Accountability Ordinance states: "SPD and OPA shall confer with and respond in writing within 30 days to any oversight entity issuing written recommendations contained in reports required by this Chapter 3.29. For any accepted recommendations, the response shall provide a plan for implementation, including a plan for regular written progress reports. For any recommendations not accepted or not scheduled for implementation, the response shall provide an explanation of why not. If the lead entity responsible for the implementation of any recommendation is a City department or office other than SPD or OPA, the Mayor's Office shall coordinate providing the necessary information to include in the response."

Who created this tracker and how?
In 2018, the CPC created an online recommendations database and shared it with OIG, OPA, and SPD staff. Since then, representatives of these four agencies have met quarterly to discuss recommendation updates, which the CPC would incorporate into the database. In the Fall of 2020, the CPC began developing the Police Accountability Recommendations Tracker (PART) to make this information public. Between September 2020 and April 2021, CPC staff worked with OIG, OPA, and SPD to clean data, recover missing recommendations, ensure statuses were up-to-date, and adapt the language and features to contemplate the diversity of work and processes in each of these agencies. See more information about the development and interagency collaboration around PART in this CPC letter.