Building Lasting, Independent Police Reform

Information about Police Reform Legislation

On May 22, 2017 the Seattle City Council unanimously approved Council Bill 118969, a measure related to Police Accountability by a vote of 8-0. The legislation, primarily sponsored by Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide), is the first of its kind in the country and creates new, powerful, civilian- and community-led oversight systems that will effectively ensure constitutional policing in Seattle.

From Councilmember Lorena González:

"Today's vote crystallizes my vision for Seattle’s police accountability framework and our ongoing efforts to reform the Seattle Police Department. Based on my experience in courtrooms, community and City Hall chambers I know that this legislation goes beyond systems-reform to get at the heart of police accountability: restoring trust between the police and communities most impacted by policing.” González also worked as a civil rights lawyer for a decade before seeking elected office. Her prior law practice included representing people in excessive force and bias policing civil rights cases in federal court."

“This ordinance represents an important step in our ongoing work to strengthen Seattle’s system of police accountability. The City Council and the Community Police Commission, with support from the Mayor’s Office and City Attorney’s Office, have worked over many months to craft legislation so that the public and officers will have a system that is built on best practices, is consistent with community values, and will result in comprehensive and sustained independent oversight of the Seattle Police Department,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess (Position 8, Citywide). "We still have several critical steps to accomplish this year before this work is complete. We have asked the Mayor to move forward swiftly with seeking the review and approval of the Federal Court, and with collective bargaining with the unions, which provides officers a direct voice in shaping their working conditions and benefits. We will also be working with the Mayor to ensure that this oversight system is fully funded and that strong leaders are hired for these crucial oversight roles. We will build on the foundation laid by this ordinance to fulfill our commitment for effective, constitutional policing in which all the people of Seattle have trust and confidence.”

From January 2017 through May 2017, González has led Council's public deliberations of the issues in a series of meetings in committee and after-hours public hearings. Additionally, Councilmembers González and Burgess, CPC leadership, Mayoral and Legislative staff, traveled across the Country to visit with officials and community advocates in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans to gain invaluable insights into best practices.

Assuming approval by Judge Robart, the City will satisfy its legal obligations with regard to any aspect of the legislation that requires collective bargaining with the unions. As with the majority of Council-generated legislation, the remainder of the bill will take effect 30 days after Mayoral signature.

Click on the images below to view a high resolution version of the infographic on police reform:

Police Reform Infographic from Councilmember M. Lorena González Police Reform Infographic from Councilmember M. Lorena González

Click on the images below to view a graphic explaining the reporting requirements and meetings spelled out in the legislation:

Images/Council/Members/Gonzalez/Police-Reform-Infographic_back.jpg Images/Council/Members/Gonzalez/Police-Reform-Infographic_back.jpg