Policy Research & Best Practices

Seattle Police Department (SPD) policies and practices are the base upon which police accountability rests. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) works with SPD and other accountability partners to explore systems that can refine and improve these policies and practices. The policy work of OIG can take many forms. OIG staff working in this area are essentially policy researchers with statistical expertise who are able to lend a critical, objective eye to system trends and data patterns.

SPD Policy Review

One of the main metrics by which community holds police accountable is the SPD policies that guide how officers do their job. OIG is one of the entities that engages with SPD on how those policies can be improved to further community trust and support effective law enforcement tactics to protect public and officer safety. The court consent decree process regularly reviews certain policies that have a direct bearing on the consent decree. As OIG will essentially take over the role of the court monitor when the consent decree ends, OIG actively monitors SPD policy development.

Best Practices Research

OIG is exploring innovations and research in policing, criminal justice, and related fields to bring lessons learned from other jurisdictions to the table to inform its work. Simultaneously, OIG utilizes the research skills of its policy staff to examine data closer to home. SPD has a wealth of information about its law enforcement activities online. This and other information available to OIG can be used to evaluate pressing issues such as bias or disparity in policing.

Process Improvements

OIG has expertise in process improvements and Six Sigma that it is utilizing to help SPD thoughtfully and methodically examine internal workflows to improve efficiency and effectiveness while maintaining public and police safety.

Special Project Collaborations

The work of OIG in all of the above areas allows OIG to collaborate with the accountability partners on specific projects of mutual interest. These are detailed further in the OIG work plan.