Mayor Murray issued the following statement on today’s Department of Justice status conference on police reform:
“I agree with what we heard today from U.S. District Judge James Robart. Police reform has moved too slow over the course of the past year. The Department must move more quickly to improve its use of technology – both in terms of effectively collecting audio and video evidence, as well as implementing a robust data tracking and analytics system. The police disciplinary process is byzantine and neither inspires confidence nor ensures constitutional outcomes in cases of officer misconduct. We can do better and we must do better.
I also agree with the Federal Monitor Merrick Bobb, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and the City Attorney Pete Holmes that considerable progress has been made over the past ninety days. We are moving in the right direction, and we are moving together. We have established a spirit of progress and a cooperative tone since January that I am confident will continue as we make progress on the Monitor’s aggressive 2014 timeline for reform.
The Community Police Commission has provided tremendous assistance in developing the six policies approved in 2013, including a new use of force policy and a policy for crisis intervention. The coming year will be about implementing these policies into practice.
Changing a culture is never easy, and we have far to go yet. But once we name a permanent chief, and once we not just implement the requirements of the consent decree but embed them into the fabric of our police force, then I believe that the Seattle Police Department will be a model for urban policing in the nation.”