Joint statement on proposed police accountability and civilian oversight legislation

Today Mayor Ed Murray, the Community Police Commission, the Chief of Police, the OPA Director and the OPA Auditor, with input from the City Attorney’s Office, announced that they have reached an agreement on joint police accountability reform legislation to be transmitted to Council. The joint legislative proposal represents the shared vision of the City of Seattle.

CPC Co-Chair Reverend Harriett Walden stated: “Credit is due to the years of community activism to demand Constitutional policing for the people of Seattle. This legislation is a direct response to the community’s call for meaningful and sustained police reform.”

Mayor Murray stated: “Improving our police accountability and civilian oversight system is one of the critical pieces of my goal to make the Seattle Police Department the national model for urban policing. I want to thank the CPC, Chief O’Toole, Pierce Murphy and City Attorney Holmes for their hard work to bring this to fruition. I now plan to consult with the Department of Justice, Federal Monitor and police labor unions to ensure that our joint proposal is fully aligned with the consent decree.”

“We will submit our legislative proposal to Council for consideration at the City Council’s Public Safety Committee hearing on July 15,” said CPC Executive Director Fé Lopez.

The legislation will:

• Make the CPC the permanent, independent civilian oversight body over the police accountability system.
• Consolidate case review of OPA investigations under the OPA Auditor and incorporate other functions of the OPA Review Board into the CPC.
• Strengthen the role and independence of OPA.
• Implement additional mechanisms that support transparency and accountability.