Retiring Police Chief Inducted Into Crime Fighting Hall of Fame

Assistant Chief Clark Kimerer’s well-earned reputation as a philosopher and academic earned him a spot in George Mason University’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy Hall of Fame this week for his decades-long efforts to promote the use of scientific research to drive changes to SPD’s policies and practices.

It was well-deserved recognition for Chief Kimerer, who retired Friday after 31 years with SPD. He leaves behind a legacy as an innovator and a scholar. During his career Chief Kimerer served in SWAT, as Chief Negotiator of the Hostage Negotiation Team, as Commander of the West Precinct, Internal Affairs Captain and Vice and Narcotics Section Captain before rising to the rank of Deputy Chief of Operations and Chief of Staff.

Chief Kimerer was a leader in the development of the Neighborhood Policing Plan and the Department’s adoption of Procedural Justice initiatives. He was also instrumental in expanding the department’s role in partnering with agencies like the Downtown Emergency Service Center, UW and the Seattle Fire Department to study and mitigate public health issues like chronic alcoholism and excited delirium.

As Captain of the West Precinct, he also worked with the University of Washington to analyze where parolees and suspects lived and loitered, and when they were scheduled to be downtown for court appearances. Through the use of that data, the West Precinct saw a 30% reduction in crime over an 18 month span.

Chief Kathleen O’Toole Appoints Captain David Proudfoot As New South Precinct Commander

Captain David Proudfoot, a 25-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, was appointed the new South Precinct commander on Thursday.

“After hearing repeatedly from community members during the selection process of the need for consistent leadership at the South Precinct, I have asked Captain David Proudfoot to lead the precinct,” Chief Kathleen O’Toole said.

“Captain Proudfoot has served at every rank within the South Precinct, and I have every confidence he will provide the leadership and direction necessary to show the residents of the South Precinct I am listening to their concerns,” she said.

Proudfoot’s long career includes patrol stints in the South and East precincts as well as working on the hostage negotiations team and as a patrol squad sergeant and Harbor Unit sergeant.  He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2008, working as the South Precinct watch commander and became watch commander in the North Precinct the following year.

He became the communications section operations lieutenant in 2011 through 2013.  Since January 2014 he has worked as the Lieutenant in the Education and training Section, assisting in the department’s transition and adherence to the Settlement Agreement

“It is an honor to be named the Precinct Commander of the South Precinct,” Captain Proudfoot said. “It has been my privilege to serve this community and its officers as an Officer, Sergeant and Lieutenant.  It is now my privilege to serve these communities as we work to restore their trust, restore SPD Pride and professionalism, while continuing to address crime and quality of life.”

SPD, City Attorney’s Office Working to Comply With WA. Supreme Court Dashcam Ruling

Today, the Washington State Supreme Court provided law enforcement agencies across the state with guidance clarifying some of the complicated laws surrounding a relatively new tool in modern policing: in-car video systems.

In a 5-4 split decision, the state Supreme Court has ruled the Seattle Police Department—and consequently other state law enforcement agencies—must provide greater access to the thousands of hours of video of arrests, prisoner transports, victim and witness statements, and traffic stops recorded around the clock every day from the front seat the Seattle Police Department’s more than 250 patrol vehicles. The City Attorney’s Office and SPD are now working to ensure the department meets the expectations set by the court.

The ruling is the end result of a nearly four-year legal proceeding between the City of Seattle and KOMO television, following an expansive records request by KOMO for countless of hours of videos, and related logs, captured over a five-year period by SPD patrol car cameras.

SPD provided access to some data regarding the recordings, but was unable to provide requested video to KOMO in keeping with the City’s interpretation of the Washington Privacy Act (RCW 9.73), which states “no sound or video recording…may be duplicated and made available to the public by a law enforcement agency” until “final disposition of any criminal or civil litigation which arises from the event.”

Lower courts had previously ruled in favor of both the department and KOMO in different aspects of the case, but there had not been a legal consensus providing clear guidance for future handling of video records and evidence until today, when the Supreme Court ruled the department should immediately provide video records unless there is an ongoing lawsuit related to the videos.

The department will now begin assessing the technical and staffing needs associated with an anticipated increase in the number of requests for in-car video. SPD and the City will examine new technologies to assist in implementing this expansion in the handling of public records. Some exemptions still remain in place—as they do currently for all police reports and documents—to account for active investigations, privacy protections, and records that could inhibit effective law enforcement.

SPD Follows City Attorney’s Advice, Clears Officer of Misconduct

Following the recommendation of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, Seattle Police Chief Harry Bailey has cleared an SPD officer in a 2010 misconduct case, in which the officer was involved in an off-duty altercation outside a Ballard bar. The letter from the City Attorney’s Office, explaining how expert testimony impacted this case and led to the recommendation, can be found below:

Additional Information Regarding SPD’s Work With the Community Police Commission

As part of the implementation of Seattle Police Department’s 2012 settlement agreement with the Department of Justice, SPD command staff assigned Bob Scales to act as a liaison between the department and the Community Police Commission (CPC). The CPC asked Mr. Scales to produce a preliminary analysis of stops, citations and arrests by Seattle police officers as part of the agreement to identify and eliminate policies and practices that have an unwarranted disparate impact. His immediate supervisor was aware that he was performing this analysis. At the time that Mr. Scales shared his preliminary analysis with the Monitor and the CPC, it had not been reviewed by other data analysts in the Police Department and not shared with the DOJ or the City Attorney’s Office.

The City is still reviewing the data from Bob Scales’ s presentation, and looks forward to working with the CPC, DOJ, and the Monitor on further analyzing enforcement patterns. The City is committed to implementation of its settlement agreement with the Department of Justice, which, among other things, requires the department to strengthen policies ensuring bias-free policing and examine any practices that may lead to disparate impact against protected individuals and identify alternatives. The agreement also requires the department to provide an annual report to ensure officers are providing lawful, effective and constitutional public safety service to Seattle.  We will continue working with the DOJ and the Monitor to make sure that our police department is bias-free, respectful of individual rights and effective.