Seattle Police Reform

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the Seattle Police Department will continue its reform efforts, even as a search is launched for a new Police Chief. Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced she’s stepping down and will leave by the end of the month.

Paula Wissel / knkx

For the past five years, Seattle police have operated under a federal consent decree that requires steps to be taken to reduce biased policing.  United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to review Obama-era consent decrees to see if they should remain in place. But the review is unlikely to change the one in Seattle.

Paula Wissel / knkx

The Seattle Police Department is getting good marks in the latest assessment from a federal monitor. The department has been under a federal court order to reform since 2012, following findings of racially biased policing.

In the latest review of the Seattle Police Department, the tenth assessment done since oversight began, the federal overseer looked at the adequacy of supervision in the department.  One question to answer was if all officers have a clearly identified first-line supervisor each day — also, if police sergeants receive timely and adequate supervisory training.

Erin Hennessey / KPLU

Every time a cop goes out on a call, chances are good that the encounter will be with someone suffering from mental illness. It’s the reason the Seattle Police Department has trained officers in crisis intervention and teamed them up with mental health professionals.

Paula Wissel

As police departments across the country struggle with how to be transparent, police in Seattle are looking to get help with this issue from local digital activists. A records request from a young programmer led to Seattle police trying to accomplish something no other department has been able to do.

Natalie Wilkie / Flickr

The federal monitor charged with overseeing reform of the Seattle Police Department says there’s finally reason for optimism.

“The glass is now looking half full to me rather than half empty,” Merrick Bobb said during a briefing before the Seattle City Council Public Safety Committee Wednesday.

zeraien / Flickr

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says it was wrong to change penalties against a police officer who threatened to harass a journalist. The comments mark an about-face for the mayor. 

In July, Dominic Holden of The Stranger was taking pictures as officers questioned a man in the International District. He says Officer John Marion got angry with him and threatened to come to The Stranger’s offices and “bother” Holden while he was at work.

zeraien / Flickr

The Seattle Police Department has made “significant process” in an effort to reform a culture of excessive use of force and racially-biased policing, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said on Tuesday.

“We now have the building blocks to have significant longstanding reform,” said Durkan during a news conference held following a meeting with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Interim Seattle Police Chief Harry Bailey and Assistant U.S. Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels.

zeraien / Flickr

A survey shows more than 60 percent of Seattle residents approve of the job the Seattle Police Department is doing. But it’s a far more problematic picture when you break down responses by race.

While the vast majority of whites and Asians give high marks to the Seattle Police Department, when you talk to African-Americans and Latinos, the approval rating drops dramatically.