Mayor Ed Murray promised at this morning's press conference that he'd be sending a letter today to all Seattle Police officers, outlining his commander-in-chief vision for (and his expectations of) the department. The mayor's office just released the letter. It begins:
To the Law Enforcement Officers of the Seattle Police Department,
As I take on my duties as Mayor of our great city of Seattle, I want to take this moment to share with you my vision for our Seattle Police Department. This vision is informed by a fundamental belief that in order for our city to thrive, we must have a police department that is effective at both controlling crime and building trusted relationships in all the communities and neighborhoods that make up the city of Seattle. This vision is also shaped by deep appreciation for the risks each and every law enforcement officer takes in putting his or her life on the line every day that you step outside your home wearing your uniform or your badge.
The Seattle Police Department is an integral part of our community. As such, the department must be trusted by all of the people of Seattle. The department must reflect the diversity of all the people who live in Seattle. The leadership of the department must be able to implement the reforms detailed in in the Department of Justice Settlement Agreement while building officer morale through a positive and transparent culture change. Department leadership will not tolerate misconduct or discrimination during my administration. Nor will I.
Community policing must be the department’s operating philosophy, not merely a series of special projects. True community policing is about building relationships with the people the department serves and developing solutions to the problems they face. True partnership is about dialogue and relationship. And, when something goes wrong, we must have a swift and comprehensive accountability process that is clearly understood and trusted by all. I am committed to utilizing these principles of community policing throughout the entire city government structure, a practice sometimes referred to as community governance.
Additionally, public safety is not merely the domain of the Police and Fire Departments. Rather it is the job of all of us, both city government and the community at large. Crime and violence and injustice are economic, education, or public health issues as much as they are legal issues. We must approach them in them in the spirit of partnership, with a sense of mutual trust and responsibility.