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Monday, September 22, 2008

City Council Will Require Police Accountability Hearing Before Future Contract Negotiations

posted by on September 22 at 17:19 PM

Before the Seattle Police Officers Guild can renegotiate its contract with the city in 2010, the City Council and Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) will hold a public hearing on police accountability to allow the public to voice concerns about the department.

Earlier today, council passed a bill which will require OPARB and the council to hold public hearings 90 days before the city and the guild begin contract negotiations. The hearings won’t necessarily have a direct effect on future contracts, but it’ll certainly give any victims of misconduct a very public forum to air their grievances before the city signs off on another fat pay raise.

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It is bothersome that the City Council has spent so much time scrutinizing the Police and so little time scrutinizing the ongoing open air drug dealing in Belltown, Pioneer Square etc.
Seems if your a cop you'll have to answer some tough questions every few years. Gangsters get a free pass.
And we wonder why it is so hard to recruit police and why the troublemakers act like they own the place.

Posted by Zander | September 22, 2008 5:48 PM

Zander. Nice opportunistic spin. But completely wrong.

The City Council HAS NOT spent much time scrutinizing the SPD. This cops won't have to answer any tough questions every few years, just as they didn't even have to answer any tough questions from the City Council or Mayor last year. The ineffectual police accountability system in this city remains intact and almost totally unchallenged. The Chief still has his job and the OPA head has taken no risks that I know of. Seattle is having an easier time recruiting and retaining cops than many other cities in the country, especially after its pay raise.

As for ignoring Belltown, no one is giving "gangsters"-- or the homeless drug users in Belltown you dislike-- a "free pass." Or maybe you missed the public park now turned into a dog park to make it inhospitable to people spending time at 3rd and bell, the "mobile precinct" van that parks there, et al. The SPD hasn't eliminated drug dealing in Belltown. But what made you think the war on drugs could do that? One of the biggest open air drug markets in the city is right outside the county courthouse. It stands in open contempt of all the righteousness of drug war promoters who say we can win with just a few more police...

Posted by Trevor | September 22, 2008 6:39 PM


I didn't miss the Dog Park at 3rd and Bell. I'm one of the people who requested it. And I don't even have a dog.
That Park is getting more and better use than it ever did as "Crack Park".
The OPA may be ineffectual but at least it exists. There is no corresponding board for public safety, there is not an Office of Police Effectiveness.
I don't hate the homeless. I do pity the addicted. I don't think the continuing status quo will help either group.
When you speak up for these predatory dealers you endorse what they do and how they make their living destroying already damaged lives.
Let's get some rebab going instead cuddling the crack dealers as the better angels of our nature. Only a fool would thnk they are.

Posted by Zander | September 22, 2008 6:57 PM

I support government funding of rehab programs. Think we need a lot more of them. Look forward to hearing more about your and the Belltown community council's advocacy on their behalf, perhaps at a King County council hearing to promote alternatives to building a new jail?

I don't think crack dealers or users are "the better angels of our nature." Just don't like it when people demonize them, or stigmatize their very presence in public, when for the most part they are hurting themselves more than others.

I don't think you hate homeless. I just remember you criticizing I-71 when I was its campaign manager in 2001. Meeting in your condo's conference room, at a Belltown community council meeting, I got a lot of flack for trying to solicit signatures to get the city to fund a measly 400 additional homeless shelter beds while thousands go without any shelter at all on any given night. I see from this thread you haven't changed much:

As for the OPA, it exists to diffuse criticism of the SPD, not to increase police professionalism or public accountability. If that's the model you want to the SPD to use to solicit feedback from city residents about public safety, best of luck to you.

Posted by Trevor | September 22, 2008 7:59 PM

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