Seattle Police Department

SPD Drone
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn put an end to a controversial  program where unmanned miniature helicopters equipped with cameras would be used to fight crime. Critics had privacy concerns about police surveillance. The timing of Mayor McGinn's decision could become an issue in his re-election bid.

Seattle police officers
AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey

As part of the agreement with the Department of Justice to implement reforms in the Seattle Police Department, Mayor Mike McGinn proposed the creation of a Community Police Commission. The 13-member commission, selected by the mayor and City Council,  is supposed to ensure that the police are acting lawfully and safely.

The commission still has to be confirmed by the City Council, but Ross Reynolds sits down with commission co-chair and deputy director of the Defender Association, Lisa Daugaard, to discuss what the commission can and hopes to accomplish.

Flickr Photo/Greg Matthews

What are the new rules of the road for marijuana use now that it’s legal here in Washington state?  Seattle Traffic Officer John Abraham talks it over with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds.

Overheard In The Green Room: Officer Abraham

Jan 18, 2013
Stacey Sanner

Meet Officer Abraham. He's made regular appearances on The Conversation with Ross Reynolds answering your traffic and driving questions. Today, we cornered Officer Abraham in the Green Room and asked him a few questions about his upcoming retirement, the weirdest excuse for a traffic violation he's ever heard, and what makes Seattle drivers so darn special.

Rules Of The Road

Jan 16, 2013
Officer John Abraham
Seattle Police Deparment

Are you ever driving down the street and you see something happen in traffic and wonder, is that allowed? Well, today on The Conversation you can get that traffic question answered. Ross Reynolds sits down with Officer John Abraham to answer your questions about passing on the left, rolling through a stop, car pool lanes, tail gating, turn signals and much, much more.

Ann Dornfeld

Seattle and King County officials today announced the city’s first gun buyback program in 20 years. The goal is to reduce gun violence, both intentional and accidental.

Sean Whitcomb
Amy Radil

The Seattle Police Department is facing another use-of-force lawsuit accompanied by video footage. Friday the department defended its conduct at a press conference.

Flickr/elfsternberg

Seattle city officials will soon begin sifting through applications for police watchdogs.  Last month, the city put out a call for citizens to serve on a new community police commission.  It’s being created as part of an agreement with the US Department of Justice  to reform the Seattle Police Department.

Seattle Police cars
Flickr Photo/ Eric Peacock (CC-BY-NC-ND)

We talk with Merrick Bobb, Seattle's new federally appointed independent police monitor. He began working in the field of police accountability 20 years ago, following the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. In Seattle, he'll help implement an overhaul of the SPD’s use-of-force procedures and establish guidelines for citizen contacts and stops.

Seattle police patrol cars.
Flickr Photo/Brittney Bollay (CC BY-NC-ND)

Kathryn Olson, outgoing head of the Seattle Police Office of Professional Accountability, talks with Ross Reynolds about the Department of Justice finding that police engage in use of excessive force, what the city and DOJ are doing to remedy the problems, and her role as the director of the OPA.

Seattle police patrol cars.
Flickr Photo/Brittney Bollay

A federal judge has appointed Merrick Bobb as the independent monitor to oversee reforms to the Seattle Police Department. Bobb’s appointment follows disagreement between the Seattle city council, the police department,  and the mayor over whether he was the best choice.

Bobb was one of four finalists. As monitor he will assess the City’s compliance with a settlement agreement between the police and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Drone test flight
AP Photo/Mesa County Sheriff's Unmanned Operations Team

This evening the Seattle Police Department will display a drone aircraft they plan to deploy as part of surveillance program using unmanned aerial vehicle. Ross Reynolds explores what the drones will be monitoring, who is concerned about privacy violations and hears listener reaction to the new drones. 

Seattle Police Seek Feedback On Drones

Oct 25, 2012
Drone test flight
AP Photo/Mesa County Sheriff's Unmanned Operations Team

Seattle police are hoping to dispel concerns about privacy and encourage community support for their newly acquired drones by inviting the public to a Q&A at Garfield Community Center tonight. We hear more about the SPD's drones, what they would be used for and how their use would be monitored.

Seattle police officers
AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey

The war of words stemming from the effort to reform the Seattle Police Department is heating up.  At issue is the selection of an independent monitor who would oversee the reforms.

The Justice Department and the city are supposed to jointly select the monitor, but city officials can't agree on whom that monitor should be.

Mayor McGinn opposes the selection of a Los Angeles police consultant named Merrick Bobb, who has been described as being one of the country’s preeminent police reform experts. McGinn said he had questions about whether Bobb would be fair.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes along with four members of the City Council are criticizing Mayor Mike McGinn over his opposition to their choice for an independent monitor to oversee the city's police reform efforts. Their statement released on Wednesday accuses McGinn of "obstruction and stall tactics" in his opposition to one finalist for the job, L.A.-based consultant Merrick Bobb. The city has had 10 months to select a monitor; the deadline is just a week away.

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