Seattle Police Department | KUOW News and Information

Seattle Police Department

Seattle Channel

Seattle Chief of Police John Diaz announced his retirement today after 33 years with the department.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle Police Chief made the announcement Monday to reporters with 30 minutes' notice.

A new report found many shortcomings in how the Seattle Police Department handled May Day demonstrations in downtown Seattle last year. SPD officials said they’ve made important changes since then. 

U.S. Attorney's Office

A Seattle man received an 18-year prison sentence on terrorism charges on Monday after plotting to attack a military installation in South Seattle.

Temple of Justice, Washington Supreme Court, Olympia
Flickr Photo/Aidan Wakely-Mulroney/https://flic.kr/p/dsJvKb

If you’re not a police officer, imagine you are one.

Picture yourself perched on the second floor of a building in Belltown. You see someone selling drugs. You radio a fellow officer on the ground and tell him to arrest a guy on a misdemeanor charge of drug loitering. Your partner searches him and finds crack.

The Seattle Channel

Story last updated by Phyllis Fletcher on March 18, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.

A March 6 special hearing by the Seattle City Council was intended to launch the city’s new Community Police Commission. But the meeting became mired in the background of one of its appointees.

Your Take On The News

Mar 15, 2013

It's Friday — time to review the week's top news stories with Knute Berger, Eli Sanders and C.R. Douglas. A federal judge approved a first-year plan to reform the Seattle Police Department. Meanwhile, the plan was challenged in court by the Seattle Police Officer's Guild and the Seattle Police Management Association, over concerns about collective bargaining rights.

Also, a bill that would expand background checks for gun owners died in the state House. And the state's budget shortfall grew by $300 million. What stories were you following this week? Call us at 800.289.5869 or write to weekday@kuow.org.

Audio Pending...

A federal judge gave the green light yesterday to a wide-ranging reform plan for the Seattle Police Department. The plan is meant to address a 2011 finding by the US Justice Department that Seattle police had engaged in an unconstitutional pattern and practice of excessive use of force.

Seattle police patrol cars.
Flickr Photo/Brittney Bollay

Tuesday, a federal judge approved a plan to reform Seattle's Police Department. This comes a day after the Seattle Police Officers Guild and Seattle Police Management Association filed a court challenge to the plan, raising concerns about the collective bargaining rights of police officers. We'll talk with independent monitor Merrick Bobb and senior police expert Joe Brann about the details of the reform plan.

Connie Rice On Seattle Police Reform

Mar 7, 2013
Seattle Police cars
Flickr Photo/ Eric Peacock (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A plan from the court-appointed monitor overseeing Seattle’s police reforms to address biased policing and excessive use of force within the SPD was overshadowed this week by a standoff between Mayor Mike McGinn and City Attorney Pete Holmes. The two argued publicly over who has authority to act on the city’s behalf. Yesterday, Mayor McGinn said he regretted the public argument and called for a pause. L.A.-based civil rights attorney Connie Rice is advising the mayor's office as the city moves forward on a consent decree with the Justice Department. We’ll speak with her about the work so far and what she calls a “quest for trust” in Seattle.

Seattle police have released information on the fatal shooting Tuesday evening of a 21-year-old man in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

The Seattle Police Department is using a new software program designed to help predict where crimes are most likely to occur in the city.

Seattle Grounds Police Drones Program

Feb 8, 2013
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.

this is my caption
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

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.

this is my caption
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

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.

Flickr/Bellevue Fine Art Repro

Applications are now available to serve on Seattle’s new, court-ordered Community Police Commission. This citizen oversight board is part of the city’s agreement with the Department of Justice about police reforms.

This is not exactly a new idea. Seattle’s created civilian panels in the past to monitor police and propose changes. But City Council Member Nick Licata says this new one has a key difference.

Pages