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.

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.

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