The Seattle City Council has selected Merrick Bobb as the independent monitor to oversee reform at the Seattle Police Department, despite Mayor Mike McGinn’s reservations.
Bobb, head of the Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC) in Los Angeles, served as monitor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for the last 16 years.
Because a PARC board member helped draft the December 2011 Department of Justice (DOJ) report that called for police reform in Seattle, McGinn questioned whether Bobb could be independent. He said Seattle Police Chief John Diaz did not want Bobb as the monitor.
But the mayor will go along with the city council’s decision, said Aaron Pickus, McGinn’s spokesperson. He added that Bobb still does not have buy-in from the police department.
“We have expressed concerns, as have others, that Mr. Bobb will not be seen as an impartial monitor of the settlement agreement and are disappointed the council did not listen to those concerns,” Pickus said. “We are going to respect that this is now the city’s position, though we believe that reform may be more difficult.”
The monitor will watch SPD for three years and send quarterly reports to a federal judge on the city’s progress in police reform.