February 5, 2014
Vol: 21 No: 6

News

With meetings, website, Murray seeks input on police chief search

By Alexandra Bolton , Editorial Intern

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Mayor Ed Murray is reaching out to get the public involved in the search for a new police chief.

Seattle residents interested in participating in the search are invited to join an email listserv found at seattle.gov/spdchiefsearch/contactus or to leave commentary on an “online town hall.”

The website, spdchiefsearch.org, provides four prompts aimed at discovering top desirable qualities in a candidate. For example, in one response, users are able to select three top qualifications or skills from a pre-drafted list.

A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) has been formed to provide some of this community perspective. The advisory’s 32 members, appointed by Mayor Murray, are meant to represent both the diversity of Seattle and the five Seattle police precincts. Members include high school students, CEOs and attorneys.

The Mayor’s Office has also been holding community workshops at various locations around the city. In addition, CAC meetings are open to the public. It’s next meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 13 in City Hall’s Bertha Knight Landes Room, 600 Fourth Ave.

The search has a short time frame. According to the proposed timeline, community input will be processed and submitted by the CAC to a 12-person search committee, which will then work with the search firm to integrate these criteria in interviews and present three final candidates to the mayor in early March. The mayor will make his final selection in April, to be reviewed by the Seattle City Council.

There are two public forums remaining. The first is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 5, at the Nordic Heritage Museum, Auditorium, 3014 NW 67th St. There is also a forum from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Reception Room, 600 Fourth Ave.

The city is in a years-long process of reforming SPD following a 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Justice that found that Seattle officers have a pattern and practice of excessive force. In August 2012, the city of Seattle entered into a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to reform the police department within three years under the guidance of a federal judge.

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