On July 14, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember M. Lorena González (position 9, citywide) announced the selection process and search committee for the director of the Office of Police Accountability and the civilian inspector general, the first under newly-passed police accountability legislation. The search committee and its two subcommittees have been formed with representatives from the Office of the Mayor, City Council, the Community Police Commission (CPC), and the Seattle Police Department (SPD), with multiple members serving on both committees.
“Building trust with the community requires independent oversight of the police department and we are seeking leaders who will help us continue our path toward becoming a model of 21st century policing,” said Murray. “Each step we take to implement these historic reforms gets us closer to that goal and helps fulfill our promise to make lasting, institutional change. Seattle has led the nation in building the model for constitutional policing, but we know we have work to do and bringing in leaders for these independent and civilian-led offices will be a major step.”
“My vision for Seattle’s police accountability system — and for reforming SPD — has had at its center restoring trust between the police and communities most impacted by policing,” said González. “Establishing a new Office of Inspector General will require a trusted leader who understands the operational complexities of a major city police department and the need to ensure that Seattle’s system of police accountability is constantly reforming even after the federal police monitor is long gone.”
The search committee is composed of 10 members, with two subcommittees having seven each. The search committee will meet once as a whole to review requirements of the legislation, receive a briefing on human resources and legal issues, and develop recruitment strategies. Committee members are González, Enrique González, Isaac Ruiz, Lisa Daugaard, Bernard Melekian, Beth Takekawa, Monisha Harrell, Assistant Chief Lesley Cordner, Councilmember Tim Burgess, and Council President Bruce Harrell.
The search will begin immediately and last several months. A public meeting will be held Aug. 2 (more information to be released by the City).
More information, including the public comment page, can be found at seattle.gov/civilian-oversight.