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Public Will Have Their Say On Seattle Police Reform Law

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Paula Wissel
/
KNKX

 

The public will have a chance to weigh in on police reform and accountability in Seattle.

This week, the Seattle City Council will have its first look at a legislative package that features stronger civilian oversight.  

It’s the culmination of several years of work to bring the city into compliance with a 2012 U.S. Department of Justice consent decree. The main goals are to eliminate biased policing and excessive use of force.  

Enrique Gonzalez is with the Community Policing Commission that helped draft the legislation in collaboration with the mayor.  He says the proposal creates an independent body, the Office of Inspector General, that would monitor the police department.

“An inspector general would have the power to subpoena documents or testimony from officers, essentially giving them more independence over how investigations around police accountability run,” said Gonzalez.

The Community Policing Commission would also be retained permanently under the proposal.

Gonzalez says the city still needs to lay out how the reforms will be funded. He says that’s key to ensuring the plan won’t be influenced by changes in political ideology.