Category Archives: police

Mayor, SPD Chief announce extra holiday police patrols

This morning at a press conference at SPD’s West Precinct, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best announced that beginning November 30th, SPD will be conducting extra “holiday patrols” in nine major retail locations of the city, in order to make shoppers and retailers feel safer.

Mayor Durkan, flanked by Chief Carmen Best and several SPD officers, announces SPD’s extra holiday patrols

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Robart green-lights city’s plan to assess police accountability system (UPDATED)

This afternoon, Judge James Robart issued an order authorizing the City of Seattle to proceed with its proposal to assess its police accountability system and formulate a methodology to achieve compliance under the 2012 Consent Decree.

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City’s “prolific offenders” task force issues report, Mayor proposes response

You will likely recall that last February a group self-published a report on “prolific offenders” who cause problems for local communities and businesses, and who cycle through the criminal justice system. As I wrote at the time, that report had plenty of methodological issues and other flaws that limited its usefulness, since the authors didn’t have access to most of the relevant government, law-enforcement, and human-services records. However, in the aftermath of that report, Mayor Durkan commissioned her own task force to look into the issue of prolific offenders. That group published their report last week, concurrent with a budget proposal from the Mayor for four new programs to address the problem.

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Understanding “Broken Windows” Theory

Last May, Mayor Durkan stirred the proverbial hornets’ nest when she announced that the city would be adding “emphasis patrols” of police officers to seven neighborhoods around Seattle, paired with increased efforts by other city departments to clean up graffiti, fix broken streetlights, clean up garbage, and generally beautify those areas.

What set many people off was the apparent link between that effort and “broken windows” theory, a controversial approach to reducing crime in urban areas. In fact, when pressed on the issued she doubled down, by specifically referencing it in an interview with the Seattle Times editorial board.

“Broken windows” theory, now 37 years old, gets tossed around a lot in political and policy circles, and continues to have both supporters and detractors. Let’s look at what it says, its uses and abuses, and what nearly four decades of studies tell us about the validity of the theory.

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Judge vacates arbitrator’s ruling in Adley Shepherd case (UPDATED)

In a case that has taken on broad significance for police accountability in Seattle, this afternoon King County Superior Court John McHale vacated an arbitrator’s decision last year to overturn the termination of SPD Officer Adley Shepherd for punching a handcuffed suspect in the face while she was in the back seat of a patrol car.

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One week before Court deadline, CPC rejects Mayor’s police accountability proposal

With a rapidly approaching August 15th deadline for the city to submit to Judge James Robart the plan for how it intends to evaluate its police accountability system, the Community Police Commission has reiterated its rejection of Mayor Durkan’s proposed plan.

Continue reading One week before Court deadline, CPC rejects Mayor’s police accountability proposal