Mayor, SPD Chief give an update on officer hiring and retention efforts

2018 was a brutal year for the Seattle Police Department’s HR department: 109 officers left the force, but only 68 were hired. This led last year to a task force focused on improving hiring and retention, which mid-year issued a report with twelve recommendations that the Mayor adopted. The Mayor and the Council funded much of those recommendations in the 2020 budget, and this morning Mayor Durkan called a press conference, along with Council member Lisa Herbold and SPD Chief Carmen Best, to reveal the final hiring and retention numbers for 2019, the results for January 2020, and a new …

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City submits assessment of police accountability system

Friday afternoon, the City of Seattle submitted to the court its consultant assessment of the police department’s accountability system. The consultant found “not the need for wholesale change but for additional fine-tuning and refinement.” The issues it raises echo those voiced by the city’s Community Police Commission, with disagreement on only a few of the major points.

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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 …

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