In a week that seems destined to produce another intriguing chapter in the showdown between the U.S. Justice Department and the Seattle Police Department, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn took to the radio airwaves today, telling KUOW that the cost of implementing all of the Justice Department's reforms would come at a staggering price tag of $41 million.
As we've noted, the City and the Justice Department are currently locked in negotiations related to a series of SPD reforms demanded by the DOJ in the wake of last year's stern reprimand for what the federal agency has classified as a an SPD pattern of using excessive force, especially toward minorities. If the city and the DOJ cannot agree on the consent decree, the DOJ has threatened to file a lawsuit.
The City is expected to formally respond to the reforms demanded by the DOJ this week (likely Wednesday), and it seems the price tag is setting up to be a major sticking point.
"The point at which we have to make cuts in other programs to fund this -- and we know it's going to cost money, that's why we put aside $5 million, and we started our planning around that. We know it's going to cost money and we are prepared to spend money. But it's got to be not in a way that actually endangers or compromises our ability to provide public safety in other functions of government."