The creation of a "Community Police Commission" was one of the mandated remedies for shaping up Seattle's maligned police force offered up under the city's agreement with the Department of Justice. And this morning Mayor Mike McGinn announced that, with input from the City Council, he's issued an executive order to officially launch just such a commission.
Now comes the task of filling this Community Police Commission with actual warm bodies.
Saying the Commission's role "is to support the development of reforms, the establishment of police priorities, and mechanisms to promote community confidence in the Seattle Police Department," in a written statement distributed to the media, this morning McGinn put a call out for applications. According to the Mayor's office, once it's filled out the commission "will include members from each precinct of the City, police officer unions, faith communities, minority, ethnic, and other community organizations, and student or youth organizations."
Applications to get in on the Community Police Commission action can be found online; the deadline to apply is Nov. 1.
Also found online is a list of criteria the commission as a whole should meet:
• Demonstrated experience working effectively with diverse populations;
• Demonstrated ability to develop consensus and create positive change in organizations;
• Demonstrated knowledge of policing policies and procedures, including those related to searches and seizures, collection and release of information, use of force, and professional accountability;
• Experience in dealing with different aspects of the criminal justice system, whether from a policing, criminal prosecution or defense, victim, or defendant perspective;
• Demonstrated experience in creating and the ability to articulate firm ideas for creating a culture of policing that is community-based, effective, and constitutional;
• An understanding of local government and how City departments function in relation to one another;
• An understanding of how labor negotiations work, from a legal, management or employees perspective;
• Ability to articulate the vision and role of the Commission and describe how its work might positively impact all of Seattle's residents;
• Knowledge of, or experience with, the principles of the Race and Social Justice Initiative and other principles of race and social justice work;
• Experience in addressing mental health issues;
• Knowledge of public health and harm reduction models;
• Experience with program evaluation and outcomes measurement;
• Demonstrated community leadership;
• The ability to exercise independent judgment in matters before the Commission.
McGinn's office says he'll submit nominees for the commission to the City Council no later than 90 days from the issuance of his Executive Order.
"The Community Police Commission is an important part of building a strong partnership between the people of Seattle and our officers," said McGinn in the prepared written statement. "I encourage anyone interested in that work to apply to serve on this Commission."
"The Community Police Commission is intended to create an empowered commission that community members have long wanted," offered Councilmember Bruce Harrell in the same prepared written statement. "The Public Safety Committee worked directly with community members to write an ordinance, which will be introduced this week that demonstrates the City's commitment to providing effective and constitutional policing for all of Seattle's residents."