Comments

1
Wow. I didn't see that coming.
2
Bravo. 100% serious.
3
Yeah, this is such a bold statement from such a notorious Guild, I almost feel like it's too good to be true. Fingers crossed.
4
Hard to believe a word out of this guys mouth. He has damaged his credibility a bit. Put me down as cautiously hopeful
5
This is good, very good.
6
This is either a very good sign, or their contract negotiations are going very poorly.
7
Don't know if he is sincere or not, but public statements by SPOG leaders like this are certainly very, very welcome. Bravo, Ron Smith!
8
I know, right??! All those Klanazis with badges working around people they hate! Pfft! Just like Ferguson, Missouri/Misery . . . . --- http://www.copwatch.com
9
Hear, hear
10
Question from a citizen: What steps or actions or changes should I look for in order to judge whether these strong statements are meaningful and indicative of actual change? At this point I don't know if this is serious or PR, and I'm not sure how I would ever know.
11
Well knock me over with a feather....

Like others, I'm pretty surprised to hear this given everything I've heard from and about SPOG over the last several years. Nice sounding words... but I will remain somewhat skeptical until I see if this translates into actual better behavior by SPD and particularly their union representation.

Put me down as cautiously hopeful too.
12
So here's actions to back up the words. One of Ron's first acts as the new head of the Seattle Police Officers Guild was to convince his members to affiliate with the King County Labor Council, a significant event as very few police unions nationally affiliate with lefty labor councils. Ron also participated in a Labor Council sponsored meeting with Police Chief O'Toole and labor activists about police militarization and the recent events (at the time) in Ferguson, MO. Ron's motivation, in my opinion, is simple he represents a large group of good cops who's dedication to our city is tarnished by bigots. This is the real deal.
13
I sincerely hope @12 is correct.
15
He can prove his sincerity by not challenging SPD discipline, including firing, of cops who act out their racism or bigotry. Actions speak louder than words.
16
Nice rhetoric. I hope actions follow. SPD could start by hiring Seattle cops that actually live in Seattle.
17
Wow. Wait. What. Wow. Is this for real?
18
If he is genuine, and it sounds like he is, this is very refreshing to hear from the SPOG/SPD.
19
After an afternoon of ranting aloud to myself about the laughable, lazy vacuity of our United States Congress, imagine how pleased I am to something like THIS pop up. Share this with your friends and relatives.
20
What did you do with the real SPOG president? Lt. Rich O'Neill must be having ulcers now. Anyway, let's hope he backs up his words and SPOG stops defending the bad apples. The made the honest mistakes made by the good apples so much harder to work with when the whole barrel looks bad. And I'm tired of SPOG giving other public unions like the one I'm in a bad name.
21
Listen to this week's This American Life. It has good and bad examples of policing. The really interesting part was an officer in Vegas who talked about the aftermath of the shooting where two officers were killed, and how his own internal biases almost got him killed when he came face to face with a female shooter. It was really fascinating, and is probably exactly the sort of training that Smith is lauding in this article.

Training and leadership are the keys to turning SPD around. And the leadership needs to come not only from chiefs, but from line officers and Union officials. This is a good start.
22
Meanwhile Ferguson PD is being sued by the DOJ.

Adapt Or Die, SPD, because the citizens are furious and we pay the bills not the non-citizens you call "stakeholders", and we elect (and replace) the Council & Mayor. Not them.
23
l lived in Seattle for over 35 years. I was there during the 1968 riots in the "U" district. I experienced the badge heavy cops telling me that I couldn't walk 50 feet to my car just down the block. Instead of passing him I had to walk all the way around the block to get to my car. I'm now retired and live in Jefferson County where I grew up. I volunteer with our local Sheriff's office and have done so for 10 years now. We have a new Sheriff. He believes in listening to the community and learning what needs they have. I'm helping him with forming a Citizens Advisory Group as well as serving on the board of the Sheriff's Foundation. It's a real positive feeling to see the difference between the 1960 Seattle cops and what we now have in Jefferson County... I'm a strong proponent of Law Enforcement BUT only when the officers aren't "badge heavy"...
24
RD, don't expect the union to stop defending employees who are brought up on disciplinary charges. That's one of their main functions.

Doug, city employees used to be required to live in town, but that was challenged in court, and the city lost. That boat sailed long ago.

All in all, I'm liking what this guy had to say. Let's see how it plays out.
25
This is great. I hope that Ron can follow through. If the Guild actually does side with reform, this would be a significant breakthrough.
26
Ron, I am impressed by your words. If you follow them up with action, I'll back you up any day. Off to a very good start. This is how a union leader leads. A union leader strives to improve professionalism from within.
27
This is refreshing. Though I might say, I would have preferred to hear something along the lines of "Cops with racial bias should get out of this line of work" more than the suggestion that we should just pawn our racist cops off on some place akin to Ferguson, Missouri.
28
Ron is just trying to put on a nice public face on a department that's based on racism and homophobia. And I love how he looks like an ex-con just released from Walla Walla.
29
Ron Smith said ""I'm going to try to do better on things,"

Hey Ron, Yoda's got some excellent advice for ya "You must unlearn what you have learned.Try not. Do. Or do not."

30
Bias? Racism.
31
Good to see the change in the Union's position and rhetoric.
Maybe the Union sees the SPD Officer's individual pensions are increasingly at risk if the SPD does not change training, tactics and engagement procedure.
32
Especially with what @ 12 said, I am going to assume he means it. But fact that the guild has been so brazen in the past in resisting these types of things makes me think it is likely sincere. It isn't like the guild has a history of saying the right things to appease people or cleverly hiding their real beliefs or intentions.
33
Good things he says. I await action.
34
Well, until there are real changes, the lip service by the guy is pointless. Cops have a tough job, but a job that they chose willingly. If accountability becomes a normal part of the police department and justice system then all the blabber coming out of this guy's mouth might really be meaningful. All the talking in the world is not going to change the reality of their actions.
35
Wow! I wonder if we could get Mr. Smith to have a sit down with the head of the NYC police union...
36
Exactly why would sane person work as a Seattle Police Officer unless they had to live in the metro area and could not find any other work?
37
Why would anyone want to be a police officer anywhere? You see people at their absolute worst, you're only called when something awful has happened, and you often have to work with jerks.

For years there was a stigma against seeking mental health care in the military that is finally being slowly erased. I wish the same would happen with the cops. I think there's a lot of mental illness in that line of work. It has to get to you after a while.
39
Apparently #28 needs the training. Nice job judging a highly intelligent and compassionate leader by the ink on his arms. It's a 2 way street...Stay in your lane.
40
The Seattle police department defrauded this entire city for a system of accountability at the direction of its union. No one has been held accountable for this coruption and fraud. No one has been held accountable for all the abuse and lies revealed by the federal investigation. How much in Millions has this fraud cost the taxpayers of Seattle since? There isnt even money for the upkeep or our parks while they announce new vehicles, new uniforms, a new logo for the entire department and all the other new toys. Budgets have been cut across the board effecting everyone in this city while the entire SPD received retroactive raises going back to 2011 the year of the federal investigation. Then we find out that the SPD isnt even doing investigations into burgluaries or rape kits and crime has rizen 10 percent. This new chief has no effect in the city already held hostage by its police department and their union. And they dont even live in this city. Nothing has changed and this entire mess is a god damn disgrace. Wake up Seattle. The SPD is the new Mafia and we are all paying dearly for it.
41
I finally had time to read this and RIGHT ON Seattle Police Officers Guild I was so relieved b-cause Det. Smith (to me) was exactly what I read in this interview! No different πŸ’™ #GoodCop After being Sexually Abused by one #BadCop then to have the entire PD #Abuse the hell out of me trying to "Get rid of me" & then to fight for new laws in our state to STOP #StopPoliceSexualAbuse and the #CoverUps that come w/reporting the abuse- I NEVER thought I would EVER TRUST ANY Police Officer again! Ken Lang - Crime Author Fan Page Is a #PoliceOfficer who I TRUST w/all my heart! Until Det. Smith- Det. Lang was the only one! Until Det. Ron Smith 🌹 God Help me But I think I trust this #GoodCop
42
"This new chief has no effect in the city already held hostage by its police department and their union."

Wrong. Here's how it works: Unions negotiate on behalf of labor for salary and benefits, and defend employees who accused of wrongdoing.

The city's Labor Relation's department tends to let unions walk all over them, because they are afraid of political backlash. Sometimes, they even give things back that the unions have conceded. The union negotiators know this, and like any good agent, they take advantage of that. After all, no mayor wants to be the mayor that had the big police walkout. I believe the last time there was a big labor action in Seattle City Government were the IBEW strikes at City Light in the 1970's. Ironically enough, the unions ended up conceding to the city's demands in both instances, and the mayor suffered no real political backlash.

And the residency thing is never going to happen. It's settled law:

http://law.justia.com/cases/washington/s…
43
Holy shit, did this guy have a personality transplant? I guess he had a sit down with the police chief and saw the light. It's quite remarkable and a stark contrast to the union's position a year or so ago when they filed suit to oppose the federal court consent decree. Whatever the cause, I like it. I credit O'Toole.
44
@43: SPOG didn't file suit last year. About 10% of SPD's sworn staff did, but they were not represented by the guild.
45
Wait, isn't this the cop who was arrested and prosecuted for shooting another biker at Sturgis a few years ago, and had two disciplines against him, once for taunting another fan at a football game and another time for a verbal altercation with a restaurant employee. Hmmmm...sounds like he's EXACTLY the one to give advice on how to conduct one's self as a professional. HA!

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