The aingle most important change, by an order of magnitude, would be body cameras. Ferguson. For instance, would not be happening now if there were video of the encounter. And it's my impression that most police are in favor of this. However, there's no mention of it in this article, although SPD has reported that they're testing them out. I'm a little puzzled by the lack of demand by progressives for implementing this solution. Seems a lot smarter than adding bureaucracy, which is ultimately what these proposals amount to.
@1 Um, there is plenty of video evidence during the Ferguson protests of police over-reaction, threatening citizens and reporters with guns and not a single one has been punished. Hell, there is cell phone video of St Louis police shooting a mentally ill black man who did not pose an immediate threat (sure he had a small knife ala John Williams.).

Also, the easiest solution to all of this: if a police uses unnecessary force (lethal or otherwise) then they are fired. Saying they "feared for their life" is not an excuse if any other reasonable person would not have actually "feared for their life" in that situation.
Seattle cops should live in Seattle. Has Murray addressed that? I'm not seeing it here.
Pre-employment, post-incident and random drug and alcohol testing for all public officials who carry a gun. Is that really too much to ask? I mean, insurance companies demand that of the people who load asses onto ski lifts!
@2: I was speaking, obviously, of body cameras on patrol officers like Darren Wilson, not riot police.
The list is pretty lame. All the implemented recommendations are administrative in nature and largely have to do with making information available. That's cool and all, but the 15 recommendations remaining are all the ones with teeth -- like those that could change the outcome in a disciplinary proceeding.
@3: State law prohibits cities from requiring employees to live within city limits.
@7: Yes, I know it's not realistic, but I don't see Murray, etc, addressing the issue here.

The question I have is how far is too far to live from Seattle if you're a "local" cop? Randy Jokela's house in Enumclaw is an hour's drive from the West Precinct where he works. Is it any wonder that his values do not reflect those of the citizens of Seattle?

Cops are not just city employees, they are public servants. Living in a community totally disassociated geographically and philosophically from the one you supposedly "serve" makes no sense.
The 15 recommendations if negotiated on w/ the union will be rendered into uselessness unless O'Toole, Murray and the Council show some spine. Heh heh heh heh.
At first I thought the wooden seal was a large sombrero worn by the woman standing in front of it.
What leverage does the city have with the union? Are we prepared to let them strike, and break the union? If not, then what has Murray got? Asking nicely? Begging?

Uhhh...that would be Chief O'Toole, VL...LOLOL
nothing in this statement that would require actual police work
@7: Does it prohibit giving preferential hiring to people living closer?
"sure he had a small knife ala John Williams"

Well then, let me come over to your place and ram a 'small' knife into your chest or skull big boy.

As one emergency room doctor once pointed out to me, a 'small' knife is like a small gun. It can still kill you easily and quickly.

But it's okay, I understand, most Seattle liberals get their understanding of policemen, guns and knives from watching television and movies.
@11 - police cannot strike. They have the right to use binding arbitration to resolve contract negotiations as a result of their inability to strike. If contract negotiations reach an impasse, the parties then wind up in binding arbitration, where a result is imposed rather than negotiated.

The interesting thing about body cameras (which are good for both cops and citizens) is that they may not be workable under Washington's public records laws.…

Yeah, they can't "strike". But the can "stop" "doing" "their" "job".

Same thing, but with scare quotes, basically. Which is why there needs to be a way to "break" the "union".

Which requires leverage. No scare quotes. Leverage. As in actual power.
@16: Or under any state's public records law that guarantees the public access to the records with the cost of making them available to the public borne by the public agency who creates them.

"If you want access to all of our on-the-job video, we just won't record ourselves on the job," is not an acceptable response. With the extraordinary authority to harm people on the job should come extraordinary scrutiny of one's actions on the job.
@18 - so when all 1000 SPD officers have body cameras and there's a request made for all recorded video, how do you propose SPD goes through the video to determine what should be redacted? You're talking probably dozens, if not hundreds, of employees working full time to fulfill such requests and make sure that anybody on that video that has a privacy interest is protected. Are you willing to fork over the millions of dollars in increased taxes to pay for it? And for a smaller city like Bremerton or Poulsbo, should they bankrupt themselves and have cameras, our stay solvent and not?

Having body cameras is a good thing. Unfortunately I'm not sure we've reckoned with the budgetary consequences of their implementation, especially when it comes to review and disclosure. It'll be interesting to see how it sorts itself out.
Our public records laws are completely asinine and unworkable. In a large percentage if instances the law is exploited by various freaks and cranks to no public benefit. There has to be some records review office to decide upon merits of the request. As written, it is one of those moronic pieces of legislation which could easily be exploited to essentially paralyze targeted offices. At the least, it's a huge waste of state resources.
@19: I propose our public employees either refrain from comingling releasable and non-releasable records or devise a workable plan for redacting all of our public records after the fact. The alternative is to allow them to decide what is good for us to know and what is not good for us to know, and that is unacceptable.
@20: Who are you to judge what oversight of government work is good for the public to have the ability to perform and what is not? Shall we allow our public employees to dictate what record of their work we are allowed to see and what record of their work we are prohibited from seeing? I think not.

The people of Washington do not yield our sovereignty to the agencies that serve us. The people, in delegating authority, do not give our public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for us to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that we may maintain control over the instruments that we have created.
@12: I'm a Chicagoan, Rujax! I don't usually recognize your Left Coast public servants on sight (I'm bad with faces in general), and I tend to be too easily bored to look them up. The point is that I THOUGHT IT WAS A GIANT SOMBRERO.
Bonus giant sombrero:…
@21 - well, how about you tell us? How do you propose the city go through millions of hours of video to determine what should be released in response to public disclosure requests, and what shouldn't? How many hundreds of people will have to be hired to sift through all the video?

Just to give one example, cops typically work either 8 or 10 hour shifts. I've previously read criticism about officers not turning on cameras, and that they need to be on all the time. Well, okay, let's say you do that. What happens when a cop needs to use the bathroom? Should that be recorded? And if it is, shouldn't that be redacted? To do the redacting, you have to have someone watch the video. To watch every minute of video, you have to have the same number of people that you do officers with cameras. That's potentially hundreds of people. That's a lot of money. Where do you get it?
SPD worried about going through millions of hours of video? Get real. The SPD is more worried about keeping their overly high number of administrative positions and not being filmed while beating the Mexican piss out of people.

The SPD already has all the people they need to sift through millions of hours of video. But to actually have them do that would require these puff positions actually do something other than collect a paycheck.

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