This morning, U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart formally appointed Merrick Bobb, a nationally recognized expert on police accountability and Seattle's controversial pick to oversee the settlement agreement between U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Seattle.

Last week, Mayor Mike McGinn called the city council's support for Bobb "a mistake" as our local police officer's union seethed in the background. Nevertheless, the city and DOJ filed a joint motion last week notifying the court of their selection and requesting Bobb's appointment.

As our brand-spankin'-new monitor, Bobb will assess the city’s compliance with the settlement agreement, report on the status of that compliance to the court and public, resolve disputes, and provide assistance to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and our newly created public watchdog, the Community Police Commission.

As his local cheerleaders have noted, Bobb is well qualified to hold our damp hands through the consent decree process. He's monitored police departments in many other cities, including the LAPD; He recently assessed the King County Sheriff’s Office’s procedures concerning officer-involved shootings; And in 2008, he wrote the playbook for police department monitors, “National Guidelines for Police Monitors.”