SEATTLE – Seattle mayor Mike McGinn and police chief John Diaz gave the public an update Thursday on the police department’s reform plan and introduced a resource for citizens to track its progress.
The “SPD 20/20 Plan: A Vision for the Future.” The reforms come after the U.S. Department of Justice found what it called a "pattern and practice" of excessive force by Seattle police. DOJ has said it's pleased with the 20/20 plan, but still intends to seek a court order to ensure SPD adopts changes outlined in a DOJ report released in December.
“We will work together with the community in ensuring that we build the types of changes in this department that will be long-lasting and will be supported,” said McGinn during a morning press conference.
Thirty-four officers will be involved in implementing SPD 20/20, led by Assistant Police Chief Mike Sanford.
“To take a Seattlecentric approach to this, we need and are working hand-in-hand with our critics, with our community and our police officers to identify those areas where we can improve the services the department provides to our city,” said Sanford, who is heading up the reform program. “By working closely with community groups, SPD will be more transparent and directly accountable to our city and to the people who helped design this plan.”
The Seattle Times, citing sources, reports one possible addition to the reforms could be a so-called “shadow chief” that would have sweeping oversight power and would answer only to a federal judge.
McGinn said weekly updates on the reform plan will be found at www.seattle.gov/spd2020. The public can also sign up for e-mail updates on the plan. The site includes biographies of the officers involved in the project and their areas of focus.
“We encourage the public to hold us accountable for our progress” said McGinn.
In the end, Chief Diaz said the buck stops with him.
“Ultimately, I’m accountable for implementing this program,” said Diaz.
Information compiled by KING 5's Travis Pittman