Man chosen to monitor SPD speaks about challenges ahead

Print
Email
|

by LINDA BYRON / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @LByronK5

KING5.com

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 11:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 31 at 11:01 AM

LOS ANGELES --   Merrick Bobb isn't well known in Seattle, but in Los Angeles, he's a police accountability heavyweight who helped reform the city and county police departments.

In an exclusive interview with KING 5, Bobb says of Los Angeles, "Use of unnecessary force is down, community trust is up."

Bobb now faces the daunting task of monitoring the Seattle consent decree with the Department of Justice, including major changes in how police officers use force.

"Every police department wants to be as good as it can be and I think the SPD, which is already a good police department, can only become better," says Bobb.

Bobb is founder of PARC, the Police Assessment Resource Center in Los Angeles.  Police departments around the country have tapped his expertise in identifying systemic problems and offering fixes.

He is coming into a potentially hostile environment in Seattle.  The mayor, police chief and guild all opposed his selection.

Bobb said, "I am confident I will be able to gain cooperation and trust of those who have had concerns about my appointment."

An autoimmune disease left Bobb paralyzed 10  years ago.  But he says there should be no concerns about his health or his commitment to making the decree a success for police and citizens.

"I love doing it.  I think we're making a difference, and if I can make a difference in Seattle under the leadership of the court and Judge Robart, I will feel great."
 

Print
Email
|