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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 8, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Seattle Mayor McGinn and City Attorney Holmes debate police reform

Unification is necessary

Seattle Mayor mike McGinn joins police at Seattle Police Department on Thursday, Feb. 14, to announce develop in the reform initiative, 20/20. McGinn and City Attorney Pete Holmes are in a dispute about who has the authority to reform the SPD. (KEN LAMBERT/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Seattle Mayor mike McGinn joins police at Seattle Police Department on Thursday, Feb. 14, to announce developments in the reform initiative, 20/20. McGinn and City Attorney Pete Holmes are in a dispute about who has the authority to reform the SPD. (KEN LAMBERT/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

My personal experience with Seattle police has been basically positive. Nevertheless, based on the local news and the Justice Department’s findings, many of us are convinced reforms are necessary to create better and more responsible police force. So let’s get on with it.

Let’s end the City Hall political infighting and the foot-dragging by the leadership in the Police Department and the officers’ union [“Attempt to resolve dispute stumbles,” NWThursday, March 7]. Let’s unite in working to make us all proud of our men and women in blue.

–Dick Johnson, Seattle

Merrick Bobb’s group costs

If, as quoted in The Times, Merrick Bobb, the overseer of Seattle Police Department, told a group of officers, “It seems like the city doesn’t know who’s on first base; they don’t know who is in charge,” then it is true now more than ever that Mayor Mike McGinn and City Attorney Peter Holmes get a decision from a court, make peace, split the difference or something, or the citizens of Seattle maybe paying Bobb and his “nonprofit” group a lot more than the first-year fee estimated at $1 million.

It has taken his group a lot more years in other cities. Bobb told U.S. District Judge James Robart the list he presented was his list for a broad range of first-year goals (the key words here are “first year”).

Not only has this “nonprofit” group cost other cities millions of dollars and years of conflicts, I would remind my fellow citizens that according to all reports this is the same “nonprofit” that determined for the Department of Justice that SPD needs federal oversight. If the DOJ believes SPD in fact does need oversight, why can’t they do it?

Personally, I find Bobb’s “nonprofit” group to be self-serving and providing themselves with long-term job protection.

–Harriet Benjamin, Seattle

‘War’ is inappropriate, reform should be simple

Here we go with a “City Hall War.” Both City Attorney Peter Holmes and Mayor Mike McGinn are elected officials, representing all of us.

The appointment of Merrick Bobb at $200-plus an hour is a waste of the moneys we don’t have in this police squabble.

What ever happened to the old tradition of workplace ethics, as in when an employees screws up badly they are fired, whether they belong to a union, as do our police officers and many employees in other workplaces or trades?

If an officer behaves badly in whatever case, as in the recent spate of various accusations regarding overly forceful apprehensions in an incident, to racial slurs, etc., and is deemed guilty, he should be fired, period. Why should this be any different from other work trades, dealing with the public or not?

This is city politics behaving badly, haven’t we gotten enough of this in our federal politics?

–Leonard Larson, South Seattle

Comments | More in Reform, Seattle, Seattle Police Department | Topics: Merrick Bobb, Miek McGinn, Peter Holmes

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