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June 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Former assistant chief to oversee SPD reforms

Former Seattle assistant police chief Harry C. Bailey, who retired in 2007, has been hired by Mayor Mike McGinn to help carry out the city’s plan to fix the Police Department.

McGinn unveiled the “20/20” plan in late March, calling for 20 changes in 20 months, after the U.S. Department of Justice found in December that Seattle police officers routinely use excessive force. The Justice Department also cited troubling evidence of biased policing.

The city and the Justice Department are currently engaged in talks on reaching a mutually approved, court-enforced consent decree to avoid a federal lawsuit to force changes.

Bailey, 68, who joined the Seattle Police Department in 1972, has worked with local, regional, state and federal agencies to address crime and related issues, according to a news release from McGinn’s office.
Bailey, who will be paid $75,000 from the existing city budget, has been recognized for his work in law enforcement and community development efforts, including management of Seattle’s Weed and Seed federal grant for several years, the news release said. The program targeted high-crime neighborhoods to weed out street crime and drug dealing while seeding the areas with social programs.

Bailey’s work on “20/20” will include community outreach, the mayor’s office said. Along with steps to deal with excessive force, the plan lists measures to curb biased policing, including improved training and data collection sought by the Justice Department.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan has described the plan as a “framework” that lacks details.

After leaving the Police Department, Bailey served as director of security for the Seattle Sonics and then the Oklahoma City Thunder after the team moved there following the 2007-08 season. He also is the volunteer security director for Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle.

Comments | Topics: Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle Police Department, U.S. Department of Justice

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