A federal judge this afternoon approved an independent monitor’s first-year reform plan for the Seattle Police Department, putting in place specific deadlines and tasks ranging from use of force to crisis intervention.
U.S. District Judge James Robart, who is overseeing a settlement agreement reached in July between the city and the Department of Justice, accepted the plan at the urging of the city and federal attorneys.
The plan represents a significant milestone in the police-reform effort, triggered by a finding of the Justice Department in December 2011 that Seattle police had engaged in a “pattern or practice” of using excessive force and displayed troubling evidence of biased policing.
Drafted by Merrick Bobb, whom Robart appointed to the monitor position following the settlement, the plan provides a road map for department reform that could take up to five years.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Police Chief John Diaz initially objected to some elements of the plan, pitting them against City Attorney Pete Holmes, who favored a more collaborative approach.
To view a video of today’s hearing, recorded under a pilot project involving 14 U.S. District Courts, click here.