Mayor Mike McGinn has reappointed retired judge Anne Levinson to a second term as the civilian auditor for the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), the internal-investigation arm of the Seattle Police Department.
The auditor, who serves a three-year term and is subject to City Council confirmation, acts as outside consultant who helps ensure that complaints alleging police misconduct are properly handled. The job also entails making recommendations to the mayor, council, city attorney and the Police Department on ways to improve the performance of the OPA.
Levinson, who was first appointed in July 2010, has issued reports calling for various changes, including in use of force, de-escalation of minor incidents and training.
Her work has drawn praise from Merrick Bobb, the independent, court-appointed monitor who is tracking federally mandated reforms in the Police Department to address excessive force and biased policing.
“Judge Levinson has been a superb OPA Auditor with excellent recommendations for the betterment of OPA investigations and procedures,” Bobb said in a written statement in which he added that Levinson will improve relations in Seattle’s diverse communities.
Levinson, in a prepared statement, said she would continue her efforts to “rebuild trust and mutual respect” between the community and the Police Department, along with addressing challenges officers may face.
McGinn, in a news release, said Levinson has been “particularly helpful” as the city has carried out reforms.