Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and top federal officials, speaking this morning after a summit, said the city is making significant progress on police reforms, but that much work lies ahead, particularly on training and improving technology to measure the changes.
Murray convened the rare meeting to discuss the 2012 settlement agreement in which the city agreed to meet federally mandated reforms to curtail excessive force and biased policing.
“Constitutional policing and effective policing go hand in hand,” top Department of Justice official Jocelyn Samuels said at a news conference after the summit.
U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said she could not overstate “the importance of this meeting.”
Murray announced that the parties had reached a consensus for reform plans in 2014.
Also attending the summit was Merrick Bobb, the court-appointed monitor overseeing police reforms.
Operating with a mandate from Murray to accelerate the pace of reforms, interim Seattle Police Chief Harry Bailey has wasted little time in assembling his own command staff while helping usher some of the old guard out the door.
In an interview last week with The Seattle Times, Bailey said he and his staff are developing a “road map” for the future and “resetting” the Police Department before a permanent chief is hired.
Bailey said the department’s new Compliance and Professional Standards Bureau was ready to tackle the requirements of the consent decree with the Justice Department. The bureau is headed by newly promoted Assistant Chief Tag Gleason, who said it will seek to work in collaboration with federal attorneys and Bobb.