Tag: Police

Urban Politics #260: Public Hearings Before Police Contract Negotiations Begin

September 12th, 2008

Many aspects of police accountability must be bargained with the police labor unions including the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) and the Seattle Police Management Association (SPMA). Labor negotiations are very different from the usual legislative process and they are confidential.

Once they begin, labor negotiations do not allow for public involvement. By law, the public is not a direct party to the process itself. The public interest is represented by the elected officials involved in the process.

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Urban Politics #254: Seattle Police Officers’ Contract

May 1st, 2008

Last week, a proposed labor contract agreement between the City and the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) was announced by each the Mayor’s Office, Council Public Safety Committee Chair Councilmember Tim Burgess, and SPOG. Each announcement recognized the shared interests – including higher wages, accountability, and recruitment incentives – of our police officers, Seattle residents and City officials.

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Urban Politics #225: Year End Summary

December 29th, 2006

On a serious note, this year posed some unexpected challenges. After chosen for the two-year position of Council President, I immediately faced hiring an outside investigator to review our department’s management-employee relations. That the Council President – among other duties – is essentially the director of the Legislative Department is not well known. Several employees felt that they had been discriminated against. I took their concerns seriously. The investigation conducted 58 interviews and resulted in files of more than 30,000 pages to review. There was no conclusion that any discrimination occurred yet changes in some management policies are definitely needed. Consequently, as Council President, I have initiated a set of new procedures governing our managers and employees to improve communication, evaluation and opportunities for advancement. In addition, new workshops and trainings will be held with required attendance.

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Urban Politics #224: Council’s Public Safety Package

November 25th, 2006

Last week the Seattle City Council unanimously passed the 2007-2008 Budget that contained a Public Safety Package to address citizen’s growing concern about crime in Seattle. The Council broke new ground by presenting a $6 million comprehensive approach to prevent, reduce, and address crime and its impacts. In addition to adding more police officers funds were provided for youth intervention and crime prevention programs and programs that link human services and public safety.

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Urban Politics #222: Funding More Police

October 27th, 2006

I have received a number of citizen requests for supporting additional police officers to this City’s biennium budget. Public safety is the primary responsibility of municipal government, as evidenced by the fact that 54% of the Mayor’s 2007- 2008 General Fund budget (funds generated by local taxes) is proposed to be spent on public safety.

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Urban Politics #215: Public Hearing

May 23rd, 2006

A public hearing held on April 18 in my Public Safety, Governmental Relations, and Arts Committee was called by some a “historic moment.” It was the first time in Seattle that a public hearing was held in advance of its police union labor talks.

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Urban Politics #212: Police Accountability

April 14th, 2006

Police accountability means many things to many people. This hearing is not intended to be a venue for testifying about more general public safety issues such as a) the need for additional neighborhood patrol staffing, b) neighborhood watch groups’ needs for better access to data about local crime trends, or c) individual complaints. If you have an interest in issues like these, you can contact my office to find out what meetings are scheduled for citizen input.

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Urban Politics #198: A Public Safety Initiative

June 6th, 2005

You may recall that in 2003 the Seattle Police Department was required, as a result of budget cuts that impacted all City Departments, to reduce sworn positions. After the 2004 budget cuts, I began acting as Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Arts Committee Chair. Over this period of time I have heard a consistent plea for more visible policing as well as restoration of police functions that support community policing.ÊÊ

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Urban Politics #195: A Public Safety Initiative

May 10th, 2005

On April 26, 2005 the Council sponsored a Citywide Neighborhood Crime Summit and Public Hearing where a packed Council Chamber heard each of the Police Precinct Commanders explain how they deployed their police officers in their respective precincts in response to citizen concerns about crime. The Chair of each Precinct Advisory Council also chaired meetings for each of the Precinct caucuses during a breakout session and then reported back to the full group.

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Urban Politics #193: Neighborhood Crime Forum

April 25th, 2005

Tuesday evening, April 26th, the City Council will be hosting a Citywide Neighborhood Crime Summit and Public Hearing in the City Hall Council Chambers (600 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle).

As Chair of the Council’s Committee with oversight on Public Safety, I wanted to hold this summit as an opportunity for citizens from all five of our Precincts to learn more on how our Police Department deploys our officers and to also share their experiences on how to make our communities safer.

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