Seattle , WA 98101
Position Description Benefits Supplemental Questions
The City of Seattle is embarking upon a period of historic police reform and has adopted groundbreaking legislation to establish the Office of Inspector General for Public Safety (OIG) as a key component. The candidate selected to serve as the new OIG Director will have the opportunity to stand up a new office in an innovative approach to police reform in one of the nation's leading cities.
The City of Seattle (population 700,000) is an exciting urban city surrounded by unmatched natural beauty. Seattle is a seaport city and is the largest city in the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest. Named as the fastest-growing city in the United States in July 2016, Seattle maintains an annual 3.1% growth rate.
Named as the sixth best place to live in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle offers a thriving economy.
Logging was Seattle's first major industry, evolving into a commercial and shipbuilding center by the late 19th century. Today, Seattle is a major port city and is the fifth largest container port in the United States and 25th largest in the world. After World War II, Seattle became the center for aircraft manufacturing, partially due to the local Boeing company.
The area has also developed as a technology center with companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Nintendo. Other notable companies headquartered or started in Seattle include Starbucks, Nordstrom, Costco, and Tully's. Seattle remains a hotbed for start-up businesses, especially in green building and clean technologies. The City holds a high ranking as a "smarter city" based on its government policies and green economy.
Seattle's climate is classified as oceanic or temperate marine, with cool, wet winters and mild, relatively dry summers. Temperature extremes are moderated by the adjacent Puget Sound, greater Pacific Ocean, and Lake Washington. Therefore, extreme heat waves are rare, as are very cold temperatures.
As a diverse metropolitan area, Seattle has much to offer including higher education opportunities, professional and collegiate sporting events, a nationally recognized health care network, a lively cultural arts scene, and unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities.
The people of Seattle are very engaged and active in improving their neighborhoods, combating climate changes, and creating a diverse and inclusive city to call home.
City Government and the Seattle Police Department
Founded in 1869, Seattle is a charter city with a mayor-council form of government. The mayor is elected at-large, as are two of the nine City Council members; the remaining seven are elected by council district. Seattle's City Attorney and Municipal Court judges are also elected positions.
The Mayor is the chief executive officer of the City and directs and controls all subordinate officers of the City, unless otherwise provided for by the City Charter. The Mayor appoints heads of departments, subject to the approval of the City Council.
The Mayor has the authority to veto ordinances passed by the Council and the Council may override such vetoes by a two-thirds majority vote. The Mayor proposes the budget which is subject to Council approval.
The Seattle Police Department is responsible for public safety services covering 143 square miles. These services include: foot, car, and bike patrols in the City's five precincts; harbor patrol of 59 square miles of waterways; a 9-1-1 communication center; traffic and parking enforcement; SWAT; and a K9 unit. The Department employs 1,376 sworn officers and 513 civilian employees.
History of Police Reform in Seattle
The 2010 shooting death of First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams by a Seattle police officer, and a series of other serious incidents involving police and people of color, crystallized public concern about bias and the use of excessive force in the Seattle Police Department.
In response to a broad-based community request, and after a federal investigation, the City of Seattle signed a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to reform the Seattle Police Department's practices.
The consent decree outlines the work to be done by the City of Seattle to meet the terms of the settlement agreement and memorandum of understanding with the Department of Justice. The consent decree is overseen by a federal judge and his specially appointed police monitor.
In Seattle, under Seattle's system, the Chief of Police and SPD management are expected to play an important role in the accountability system. After initial resistance to the consent decree, the Seattle Police Department embraced reform and has been driving internal change for the past five years, demonstrating a strong commitment to constitutional policing and community engagement.
These reform efforts accelerated greatly under the leadership of Chief Kathleen O'Toole and this year SPD passed the tenth and last systemic assessment by the federal monitoring team. As SPD moves beyond the consent decree to the next steps in reform and improvement, SPD looks forward to productive relationships with the new accountability structures.
Initially established as a requirement of the consent decree, the City of Seattle established the Community Police Commission to make policy recommendations during reform and to serve as a conduit between the Police Department, the City, and the community. However, in the first step of sweeping reform, in 2017 the Seattle City Council made the Community Police Commission permanent and broadened its scope and responsibilities.
On May 22, 2017, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed comprehensive police reform legislation reconfiguring one aspect of police accountability and establishing another. The Seattle Police Department's former Office of Professional Accountability was moved outside of the agency to be operationally independent of the Police Department, its composition balanced between sworn officers and civilians, and its name changed to the Office of Police Accountability. In addition, the Office of Inspector General for Public Safety was created to provide civilian auditing of the management, practices, and policies of the Seattle Police Department and the Office of Police Accountability.
These three entities - the Community Police Commission, the Office of Police Accountability, and the Office of Inspector General for Public Safety, are statutorily co-equal and are designed to provide a robust environment of checks and balances to enhance the trust and confidence of the community and build an effective police department that respects the civil and constitutional rights of the people of Seattle.
The Office of Inspector General for Public Safety (OIG), in collaborative partnership with the Office of the Police Accountability (OPA) and the Community Police Commission (CPC), helps ensure the actions of Seattle Police Department (SPD) employees are constitutional and in compliance with law, City, and SPD policies. In addition, the OIG promotes respectful and effective policing.
The OIG oversight activities objectively ensure the ongoing integrity of SPD processes and operations and that SPD is meeting its mission to address crime and improve quality of life through the delivery of constitutional, professional, and effective police services in a way that reflects the values of Seattle's diverse communities. The Office of the Inspector General for Public Safety (OIG Director) manages, and is accountable for, all functions and responsibilities of the Office of the Inspector General for Public Safety.
The OIG Director is appointed by the full City Council. OIG is an independent City office. The OIG Director may be appointed and reappointed for up to two six-year terms for a total of 12 years.
The authority and responsibility of the OIG Director include:
Managing all functions and responsibilities of the OIG as set forth in Chapter 3.29 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
Supervising staff to ensure professional and appropriate performance of duties consistent with City of Seattle Human Resources polices and Chapter 3.29 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
Conducting risk management reviews and performance audits, including sample and aggregate data, to identify systemic problems and to establish patterns and trends, of any and all SPD and OPA operations, and criminal justice operations that involve SPD and OPA.
Reviewing OPA and SPD handling of allegations of misconduct, including directing audits and reviews of OPA classifications and investigations, directing any additional OPA investigations, and making certification determinations on OPA investigations.
Handling misconduct complaints involving OPA staff where a potential conflict of interest precludes OPA from handling the complaint.
Reviewing SPD handling of incidents involving death, serious injury, serious use of force, mass demonstrations, serious property or vehicle damage, or other issues as determined by OIG.
Performing the police intelligence auditor function as defined in Chapter 14.12 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
Creating OIG's annual workplan, in consultations with OPA, CPC, and the Chair of the Public Safety Committee.
Monitoring the implementation of recommendations made by the OIG, the OPA Director, and CPC by SPD, OPA, City elected officials, and other City departments and offices.
Assessing the thoroughness, fairness, consistency..... click apply for full job details