News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Statement of U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan Regarding
Seattle Police Department Leadership

January 29, 2014

“True and effective reform of the Seattle Police Department will require steady work and strong leadership.  Today Mayor Murray continued to show such leadership, making structural changes to ensure compliance and reform efforts are unified and come from the top.  We have met with Interim Chief Harry Bailey and believe he is strongly committed to constitutional and effective policing.  He and the Mayor have made public safety and reform the top priorities of the Department and have set an important tone.  They understand both the challenges police officers face, and that those officers must have public trust to succeed.
Next week, the acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department (Jocelyn Samuels) and I will be meeting with the Mayor, Chief Bailey and other elected officials of the City of Seattle, along with the Monitor, and members of the police department.  We will work together to identify and agree on the reform goals for 2014, discuss structural changes in SPD, and work to ensure everyone is moving towards the same goals.  The next several months are critical to the reform process, and the commitments by all parts of City government are essential for success. 

Done right, the new Chief of Police will have the necessary framework to lead the Seattle Police Department to be the national model for urban policing.”

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