Statement of U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes on State of the Union and Seattle Police Department
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole was a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama at last night's State of the Union address in recognition of the Seattle Police Department's reform efforts. Chief O'Toole then met with President Obama and the First Lady after the speech to discuss police reform. U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes issued the following statement:
"The White House has recognized the real and significant progress the Seattle Police Department has made in some of the most critical areas of law enforcement, like de-escalation and encounters with community members in crisis. Strong leadership from the Chief of Police, Mayor Murray and other City leaders, continued engagement and dedication by rank and file officers, and collaboration with community stakeholders, especially members of the Community Police Commission, have put Seattle on the path to being leaders in modern policing. And while the work of consent decree compliance continues, the commitment of the City of Seattle is clear. We ask a lot of police officers in Seattle and in communities across the country, and our experiences here show that providing clear guidance, effective training, and real supervision and accountability can increase public safety and strengthen bonds between police departments and the communities they serve."
Currently, as part of reform efforts, the Monitor and Department of Justice are conducting formal assessments to measure whether SPD is in initial compliance with requirements of the court-ordered consent decree. Information about the first five assessments can be found here and here.