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Press Release

Statement by U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan on Seattle Police Department Leadership

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington

"True and effective reform of the Seattle Police Department will require steady work and strong leadership.  Today Mayor Murray provided that leadership and charted a clear course for moving forward.  I look forward to working with him and interim Chief Harry Bailey,  and welcome their strong commitment to constitutional and effective policing.  I also want to recognize Jim Pugel’s service and leadership.  He has made reform a strong priority throughout his tenure as interim Chief.    I have worked with both Jim Pugel and Harry Bailey, and know they love this City and are dedicated to the officers and mission of the Department.

Together, the Justice Department, the City of Seattle, the Monitor, and members of the police department and our community have identified reforms that must take root at the Seattle Police Department.  The consent decree details how those changes will be implemented.  Over the last several months, we have made strong progress on the building blocks of reform.  There is a new comprehensive use of force policy in place, approved by the federal judge overseeing this process.  We also have agreed on new policies around Stops and Detentions and Biased-Free Policing that have been submitted to the Court and we hope will be approved shortly.

The next several months are critical to the reform process, and the commitment by the Mayor and Chief are essential for success.  Together with the Community Police Commission we are developing new training around all the new policies.  We are also working to develop and adopt a new policy and training for crisis intervention and interactions with those affected by mental illness or substance abuse.   
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."

-- Jenny A. Durkan, United States Attorney, Western District of Washington

Updated March 23, 2015