Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s statement on DOJ Consent Agreement

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Councilmember Bruce A. Harrell

Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s statement on DOJ Consent Agreement

SEATTLE – Today, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, released the following statement regarding the police reform settlement with the Department of Justice:

"As Public Safety chair, my primary responsibility is to make sure the Police Department has the resources and policies in place to exemplify effectiveness; that it becomes an organization that continues to improve and adopt the culture of a learning organization. Now, it will be absolutely critical for the Police Department’s leadership to promote excellence in an environment subject to the scrutiny of a consent agreement.  My job is to ensure all communities have the tools to hold the City and the Police Department accountable for any actions that violate a person’s constitutional rights; it is not my job to Monday morning quarterback the substance of the agreement reached between the Mayor and the Department of Justice," said Councilmember Bruce Harrell.

"Next month, the Public Safety committee will be introducing legislation intended to give the Police Department unprecedented and unambiguous policy guidance on the Council’s expectations regarding their public safety efforts irrespective of the reform settlement. It will be imperative that our officers continue to feel empowered to do their jobs effectively under the consent agreement.

"As a lifelong Seattle resident and someone who grew up in the Central District in the ’60s and ’70s, I am hopeful that the Police Department embraces the consent agreement as a means to effectuate positive change. I fully understand how a majority of officers who have modeled effective behavior in this community may have concerns about the impact of the consent agreement, but now is the time for their leadership to shine."

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