Seattle City Council passes Morales amendment requiring SPD to report on issues affecting women on the force

The Seattle City Council passed legislation today that included an amendment from Tammy J. Morales (District 2) requiring specific, detailed reporting on what the Seattle Police Department (SPD) is doing to hire more women and address gender discrimination issues.

“It’s time for the behavior described by women at SPD to end — full stop. I have repeatedly called on SPD leadership to tell us their plan to address their toxic culture. Now, my amendment will mandate this.” said Councilmember Morales

Issues women have reported within SPD

Last year, a revered detective with more than 40 years of service at the Seattle Police Department filed a lawsuit against the department alleging racial and gender discrimination.

In January, an assistant chief with 27-years on the force sued the department alleging gender discrimination.

In February, the 30×30 Report was released. In it, women at the Seattle Police Department described gender discrimination and sexual harassment happening inside the department.

Last month, four women working for the department also sued alleging sexual discrimination and harassment.

Just yesterday, a male officer filed a lawsuit alleging racial and gender discrimination, describing the environment as having the “appearance of segregation.”

How the legislation works

The amendment requires the Seattle Police Department regularly report on what it’s doing to address gender discrimination. That includes, among other things, SPD’s work to:

  • Show organizational support in various areas including: promotional opportunities, family or maternity-leave policies, and redress for gender discrimination or sexual harassment;
  • Address negative attitudes with respect to women taking on leadership roles within SPD;
  • Ensure that women have an equal opportunity to become officers and will receive equal opportunities and treatment throughout their careers as officers;
  • Support women to perceive policing as a career in which they have a meaningful place;
  • Ensure equitable access to specialty assignments and professional development including leadership training; and
  • Increase the retention rates of women officers to allow them to have a greater impact on department culture, create a healthier workplace environment, and make SPD more efficient.

More information on the amendment.