A screen capture of the SPD Southwest Precinct website as it stands today, with contact information and links to community sources. Mayor Mike McGinn announced on Feb. 14 that each precinct will have their own dedicated websites this summer, complete with a blog written by local law enforcement leaders.
Southwest Precinct Police website coming this summer as part of SPD reform
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn spent part of Feb. 14 updating his city on progress they have made with SPD 20/20 Initiative, a 20-part plan to improve officer training, transparency, public trust and policing tactics over 20 months.
Part of the progress report includes new details that each Seattle Precinct (including the Southwest Precinct covering West Seattle and South Park) will have their own website by summer of 2013.
“Web pages specific to each of Seattle’s five precinct are in development …,” according to a published 20/20 report. “These pages will include blog space reserved for precinct commanders for direct interaction with precinct residents and stakeholders.”
Currently, the Southwest Precinct web page includes contact information, an address and any SPD Blotter news items pertaining to the area. The expanded website should provide the community with more opportunities for personal interaction with local law enforcement.
“We are about half way through our timeline for reforming the Seattle Police Department in 20 months, and significant progress has been made. I encourage the public to visit seattle.gov/spd2020 to learn more about our changes to recruitment, training, transparency, community outreach, use of data in policing and much more,” McGinn said.
Additional highlights from the Mayor’s update include (from his office):
• Review of uses of force: SPD now has a Force Review Board, designed on the model of the Firearms Review Board. It meets each week to review every use of force by every Seattle Police officer and draw conclusions about whether the use of force was handled correctly. We have also recruited and trained a Force Investigation Team to respond and investigate at the scene of a use of force incident.
• Data-driven policing: SPD has piloted and tested evidence-based “hot spot” policing (the “Koper Curve” model) at the micro level to address location-based crime and disorder problems in each of the five precincts. Additionally, statistical tools are used to measure the effectiveness of the tactics employed. This has created a significant shift in the culture of policing within the Department, away from random patrol to addressing disorder closer to the origins of its cause. The purchase of “PredPol” (a predictive policing, algorithm based software using forensic anthropology) has enabled us to leverage existing mapping software to utilize predictive analytics in the tactical deployment of officers.
• Training: SPD now has a full time Race and Social Justice Initiative program coordinator. By the end of 2013 all sworn and civilian officers will take part in the RSJI training, “Race: The Power of an Illusion”. SPD is working with Tribes across Washington including the Lummi Nation and Tulalip Tribes to develop specific training for officers on issues affecting our Native American population. Street skills training has been expanded to address the difficult problem of low level offenses from escalating. By the end of 2013 in all SPD officers will be trained in Crisis Intervention Team tactics, which focus on de-escalating interactions with people in mental health crisis.
• Transparency: SPD last year launched Tweets by Beat, an interactive 9-1-1 crime map with real time updates, and precinct specific webpages are coming soon.
• Community Outreach: In 2012 we launched our Safe Communities outreach initiative, talking to thousands of residents and building better relationships between our officers and our community. We have appointed our Community Police Commission, who will provide civilian oversight to the implementation of 20/20, the Settlement Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Justice.
• Recruitment: SPD will eliminate the $25 fee application fee for all those interested in applying, made plans to increase the number of opportunities for testing throughout the year, and worked with community-based organizations to recruit potential candidates from various communities that reflect our diverse city.
A full 20/20 Initiative update can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/spd2020/docs/SPD2020_STATUSUPDATE_WEB.pdf