Report: Positive progress, significant disappointment for SPD

Report: Positive progress, significant disappointment for SPD
File photo: Seattle Police Department patch, July 2012.

SEATTLE - Positive progress and significant disappointment is how Monitor Merrick Bobb categorizes the Seattle Police Department and the City of Seattle's performance over the last six months.

Under terms of the Settlement Agreement the police department agreed to in 2012, federal monitor Merrick Bobb files a twice-annual update on the police department's progress toward reform. The December 2013 report was released Friday afternoon.

The city's Firearms Review Board, and the Department's information technology capabilities were said to have "significant disappointment and frustration across several areas," and that "intransigence and an aversion to innovation in some quarters" has kept SPD from making the kind of progress the monitoring team expected.

In contrast, the Department's Use of Force Review Board and Crisis Intervention Committee has seen "a period of positive progress," and while "both have much work remaining, the groups have begun to engage in critical self-analysis and to innovate in a thoughtful and dynamic way," the report stated.

A month ago, Bobb said Seattle police were still fighting reforms that were court-ordered by the Department of Justice to cut down on instances of excessive force and biased policing.

Friday's report hints that Bobb expects to see less resistance in the coming months.

Other specific recommendations like improving its review of use of force and officer-involved shootings, along with a total overhaul of its data and information technology use were also made in the report.

Improvements in community outreach and crisis intervention were noted, and expectations were outlined for the next six months as well.