Systemic Assessments

Beginning in September 2015, the Monitor began conducting a series of assessments of SPD performance across time, officers, and cases. These intensive reviews gauge whether a host of SPD reforms involving use of force, stops and detentions, internal investigations, crisis intervention, training, supervision, and many other areas are being translated from paper into practice.

Tenth Systemic Assessment: Stops, Search, and Seizure (June 2017)

Ninth Systemic Assessment: Use of Force (April 2017)

Eighth Systemic Assessment: Early Intervention System (EIS) (March 2017)

Seventh Systemic Assessment: Type II Force Investigation & Review Re-Assessment (January 2017)

Sixth Systemic Assessment: Supervision (December 2016)

Fifth Systemic Assessment: Crisis Intervention (February 2016)

Fourth Systemic Assessment: Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) (January 2016)

Third Systemic Assessment: Community Confidence (January 2016)

Second Systemic Assessment: Force Review Board  (November 2015)

First Systemic Assessment: Force Investigation & Reporting (September 2015)

Semiannual Reports

Every six months, the Monitor must issue public reports on the SPD's implementation of the Consent Decree. The reports describe, in detail, the SPD's progress, as well as outstanding challenges.

Seventh Semiannual Report (September 2016)

Sixth Semiannual Report (December 2015)

Fifth Semiannual Report (June 2015)

Fourth Semiannual Report (December 2014)

Third Semiannual Report (June 2014)

Second Semiannual Report (December 2013)

First Semiannual Report (April 2013)

Monitoring Plan

Each March, the Monitoring Team–in consultation with the Parties and the Court–must provide a plan for its monitoring activities for the upcoming year. It provides deadlines and milestones for major objectives, initiatives, and tasks, as well as standards and mechanisms by which the Monitor will assess the quality of SPD's work and progress.

Fourth-Year Monitoring Plan (May 2016–December 2016)

Updated Third-Year Monitoring Plan (March 2015–March 2016)

Third-Year Monitoring Plan (March 2015–February 2016)

Second-Year Monitoring Plan (March 2014–March 2015)

Approved Policies, Procedures, and Training

Use of Force

The Court approved a revised Use of Force policy in December 2013.  The basic Use of Force policy (entitled "8.100: Use of Force–Using Force") set forth parameters that guide officers in the field. The Court simultaneously approved a number of other policies related to the internal reporting, review, and investigation of force incidents.  

The Court approved updates to the use of force policies in July 2015. Those updates, made pursuant to the Consent Decree's requirements that all implicated SPD policies be periodically reviewed, were based on real-world lessons learned and were made with input from the SPD, its officers, and the community.

The Court has also approved comprehensive officer training plans in both 2014 and 2015 to provide officers with in-classroom and scenario-based instruction on the force policies and strategies and tactics consistent with them.

2015 Updates

Policy Manual Preface

Core Use of Force Principles & Definitions


Officer Use of Force Policy

Use of Force Tool Policy & Manual

Reporting & Investigating Force

Review of Use of Force

Judge Robart's Order Approving Updated Force Policies

Monitor's Memorandum to the Court Recommending Approval of Policies

2014 Policy

Use of Force Policy

Force Tool Manual

Review of Use of Force

Force Investigation Team ("FIT")

Judge Robart's Order Approving Use of Force Policies

Monitor's Memorandum to the Court Recommending Approval of Policies


2015 Training Plan

Instructional System Design Model ("ISDM") for 2014 Comprehensive Use of Force Training

Force Investigation Team ("FIT") Training Plan

Stops and Detentions & Bias-Free Policing

In January 2014, the Court approved policies relating to certain officer contacts with civilians and to bias-free policing. In mid-2014, SPD officers completed several computer-based training initiatives that introduced the policies. In September 2014, the Court approved an in-class, interactive training program on the policies, which officers. Officers received additional training in both stops and detentions and bias-free policing in 2015.


Stops and Detentions Policy

Bias-Free Policing Policy

Judge Robart's Order Approving Stops and Detentions & Bias-Free Policies

Monitor's Memorandum to the Court Recommending Approval of Policies


Monitor's Memorandum to Court/Court's Order re: 2014 Stops & Bias-Free Policing Training

2014 Stops and Detentions/Bias-Free Policing Instructional System Design Model (ISDM)

Early intervention system ("EIS")

The Early Intervention System ("EIS") requires that SPD supervisors track a broad range of officer performance data and provides a basis for affirmative, non-disciplinary supervisor intervention to assist officers in performance and career development. It constitutes a critical new way for supervisors to do their jobs on a daily basis – proactively managing officer performance and development.


Early Intervention System Policy

Crisis Intervention

The Crisis Intervention Committee ("CIC") is an interagency group composed of a cross-section of stakeholders, including mental health professionals, clinicians, community advocates, academics, non-SPD law enforcement, representatives of the judiciary, and SPD. The CIC develops the critical components of SPD's strategy for engaging in individuals who are in behavioral crisis (e.g., experiencing mental health issues, substance abuse concerns, etc.). All officers received basic training in crisis intervention issues and techniques in 2014, and all are receiving follow-up training during 2015.


Crisis Intervention Policies


Basic Crisis Intervention Training

Advanced Crisis Intervention Training

Court Proceedings

From time to time, the Parties and the Monitoring appear before the Honorable James Robart, at the Court's request, to address progress under the Consent Decree.

August 2015 Status conference



June 2015 status conference



August 2014 Status Conference



April 2014 Status Conference


March 2013 Status Conference


Basic Documents

Consent Decree

Memorandum of Understanding

Order Approving Merrick Bobb as Federal Monitor

DOJ Findings Letter (December 2011)

Assessments of Community Perceptions

October 2016 survey

Executive Summary (by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research)

September 2015 survey

Executive Summary (by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research)

PowerPoint Presentation on Survey Results (by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research)

Complete Cross-Tabs and Results

September 2013 Survey

Executive Summary (by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research)

PowerPoint Presentation on Survey Results (by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research)

Complete Cross-Tabs and Results

Monthly Statements

The Monitoring Team is committed to transparency with respect to the time and resources necessary to conduct its work. It is likewise committed to providing a significant investment of pro bono time. The Team's monthly statements, which are reviewed and approved by the Department of Justice, City of Seattle, and the Court, can be accessed here.


Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

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

City of Seattle

Seattle Police Department

United States District Court, Western District of Washington

Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC)

Community Police Commission (CPC)

SPD Office of Professional Accountability (OPA)