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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Assessments of Community Perceptions
October 2016 survey
September 2015 survey
September 2013 Survey
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.