BDC hosted the Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC) at our May 2019 meeting. CPC provides community-based oversight of Seattle Police Department and the police accountability system, originally established under the 2013 federal consent decree and made permanent under 2017 city legislation.
Nick Christian, Community Engagement Specialist, and Jesse Franz, CPC Communication Advisor, presented a “CPC 101” overview, describing the history of the organization and its newly expanded scope, followed by a community Q&A.
A full video is available, thanks to a community volunteer! Attendees asked questions on topics ranging from patterns of systematic non-enforcement, to biased policing practices, fear of crime versus reasonable statistics, understaffing and slow response times, community service officers, and support for local recruitment and true “community policing.”
- 0:00 — Community Introductions & Announcements
- 12:33 — Welcome to CPC
- 15:30 — CPC 101 Presentation
- 41:38 — CPC Q&A
The video was also featured on the CPC web site .
Additional CPC Background
- Their Mission: “CPC listens to, amplifies, and builds common ground among communities affected by policing in Seattle. We champion policing practices centered in justice and equity.”
- CPC appoints its own executive director, not the mayor. The mayor used to appoint all the commissioners. Now there are 15-21 commissioners: up to 7 appointed by CPC, 7 appointed by mayor, 7 appointed by city council.
- CPC staff is expanding from 4 to 9 (including exec administration, policy analysts, communications/outreach, etc.).
- Before, the work was very policy heavy (focused on consent decree). Now, they are creating their own work plan with a stronger focus on community engagement.
- CPC is one of four “legs” of Seattle’s new police accountability model:
— Office of Police Accountability (OPA): includes civilian and sworn personnel; 3 “complaint navigators”
— Office of Inspector General (OIG): responsible for auditing and accountability
— Seattle Police Department (SPD)
— Community Police Commission (CPC)
- The biggest issue they hear citywide (and especially north precinct) is “response times” (police capacity)
- It is important for communities to understand the difference between “law enforcement” and “public safety” (not all public safety issues are policing issues)