Seattle – With the next mayor tasked with delivering on police reform as well as implementing new accountability system reforms, former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, who was a driving force behind the consent decree and insisted on Court oversight of reform efforts, outlined her plans to continue to push police reforms and build a progressive justice system centered on proven prevention and intervention policies.
“A city’s approach to public safety and criminal justice is fundamentally an expression of our values. Our city has a tremendous opportunity and a moral obligation: to keep building real, lasting police reform, to have our country’s most progressive criminal justice system, and most importantly, to honestly address the inequities in our criminal justice system,” said Jenny Durkan.“With strong community support, I insisted on a Court-monitored consent decree that required deep systemic reforms. We required new use of force policies and training that emphasize de-escalation, a new approach to how officers interact with people in mental crisis, robust supervision, meaningful community input, and deep and honest reforms in biased policing. These changes were needed to improve our police department, build community trust and make all of us safer. But the job is not finished. Delivering durable, long-lasting police reform requires experience, leadership, and an understanding of policing and community needs and requires bringing people together so there is real community input, oversight, and transparency.”
Durkan will bring the consent decree and Court oversight to a successful close and transition the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to the new civilian-led accountability system. At the same time she would implement a number of transparency reforms and enact measures to increase diversity within the Police Department.
To build a progressive justice system centered on proven prevention and intervention policies, Durkan would invest in opportunities and support for young people, embrace more effective alternatives to incarceration that reduce violence and divert people from the criminal justice system, and support those who have been incarcerated to re-enter society and reclaim their lives, including by providing a unified system for identifying and obtaining benefits for individuals before they are released.
“The inequities in our system play an outsized role in locking too many people of color in poverty, homelessness, and an endless, vicious cycle of incarceration and dashed hopes. I will continue to demand and deliver on systemic change by investing in young people and providing more alternatives to incarceration,” concluded Durkan.
For Immediate Release, September 11, 2017