Top cops across U.S. help Seattle develop police reformson December 11, 2012 @ 3:08 pm (Updated: 9:31 pm - 12/11/12 )
The "Consortium for a New Policing Paradigm" included members of the community, academic leaders, and police chiefs from several major U.S. cities.
While no immediate solutions came out of the meeting, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said participants developed ideas to rebuild community trust and identify "best practices" for policing.
"Seattle community leaders joined policing experts from across the country to identify how our police force can best serve the public," Mayor McGinn said. "We hope that the work done here will not only provide clear direction to the Seattle Police Department but will benefit police agencies across the country."
Among those in attendance was Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, who downplayed the problems faced by SPD.
"One of my messages as an outsider looking in is that everything is not broken. You have, on balance, a very good police department," said Acevedo, who was asked by Seattle Police Chief John Diaz to participate in the meeting.
"This is an opportunity for [SPD] to assess, 'What are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? What can we do better and what should we stop doing all together?'" he said.
The seminar at Seattle's Columbia Tower was part of the SPD 20/20 plan, which was released in March 2012 after a Department of Justice investigation found officers here have a pattern or practice of using excessive force.
The plan put forward 20 separate reforms to be rolled out over a 20-month period, with the meeting this week fulfilling number 15 on the list: "Work with Major City Police Departments to Develop Best Practices."
According to an SPD spokesperson, the "consortium" cost taxpayers roughly $7,000 as the city provided lodging and refreshments for participants who came in from out of town.
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