Mayor Harrell, SPD create executive order to make sexual assault cases a top concern

Jul 29, 2022, 6:06 AM
Follow @http://twitter.com/Mynorthwest...

Mayor Bruce Harrell announced an executive order to prioritize criminal investigations, especially those regarding sexual assault.

One of the directives from the order is to have every reported felony crime of violence — with sufficient evidence — in the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) backlog assigned to a case detective by August 31.

Alongside interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz, the executive order is to help complete said investigations swiftly and thoroughly. The order also calls for expansion of support services for crime victims and survivors, including ensuring outstanding cases are assigned to a detective and expanding victim support services.

Harrell vetoes bill to require landlords to report rents

“Sustainable progress on safety for Seattle residents requires timely and effective investigations to hold people who commit those crimes accountable – this must be a priority for our administration and police department,” said Mayor Harrell during a press conference. “Follow-up investigative work is vital to ensuring survivors and victims of crimes of violence, especially sexually motivated crimes, receive the justice they deserve.”

Harrell stated this executive order will require an “unprecedented evaluation” of issues created by SPD staffing shortage and decades-long systemic problems.

SPD will also evaluate how victims of crimes of violence remain informed about the status of their case to increase transparency and improve communication.

An advisory panel of six local sexual assault subject matter experts and survivors will assist SPD with the additional assessments this order requires.

“When sexual assault survivors report their attack, they put their trust in the criminal legal system. Yet, for years, even predating the pandemic and officer attrition, two-thirds of cases were not referred for investigation,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold District 1.“With their cases not referred for investigation, these survivors have not, until now, been eligible for survivor advocacy services either. We must ensure that survivors, especially those who have been waiting so long, receive the support, advocacy, and investigative help they deserve.”

With current officer staffing levels at their lowest in more than 30 years, with more than 400 officer departures over the last 2.5 years, the staffing impact on SPD’s specialty and investigative units has been significant. Since 2020, SPD has found it necessary to transfer officers from specialized units, including follow-up investigation units, to patrol operations to respond to urgent 911 calls. The continued staffing crisis, and the need for specialized training to perform detective work and investigate complex crimes, have limited the department’s ability to conduct follow-up investigations.

Mayor Harrell’s comprehensive police recruitment and retention plan seeks to increase the number of fully trained and deployable officers to 1,450, a goal designed to address the current staffing crisis so patrol operations and detective units can be adequately staffed.

Local News

KTTH staff

Seattle police union warns pending retirements may delay action on high priority calls

The Seattle Police Department has 350 sworn officers eligible for retirement but cannot afford to lose more than 100 officers.
1 day ago
tick case...
MyNorthwest Staff

Rare tick disease hospitalizes Whatcom County man in first case from WA

Anaplasmosis has hospitalized a Whatcom County man in the first locally acquired instance of the tick-borne disease in a human.
1 day ago
(Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Judge requires Starbucks to re-hire unlawfully fired employees

The KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk gives you the news you may have missed on the afternoon of Thursday, August 18.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

DUI suspect drives wrong way on I-90, arrested with beer cooler in plain sight

WSP booked the driver into the King County Jail on charges of driving under the influence and reckless driving.
1 day ago
Photo from the city of Lynnwood...
MyNorthwest Staff

Lynnwood awarded $25 million grant to build new I-5 overpass

The city of Lynnwood has recently been awarded $25 million from the federal government for a RAISE grant to build a new bridge over Interstate 5.
1 day ago
A map of the evacuated area (Washington State Patrol)...
Associated Press

Fire closes highway, prompts evacuations near Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A wildfire has closed part of a highway and prompted mandatory evacuations south of Spokane.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Mayor Harrell, SPD create executive order to make sexual assault cases a top concern