CPC Newsletter: May 8 | SPOG contract | SPD recruitment | Emergency vehicle policy

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CPC Co-Chairs taking media interviews

Welcome back to the CPC Newsletter!

You are receiving this email because you previously signed up for CPC News Alerts. If you don’t recall, it may have been a few years ago now. If you’d like to unsubscribe, click the link at the bottom of this email.

A quick refresher on us: the Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC) listens to, amplifies, and builds common ground among communities affected by policing in Seattle. CPC is an independent and volunteer-led organization made up of 15 citywide commissioners who represent the diversity of Seattle and are appointed equally in three parts by the Mayor, Council, and the CPC itself. Three co-chairs guide the direction of the CPC, currently: Rev. Patricia Hunter, Joel Merkel, and Rev. Harriett Walden.

CPC's work is assisted by a staff of ten city employees including an executive and deputy director (we’ll be hiring for the deputy director position soon), three community engagement staff, three policy staff, an executive assistant, and a communications advisor (yours truly).

Want more background on us? Watch this 30-minute presentation from earlier this year where CPC Executive Director Cali Ellis and Co-Chair Joel Merkel briefed Seattle City Council’s Public Safety Committee about CPC’s background and ongoing work in 2024.

We’re glad to be back in action with the newsletter revival! You will receive this newsletter on every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month (i.e., the alternating Wednesdays without CPC Bi-Monthly Meetings). You can expect news on CPC’s latest work, Commissioner highlights, community engagement updates, event notices, and more.

Questions? We always want to hear from you. Reach out to OCPC@seattle.gov.

CPC Bi-Monthly Meetings

Check our two most recent CPC Bi-Monthly Meetings:

May 1

Screenshot of CPC Bi-Monthly Meeting video recording from May 1, 2024

Topics covered:

  • CPC: Co-Chairs & Staff Updates
  • CPC: SPOG Contract Policy Priority Recommendations

April 17

Screenshot of CPC Bi-Monthly Meeting video recording from April 17, 2024

Topics covered:

  • Council President: SPD Recruitment & Retention Bill
  • CPC: Vote on SPD Emergency Vehicle Operations Policy
  • PSCSC: Presentation on SPD Police Officer Exams

CPC News & Updates

SPD Emergency Vehicle Operations Policy recommendation

CPC listens to community concerns and translates that information into actionable policy recommendations. After the tragic death of Jaahnavi Kandula who was killed by an SPD officer speeding in a police vehicle, we worked with community members to hear their concerns, listen to their ideas, and create recommendations. With that, CPC voted on four new community-based recommendations for SPD to consider to revise its current Emergency Vehicle Operations Policy.

Read our proposal and reach out to us at OCPC@seattle.gov if you have any public comment or questions.

Council President & PSCSC Director attend CPC meeting to discuss SPD recruitment

We welcomed Council President Sara Nelson and Public Safety Civil Service Commission (PSCSC) Executive Director Andrea Scheele to a recent CPC meeting to discuss testing requirements for new recruits.

As one response to the police hiring crisis, Council President Nelson and Seattle policymakers are looking more closely at the police entrance exam via proposed legislation. The bill will be voted on in the Governance, Accountability & Economic Development Committee on May 9 at 2 pm.

PSCSC is the independent body charged with administering the exams and is currently surveying CPC Commissioners to help ensure that the final decision aligns with community values around hiring standards for Seattle police officers. If you’d like to weigh in, reach out to one of our Commissioners with your input on police recruit testing.

SPOG contract updates & information

On April 23, we held a community engagement event to present on the recently released 2021-2023 SPOG contract and hear from community members about what they hoped to see in the contract. Several community members gave public comment and we provided CPC’s policy priority recommendations to the audience.

While this contract was focused retroactively (2021-2023), the City has stated publicly that negotiations for 2024 and beyond are ongoing. We will be paying close attention to the process, so stay tuned to our newsletter for more information as it becomes available. More ways to stay informed:

Community members review CPC SPOG priorities

Community members reviewing CPC's recommended SPOG contract priorities fact sheet.

Read our fact sheet on CPC priorities for the SPOG contract

Screengrab of CPC Priorities for the SPOG Contract fact sheet

The City Council is expected to take up the retroactive SPOG contract at its Council Meeting on May 14. 

Read our fact sheet highlighting CPC priorities for the SPOG contract and then find out how you can provide public comment to the Council at its May 14 meeting.

Community Corner

Check our these three recent events that CPC community engagement staff attended. We hope to see you out in the community soon!

Mayor's Public Safety Forums

CPC staff Mergitu Argo and Jo-Nathan Thomas

Our community engagement staff recently attended two public safety meetings at Garfield High School to hear about city department updates, the Mayor’s One Seattle Framework, and community safety concerns.

Engaged crowds, lots of sharing, many city leaders, and great networking! See more photos and follow us on Twitter/X.

SPD Filipino Advisory Council

CPC staff Jo-Nathan Thomas with event attendees

We recently attended the SPD Filipino Advisory Council to listen in on mounting issues around the community (namely: theft, vandalism, drug-dealing in school zones) and hear proactive solutions to build stronger community.

View more photos and follow us on Facebook.

SPD East African Advisory Council

SPD East African Advisory Council Meeting photo

CPC staff went to the SPD East African Advisory Council and heard updates on community safety. The key takeaway was that continued violence in their communities, in particular for elderly residents and kids, is a major concern and came up frequently throughout the meeting.

Find more photos and follow us on LinkedIn.

CPC in the News

Last month was packed with SPOG contract and CPC coverage in the news.

Check out these highlights:

KOMO: Seattle police guild, city reach tentative agreement on labor contract

PubliCola: Tentative Police Contract Includes 23 Percent Retroactive Raise, Raising Cops' Base Salary to Six Figures

Seattle Times: Tentative agreement w SPD union makes only minor accountability changes

KUOW: Sneak peek of proposed Seattle police contract shows big raises, but little increase in accountability

KING 5: Seattle City Council considers changes to Seattle Police Department's hiring process

KOMO: City of Seattle, police guild reach tentative agreement boosting officer salaries

KUOW: Wednesday Evening Headlines

The Urbanist: Seattle Council, Mayor Not Asking the Hard Questions about Police Recruitment

Upcoming Events

Next CPC Bi-Monthly Meeting

May 15 | 9:00 am

The Commissioners gather in-person and online on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Meetings are open to the public and agendas are posted to our website at least 24-hours in advance. The next one will be on May 15 at 9:00 am both online and at Seattle City Hall, Room 370.

Visit our website Meetings page to find upcoming events along with past meeting materials including recordings, agendas, minutes, and presentations.

Mayor's Community Safety Forums

Mayor Bruce Harrell recently announced five city regional public safety forums to give the public opportunity to help shape the “One Seattle Safety Framework.” The framework includes six key strategies, which the public is invited to comment on at the forums.

There have been two events held so far already. Learn more about the events and sign up for one of the three remaining on the Mayor’s blog site.  

  • May 9: North Precinct, Bitter Lake Community Center, 6-7:30 pm
  • May 14: Southwest Precinct, Concord Elementary School, 6-7:30 pm
  • May 16: West Precinct, Queen Anne Community Center, 6-7:30 pm

The Community Police Commission (CPC) listens to, amplifies, and builds common ground among communities affected by policing in Seattle. We champion policing practices centered in justice and equity. The CPC is independent and led by volunteer commissioners.

Learn more about the CPC at seattle.gov/community-police-commission.