CPC Newsletter: June 12 | Co-Chairs’ statement on SPD culture | Interim Chief Rahr meets CPC

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CPC Co-Chairs gather in City Hall Room 370

There's no place like Seattle for Juneteenth and Pride

June is a special time in Seattle, where you can catch a ton of awesome community events, including Juneteenth and Pride celebrations. Be sure to keep an eye out for our Community Engagement team and say “hello!” as you attend local celebrations around town this month.

In public safety news, lots of recent changes mean we’ve been active in making sure that city leaders know what we need for our community to thrive, feel safe, and move forward in a system that is more accountable to the people it serves—particularly for our BIPOC and vulnerable communities that have historically experienced the most harm.

At CPC, we remain committed to community and promoting collaboration to reach our goals—no matter who happens to be police chief at the time. Read the CPC Co-Chairs’ statement on ongoing SPD culture issues that await the next Chief of Police.

As always, to catch up on previous CPC news, head to our website and click on our News page to find this newsletter. You can subscribe there and forward the link to folks who would like to subscribe. This newsletter delivers on the week after our Bi-Monthly Meetings. Due to the Juneteenth holiday, our next Bi-Monthly Meeting is on July 3, and the next issue of this newsletter will be July 10.

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

CPC Videos

Watch our two most recent meetings to catch up on our work.

June 5

CPC Bi-Monthly Meeting

June 5 2024 CPC Bi-Monthly meeting screengrab

Hear updates from Co-Chairs & staff, listen to a welcome and introduction for Interim SPD Chief Sue Rahr, and see a presentation from the Somali Independent Business Alliance (SIBA).

May 15

CPC Bi-Monthly Meeting

May 15 2024 CPC Bi-Monthly Meeting screengrab

Find updates from Co-Chairs & staff, hear our City Council SPOG vote takeaways, and watch a 2024 workplan presentation from OIG.

CPC News & Updates

Take CPC's survey on police accountability

As we engage in advocacy on the next SPOG contract, we’d like to gain a baseline understanding of what community members know and believe about police accountability. Please take 5-10 minutes to complete our survey to the best of your ability. Reach out to OCPC@seattle.gov if you need assistance or have questions.

Welcome to the CPC team, Linnea!

Linnea Lassiter headshot

In staff news, we are happy to welcome our newest employee to the team today as our Policy Director, Linnea Lassiter! Linnea is an accomplished policy analyst with extensive experience in shaping and implementing impactful public policies at all levels of government primarily in the areas of criminal justice and social justice, as well as public benefits, tax, employment, and racial justice.

She gained much of her education credentials, policy experience, and commitment to racial justice and community engagement from having lived and worked in both Seattle and Washington, D.C. Linnea is excited to have recently returned to her hometown of Seattle, after over a decade in D.C. Welcome to the team, Linnea!

Mayor Harrell announces next steps on proposed Crime Prevention Technology pilot

At its March 20, 2024 Bi-Monthly Meeting, CPC Commissioners voted on this statement outlining proposed policy guidelines for city decision-makers to consider when reviewing SPD’s Technology Assisted Crime Prevention Pilot.

On May 31, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the next plans for the pilot, which is to deploy closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in three targeted neighborhoods and also introduce new real-time crime center (RTCC) technologies. As part of this pilot, the originally proposed acoustic gunshot locator system (AGLS) will not advance.

Councilmembers send inquiry to SPD leadership regarding Emergency Vehicle Operations Policy

On May 22, Seattle City Councilmembers and Public Safety Committee Chair Bob Kettle and Vice Chair Rob Saka sent this letter to SPD Chief of Police to inquire about its Emergency Vehicle Operations Policy, particularly around training and risk management.

Pointing to SPD vehicle collisions in 2018 and 2023, including the tragic death of Jaahnavi Kandula, the Councilmembers seek clarification from SPD on what’s included in the policy and why officers didn’t follow procedure in these cases. Additional questions probe training resources, certification, what SPD is doing in response, vehicle speed limits, driving environment/conditions, siren/signal usage, dispatch, and more.

CPC sent our own letter with recommendations to SPD on April 30 and is closely tracking this issue and will include future updates here in this newsletter as information evolves.

Accountability partner collaboration on complainant impact statements

The Office of Police Accountability (OPA) and CPC collaborated to develop a complainant impact statement process as an avenue for procedural justice in OPA investigations. Complainant impact statements are optional written statements given by those who have filed an OPA complaint. The statements provide the Chief of Police with a firsthand account of the named employee’s impact on the complainant to help the Chief weigh issues of credibility in the complaint process.

Complainants who can partake in this process are non-SPD employees, and are either the impacted person, or have a direct relationship with the impacted person who was the original complainant. To learn more, watch OPA’s presentation at CPC’s June 5 meeting and view their slides on the topic.

Interim SPD Chief Sue Rahr attends CPC meeting

On June 5, we also welcomed Interim Chief Rahr for a greeting and introduction to the work that we do. Chief Rahr visited and took questions for about 25 minutes, where she touched on coming up to speed, listening to community, and working together with accountability partners to address goals, ensure constitutional policing, and foster safe communities. She stated that her top operational priority is to hire more police officers and reduce response times.

Commissioners asked the Chief about systemic culture issues, sexism, and racial discrimination that exist within the department and her plan to address them. To hear the answer, watch Chief Rahr’s full comments.

Presentation from the Somali Independent Business Alliance

CPC community engagement Mergitu Argo & Felicia Cross pose with SIBA's Nafiso Samatar

CPC’s Community Engagement team has been closely engaged and working with the Somali Independent Business Alliance (SIBA), who joined our June 5 meeting to share their priorities for public safety and community well-being.

SIBA is dedicated to fostering community empowerment and cultural preservation among Somali and African American communities in Seattle. By providing resources, support, and advocacy, SIBA aims to improve the quality of life and promote social and economic opportunities for its members. They gave an impactful presentation sharing their goals and asking for the CPC’s partnership to help local business owners thrive and stay safe. View their slides and watch their presentation.

Community Corner

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

CPC's Felicia Cross visits with Leschi community members

Leschi Community Council Meeting

CPC Community Engagement Director Felicia Cross attended the Leschi Community Council Meeting on a beautiful Seattle evening recently for engaging, conversational, informative, and inclusive interactions with the community. Check out the photo and follow us on LinkedIn for more.

Community Engagement at RBAC Fundraiser

RBAC Annual Fundraising Luncheon

CPC Community Engagement staff attended the Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC) Annual Fundraising Luncheon to hear inspiring stories, eat delicious food, and learn about ongoing initiatives. A great group representing many different communities—all coming together to support RBAC. Find more photos and follow us on Facebook for more.

CPC Community Engagement meets with SPD at KFC event

Korean Fried Chicken with SPD

In May, we enjoyed having delicious Kkokio Korean Fried Chicken at an open house hosted by SPD. View these pictures and follow us on X for more.

CPC in the News

Check out these highlights of CPC in the news recently:

KOMO: Seattle police captain sues chief, claims retaliation for reporting discrimination

The Stranger: Text Messages Show Federal Monitor Expressing Little Concern about Claims of Racial Discrimination at Seattle Police Department

Upcoming Events

Africatown Summer of Soul Juneteenth Celebration

June 19 from 12 pm-8 pm | Jimi Hendrix Park

Commemorate Black freedom and Central District history through food, entertainment, and community unity while strategizing how to continue to move forward.

Attend this free family event for Seattle's largest Juneteenth celebration, which includes a full day of live performances, vendors, and family activities presented by Africatown Community Land Trust and King County Equity Now.

50th Annual Seattle Pride Parade

June 30 at 11:00 am | Downtown Seattle

Seattle’s 50th annual Pride Month celebration will close out with its famous Seattle Pride Parade in Westlake Park along 4th Avenue. Come see Washington's largest parade and celebrate the 250+ local and national community groups, nonprofits, and companies.

Interested in learning about Seattle’s rich and storied Pride history? Check out this informative timeline and find other ways you can join the celebrations this month.

Next CPC Bi-Monthly Meeting

July 3 at 9:00 am | Online & Seattle City Hall, Room 370

Due to the Juneteenth holiday, our next meeting will take place in July.

Attend our next meeting to get the latest updates on CPC’s work. Commissioners gather both 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.

Visit our website Meetings page to find past meeting materials including recordings, agendas, minutes, and presentations. Recordings of each meeting are posted on the afternoon of the meeting.

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.