OPA’s Auditor’s Report now available

The Office of Professional Accountabilty Auditor’s Report from June through November  is now available.   Here is a brief sample:

This report is the second semi-annual Seattle Police Department Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) Auditor report for 2011. In Seattle’s police accountability system, the OPA is responsible for addressing issues of alleged misconduct and the Auditor is a civilian (each Auditor has been either a retired judge or former federal prosecutor) who provides independent oversight of the OPA’s work. The Auditor reviews every misconduct complaint filed and every investigation to help ensure that each complaint is addressed as it should be and every internal investigation is fair, thorough and objective. The Auditor also makes recommendations to City policymakers for systemic reforms and suggests ways to improve performance through critical appraisal of policies, procedures and practices.

To enhance the transparency and openness of Seattle’s police accountability system, the OPA Auditor is required by ordinance to issue a public report twice per year, summarizing the number of complaints and investigations reviewed; her requests for reclassifications of complaints or additional investigations to be conducted; a summary of issues, problems and trends noted as a result of her reviews; recommendations for additional officer training, including any specialized training for OPA investigators; any recommendations for policy or procedural changes; any findings from audits of OPA records or the OPA Director’s reports; and any other activities.

My initial report, covering the second half of 2010, can be found at Auditor Report July-Dec, 2010. It includes a summary of how Seattle’s civilian oversight system works, describes how complaints are classified and investigations are conducted. My report covering the first half of 2011 makes a number of additional recommendations and can be found at Auditor Report Dec 2010-May 2011. The Director of the OPA, also a civilian, issues monthly and annual reports summarizing trends and statistics, at http://www.seattle.gov/police/OPA/publications.htm.

For the entire report, please go to:

http://www.seattle.gov/police/OPA/Docs/Auditor/Auditor_Report_June_Nov_2011.pdf