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SPD response to City Auditor’s report on in-car video

Today the Seattle Office of the City Auditor released a report on the Seattle Police Department’s In-Car Video Program.

The report can be viewed here: City Auditor’s Report on In-Car Video Program

In December of 2011, the Office of Professional Accountability also released their own report on the Seattle Police Department’s In-Car Video Program

That report can be viewed here: OPA Report on In-Car Video Program

After reviewing the City Auditor’s report, the Seattle Police Department would like to highlight the following points:

  • Many of the deficiencies found in the City Auditor’s report were already identified by the department.  The OPA report for December 2011 pointed out some of these problems, and in fact, the department had already recognized and taken steps to remedy many of the concerns.
  • SPD’s In-Car Video system was recently updated to address a number of technological issues identified in the OPA report and City Auditor’s report.
  • We agree that storage and retrieval are concerns and we are working on ways to continue to improve upon our system.  Equipping our officers with the best in-car video technology available so that they can use it more reliably is a priority for the department.
  • Because ICV requestors do not always provide complete information, nor is it provided in a consistent format, we agree that a standard electronic public disclosure format should be created, and this is a priority for the department.
  • To streamline the public request process, the Public Disclosure Unit now has access to the COBAN database in their office, eliminating the need for Public Disclosure Unit staff to contact the Video Unit to obtain selected videos.
  • The Professional Standards Unit is now the single point of contact for the City Auditor, on all issues, including ICV.
  • The Professional Standards Unit is currently rewriting and reviewing the department’s in-car video program policy.  The policy is in the review stages in accordance with best practices.
  • The department has worked closely with the Office of Professional Accountability, the City Auditor, and others to ensure that the problems we can address, we are.  There are some issues, such as current state public disclosure laws and budget concerns that are out of the department’s hands.  Having said that, we are addressing the issues raised in the City Auditor’s report.