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Chief O’Toole: SPD Continuing Assessment and Improvement of Demonstration Management Practices

Today, I provided this letter to our partners at the Community Police Commission, after receiving their feedback (PDF) on SPD’s demonstration management practices:

Thank you for continuing your work to gather and provide feedback from our community. Enhancing community trust is of paramount importance to the Seattle Police Department, and I genuinely value our relationship with the Community Police Commission. I also appreciate your acknowledgment that there are diverse perspectives about our response to recent demonstrations.

The Seattle Police Department will continue to collaborate with Court Monitor Merrick Bobb and the Department of Justice in review of all techniques used by officers. We are discussing a unique opportunity for assessment of SPD demonstration management, as we are committed to continuous improvement.  The Seattle Police Department has been at the forefront of emerging knowledge in this area for years, but each experience provides an important opportunity to reflect, assess performance and further modernize our techniques. Constructive community feedback is essential in the process and we are eager to work with the CPC to capture it.

Again, thanks for your commitment to working with us on this important topic. It is my hope that our collective efforts will not only improve police practices in Seattle, but also provide a national example that other communities can learn from during these very important and challenging times.