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Chief O’Toole Statement on Bias Crimes Reporting | Ongoing Effort Between Community & SPD

Chief O’Toole issued the following statement regarding the City Auditor’s Report: Review of Hate Crime Prevention, Response, and Reporting in Seattle Phase 1:

The Department welcomes and thanks the City Auditor for their feedback as we routinely examine our procedures to make sure they align with best business practices.  We are proud of the incredible work of this team to investigate and analyze bias crimes and are pleased that our efforts have been recognized by national experts.  We are also grateful for the opportunity to present our work to City Council, as we did last week.

“The Department has made numerous efforts toward improving both the data collection and reporting of bias crimes incidents. This data is not only collected, but analyzed monthly, a rarity in law enforcement.” 

– Dr. Jack McDevitt, Director of Institute on Race and Justice, Northeastern University 

In keeping with the Department’s commitment to remaining at the leading edge of best practices as they evolve, I asked Dr. Jack McDevitt, Director of Institute on Race and Justice at Northeastern University, an internationally-acclaimed expert in bias crimes research, to review the auditor’s report and provide feedback and any additional recommendations founded on evidence-based practices around the country.  I have linked Dr. McDevitt’s review here.

As we continue to receive increasing numbers of reports of bias incidents, we are committed to leveraging our  community outreach and our data driven approach to ensure we are doing all we can to address bias crimes in our community.  We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the community to remain a national model in preventing, responding to, and analyzing bias-based incidents.