Seattle Police Department

Politics
12:16 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Former SPD Interim Chief Pugel Named King County Sheriff's Chief Deputy

Jim Pugel addresses the media on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.
Ed Ronco

The Seattle Police Department’s former interim chief Jim Pugel will take over as second-in-command to King County Sheriff John Urquhart, the sheriff announced Monday.

Pugel was handpicked by Urquhart, who said he only spoke to Pugel about the job.

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Seattle Police
3:56 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

O'Toole Confirmed As 1st Female Chief Of Seattle Police Department

FILE - Former Boston police commissioner Kathleen O'Toole left, speaks after being introduced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, right, as his nominee to be Seattle's new Chief of Police, Monday, May 19, 2014, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The Seattle City Council has confirmed Kathleen O’Toole as the first female chief of the Seattle Police Department.

With an 8-to-1 vote Monday, the council approved Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s nomination. Council member Kshama Sawant cast the lone dissent vote.

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Seattle Police
10:06 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Murray Nominates Boston's First Female Police Commissioner As New SPD Chief

Former Boston police commissioner Kathleen O'Toole left, speaks after being introduced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, right, as his nominee to be Seattle's new Chief of Police, Monday, May 19, 2014, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has nominated former Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole as new chief of the Seattle Police Department. 

If confirmed by the Seattle City Council, O’Toole would be the department’s first female chief.

Murray has said he wants someone who can “reform and change the culture” on the force and “restore the respect of the community.”

"We can be a national model for urban policing, and Kathleen O'Toole is the right choice to lead us there," Murray said Monday. 

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Police Chief
2:42 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Short List For New Seattle Police Chief Down To Three Names

Ryan Healy Flickr

A committee searching for Seattle’s next police chief has handed three names to Mayor Ed Murray. The finalists are Elk Grove, California police chief Robert Lehner, Mesa, Arizona chief Frank Milstead and former Boston police commissioner Kathleen O’Toole. Committee co-chair Ron Sims said each candidate is a “change agent,” who clears a very high bar set by the mayor.

“They don’t make people like he just demanded that we meet. Where are they? But we found them. And I think the public will be incredibly well served by any of these three,” Sims said.

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Police & Privacy
6:05 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Seattle Police To Buy Facial Recognition Software — Should Citizens Be Worried?

zeraien Flickr

Following a decision by the Seattle City Council this week, the Seattle Police Department will soon use facial recognition software. 

The ACLU of Washington doesn't think the move will encroach on citizens' rights, but privacy advocates, including Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, aren’t fond of the new policy.

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Police Reform
11:25 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Feds: Seattle Police Now Have Building Blocks For 'Longstanding Reform'

zeraien Flickr

The Seattle Police Department has made “significant process” in an effort to reform a culture of excessive use of force and racially-biased policing, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said on Tuesday.

“We now have the building blocks to have significant longstanding reform,” said Durkan during a news conference held following a meeting with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Interim Seattle Police Chief Harry Bailey and Assistant U.S. Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels.

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Changing Of The Guards
10:35 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Murray Appoints Veteran Bailey As SPD's New Interim Chief

Harry Bailey, right, is Seattle Police Department's new interim chief.
Paula Wissel

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has appointed retired assistant police chief Harry Bailey as the new interim chief for the Seattle Police Department.

Murray said Bailey, a 35-year veteran of the force who retired in 2007, will help implement the court-ordered consent decree while the hiring process for a permanent chief moves forward.

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Law
3:05 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Seattle boosts police presence at Rock & Roll Marathon

Jill Weaver and Patty Gutierrez finished the 2011 Seattle Rock and Roll half marathon
JBLM PAO

Seattle is stepping up its police presence for tomorrow’s Rock and Roll Marathon in the wake of the Boston bombings two months ago. Twenty-thousand runners are expected along a course that snakes through downtown, south along Lake Washington and over to Mercer Island and back.

Renee Witt is a Seattle Police Department detective. She says there will be bomb-sniffing dogs and police on bicycles. And the police department requests that spectators take certain precautions.

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Marijuana legalization
3:16 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Complete with hearse, march planned to bury pot prohibition

That Hardford Guy Flickr

An annual march to support legalization of marijuana will take to Seattle streets Saturday. The Cannabis Freedom March will feature a mock funeral procession for cannabis prohibition, complete with a hearse. Organizers say the time has come to lay anti-marijuana laws to rest.

“2013 is the year to really push,” said organizer Sharon Whitson with Hempfest. “We have legalized cannabis in Colorado, and here in Washington state. We have a number of other states seriously looking at it. And a few states, over the course of this year, have legalized medicinal cannabis, as well.”

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Seattle police recruits
5:06 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Seattle police ease pot, tattoo rules for recruits

zeraien Flickr

The Seattle Police Department is loosening its rules on marijuana use and tattoos for new officer recruits.

The department used to require that those seeking to join the force not have used pot in the past three years, and not more than 25 times in all. But last fall Washington voters legalized marijuana for personal use by adults, and Mayor Mike McGinn says the department should ease up.

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May Day 2013
5:15 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Seattle police working to identify law-breakers in May Day riot

Protesters react as a firework is set off during May Day protests, Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in downtown Seattle.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Seattle police said they’re continuing to investigate crimes committed in the course of an unruly May Day demonstration, but that they’re proud of how officers handled themselves.

Capt. Chris Fowler said Seattle police incorporated some important lessons from last year’s May Day protests. They had much longer to plan this year, even treating a small March 15 protest as a “rehearsal.” 

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Police Reform
3:33 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Police monitor reports significant, if uneven, progress toward reform

This was the first semiannual report from the watchdog assigned to monitor reforms at the Seattle Police Department.
Tom Harpel Flickr

The court-appointed watch dog monitoring the Seattle Police Department has completed his first report on the department's progress, and the report paints a picture of a police force moving unevenly toward reform.

Merrick Bobb and his team's job is to make sure police follow the plan to end excessive use of force and racially-biased policing.

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A blast from the past
5:01 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Vintage Seattle Police car draws eyes around town

Manuel Valdes Associated Press

At a recent scene of a fight on Seattle's waterfront, most of the gawkers weren't looking at the handcuffed and yelling suspect or the bloodied victim. Instead, their attention and cameras were directed at a fully restored 1970 Plymouth Satellite police cruiser.

It's the common reaction to the vehicle driven by 30-year-veteran Officer Jim Ritter. By his count, the Plymouth has caused at least three fender-benders. 

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interim police chief
4:57 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Interim chief: DOJ agreement improving Seattle police

Canadian Pacific Flickr

Seattle's new interim police chief says that despite some turmoil at the outset, an agreement with the Justice Department is already improving his department's operations.

Chief Jim Pugel was picked to fill in after John Diaz retired this week. Pugel acknowledges that he and many others in the police department were upset when DOJ investigators determined in late 2011 that Seattle police had a problem with the unconstitutional use of force. 

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Law
5:18 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Seattle officials urge police not to switch on surveillance cameras yet

A Seattle Police Dept. map shows the locations of cameras in West Seatte, where all but two have been installed.
Det. Monty Moss SPD

Seattle city council members said today they want new laws on the books before police turn on a string of surveillance cameras. The network of 30 or so waterfront cameras is being installed in the name of port security, but citizens say those cameras could also turn around and peek into neighborhoods.

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