This site is devoted to increasing public awareness of police misconduct and detainee abuse in addition to providing support for victims of police misconduct and detainee abuse. If you or someone you know have witnessed abuse or have been abused, please let us know.


This site is an archive of older content.

Please feel free to visit our new effort at

Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rethinking Burgess

In a previous post I despaired at the prospect of Tim Burgess, the ex-police officer council member recently elected thanks to the heavy-handed efforts of the Seattle Police Guild, taking over the reigns at the council's Public Safety board where Nick Licata, a long time police accountability advocate, sat until this year.

I've decided to do some more contemplating and digging to determine just how bad it could be. I've found that councilmember Licata, while no longer the chair of the Public Safety committee that is also responsible for police accountability issues, is still a member of that board and has become the chair of a new city council position that deliberates policies regarding labor relations issues, which includes the negotiation of the Seattle Police contract.

As you might be aware, the Seattle Police Officer's Guild insists that accountability is a bargaining rights issue, which is a pretty unique stance, and one that has been a major reason for the stalled contract talks which have gone nowhere since the police guild insists on lowering the effectiveness of accountability while netting officers a pay increase. (A current article about the guild's efforts to keep bad officers from being held accountable is on the sidebar or here).

In any case, it seems that even if the SPOG support Burgess is anti-accountability like the guild is that there is still some hope that the guild's efforts to rid the department of any sense of professionalism is not going to be unopposed for now. But that leaves another question... Is Tim Burgess really as anti-accountability as the guild that supports him?

I did some searching and found this news article he wrote for the Seattle Times about Seattle Police Cheif Gil Kerlikowske's refusal to punish officers who interfered with an FBI investigation into police corruption: A Failure Of Police Leadership.

Now, if he really does hold those same opinions as he wrote about in that article, then maybe my fears are misplaced... But if not, if the guild really did place it's high-priced bet right on Burgess in that as an ex-cop he would oppose accountability efforts with them, then there could be problems come next election cycle when the guild will back more anti-accountability allies.

But... for now. I think perhaps I've been a bit harsh on Burgess and I should just give him the benefit of the doubt to see what he does with the position the guild helped him get.

No comments:

Clicky Web Analytics