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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Seattle To Appeal Anti-Oversight PERC Ruling

The Seattle PI has reported today that mayor Greg Nickels supports appealling the PERC ruling against Seattle which bars the city from allowing civilian police oversight agents from viewing un-altered disciplinary reports to identify patterns of misconduct and disciplinary gaps. While the official decision of whether to appeal is expected on Monday, after the city council, mayor, and city attorney have reached a concensus, there is no expected opposition to the effort to overturn the ruling at this time.

The argument centers on the guild's reason for contesting the legislation enacted unanimously by Seattle's city council based on recommendations from a review panel that was formed after Seattle police chief Gil Kerilowski refused to follow disciplinary recommendations made by the department's internal investigations agency against several officers in high-profile misconduct cases without explaination.

The city states that the PERC ruling is fatally flawed since the guild's complaint is that the change affected disciplinary issues that must be bargained into their contract but the city states the changes do not affect the disciplinary process since the civilian oversight committee (OPARB) only reviews closed files after findings and discipline have been decided upon and they have no authority or input over the disciplinary process itself.

The OPARB only reviews closed files in order to identify patterns of abuse and discipline and report those patterns to the city, police department, and the public. Members of the OPARB must sign a confidentiality agreement that bars them from revealing any details about disciplinary decisions or identifying officer information, which they have never violated to date.

The appeal is necessary for the city to have any chance at implementing 29 recommendations for civilian oversight reforms suggested by the mayor's oversight review panel in addition to other recommendations made by the council's oversight review panel as well.

The guild has issues statements that indicate it refuses to discuss the reforms until it's next contract negotiations are scheduled, which are in 2010, despite stalled negotiations on it's current contract which expired over a year ago.

The review panel and city officials worry that if the guild can delay negotiations or refuse to accept the reforms during current talks that they will not be implemented at all, especially if the PERC ruling is allowed to stand, which gives them precedence if contract talks go into arbitration. The panel emplored the police union to not hinder the much needed reforms, to no avail.

No comments:

Clicky Web Analytics