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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Seattle Police Guild Takes "Tweaked" Offer To Members

It appears as though the contract talks between the Seattle Police Officer's Guild and the City of Seattle have made some progress and the union's negotiators and leadership are in the process of taking the city's offer to the members for consideration.

No news on what accountability reforms have been tied to that offer, if any, but we'll keep you posted when we hear anything.

UPDATE: Looks like all the mayor's OPARP accountability recommendations are tied to this contract deal, at least per the mayor's office. The contact will also purportedly make the Seattle Police Department the highest paid in the state. Entry-level officers would make $64,312 per year and veteran officers would make $90,516 per year if the contract is finalized.

Let's just hope the rank and file officers accept the deal...

More at:
The Stranger SLOG (where officers commenting on the story are indicating that they plan on voting against the contract)
The Seattle PI

UPDATE: The Seattle Times has also put up an article about the contract breakthrough. However, they had this ominous bit to add to the discussion:

"As for police accountability, O'Neill said some language was tweaked but otherwise, "the spirit of the recommendations ... came through."

O'Neill declined to provide details as to whether Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske will be required to provide written explanations when he disagrees with the OPA director over misconduct findings — one of the panel's key recommendations.

"Will the chief be explaining more than he has [in the past]? Yes, but there are protections for officers," he said."

Because of the secretive process in place, we likely won't know exactly what recommendations the guild was able to change until the contract has been approved by SPOG members prior to the city council's vote. We certainly hope that it's not anything significant... but if the past is any guide, we'll likely still have a lot of work to do before a real trustworthy police accountability program will be put into effect because of these "tweaks".

Stay tuned...

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