Seattle’s Police Chief could routinely face more scrutiny over his leadership, accomplishments, vision and decision-making if a Charter amendment passes to require Seattle City Council reconfirmation.
Council member Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s public safety committee and candidate for mayor, is considering the amendment to require reconfirmation, and will facilitate a public discussion Wednesday.
WHAT: Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Council Chambers, second floor
Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Seattle 98104
WHO: Councilmember Bruce A. Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Currently, 13 city department heads are subject to Council reconfirmation after initial appointment by the mayor and confirmation by the Council, but the Police Chief is exempted:
In 2006, the Council passed legislation and the voters approved eight additional department heads for reconfirmation, but the Police Chief was not included. In 2008, Councilmember Harrell conducted an extensive and thorough examination of Superintendent Jorge Carrasco, coordinating several large gathering sessions with employee groups, business customers and residential customers. The open and transparent process resulted in an evaluation process with established criteria that confirmed the Superintendent’s position. By requiring the Council to reconfirm the Police Chief, it affords the Council and the public an opportunity through a transparent process to review the Chief’s leadership, accomplishments, vision and decision-making approaches.
If proposed, voters would need to approve the charter amendment.
Waterfront surveillance cams
Also on the agenda for today’s public safety committee session are the series of cameras installed along Seattle’s waterfront thanks to a Homeland Security grant:
The mayor said he has directed the Police Department to brief community groups and solicit opinions before going ahead with the cameras, which were acquired through a $5 million federal Homeland Security grant. Installed along the city’s shoreline from Fauntleroy to Golden Gardens, the cameras are designed to augment security, according to police.