On Tuesday, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced funding for 15 new police officers in the 2014 Proposed Budget.
“We have heard from neighborhoods across the city that their number one safety priority is to see more officers walking beats in their communities” said McGinn. “Our improving budget situation allows us the flexibility to meet that need. These new officers will be recruited in partnership with community groups to ensure that they reflect the diversity of Seattle, and provided extensive training in the new standards and procedures that we have developed through our 20/20 reform plan.”
McGinn also released the Seattle Police Department’s new Code of Ethics, part of the SPD: 20/20 plan, which all new recruits (along with existing officers) will be required to study and sign. The Code of Ethics asks officers to actively commit to doing the following:
• Treat people fairly and act in good faith
• Work toward racial and social justice for all
• Listen to what other people are saying, ask questions and consider their concerns
• Commit to exploring new ways to improve public safety while reducing harm to communities and individuals
• Keep service to our community as my first priority
Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel also outlined some other new training programs recruits will undergo, including Listen and Explain with Equity and Dignity training. This training is intended to develop a style of communicating that is focused on listening and providing answers to “Why” questions. This training model was initiated for new hires in June 2012. In-service training for 2013 will consist of both classroom and scenario based training.
“These new officers will be the cream of the crop” said Pugel. “We have worked extensively with our community partners like Atlantic Street Center, El Centro de la Raza and Filipino Community of Seattle to make sure we’re recruiting folks who are committed to working directly with the public to build a safer community. I look forward to getting these new officers trained and out walking the beat.”
“Atlantic Street Center is proud to participate in SPD’s recruitment efforts as a community partner” said Atlantic Street Center Executive Director Edith Elion. “To build stronger relationships between the police and our community, we need to make sure the department reflects the diversity of our city. We’re headed in the right direction.”