Members Present: Girmay Zahilay (Chair), Kathy Lambert (Vice Chair), CM Rod Dembowski, CM Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and CM Dave Upthegrove. Also present were several speakers, named below.
Virtual Meeting Highlights:
There was trouble with people's ability to talk at the beginning with the mute/unmute function. The Committee was able to figure out the issue and help each other, providing the link for written comment online as well as to find the ability to talk for some.
Only two people gave public comments. Both expressed their want for substantial oversight for police actions under OLEO. Also both expressed support for Ms. Jacobs as the Director of OLEO, citing her abilities and resume, while also citing that she is a King County native and is directly invested in communities because of this. However, these comments were slightly off topic and weren’t based on the committee’s agenda which caused the second person to be stopped.
Briefing on Independent Investigations by OLEO
Deborah Jacobs (Director of OLEO):
Guidance for independent investigations
Mike Mansanarez (King County Police Officers Guild): Willing to “find best solutions for the sheriff's office and for King County.”
Jose Marenco (Puget Sound Police Managers Association): Wants transparent, quality, professional policing->”all want to improve ourselves”, our department (want collaboration to deal with issues).
Sonia Joseph (community activist): Son was killed by a police officer in Kent. Communities want independent investigations, particular for allegations for use of force/deadly force. Outside entity to monitor/oversee.
King County Auditor’s Report on Sexual Offense Cases handled by KCSO and PAO
Ben Santos (Prosecuting Attorney, King County)
Recommendations by counsel previously included making more advocacy available, improved clarity in information available, being timely.
David Baker (Prosecuting Attorney, King County): Reliance on other agencies for demographic data is problematic. Need new/modernized way to collect this data (exploring possibilities).
Mary Ellen Stone (Director KC Sexual Assault Resource Center): Long overdue. Shouldn’t take an audit to have information out in the public. Express the ability of CASARC and the want for further improvement of the system. Extra staffing needed for advocacy and also legal proceedings (attorneys, judges, etc.)
Jose Marenco (Captain, King County Sheriff’s Office): Focus on training, which is moving virtual now. Want to really focus on cutting down numbers of cases, providing counseling and resources, but also looking to get justice if possible. Working on a forum for materials. Need more training for deputies to know how to get information out, provide clarity/better materials. Need to work with CASARC to streamline process.
Proposed Motion: Acknowledging Receipt of KC Search and Rescue Plan(KCSR)
Nick Bowman (Council Staff):
Plan to provide bulk rate gasoline and vehicle license plates to KCSR volunteers based on budgetary appropriation. Giving background on the topics at hand. Looking at cost and the benefit for these provisions
Jen (LNU): Wants to figure out a path that works for everyone. Need something very flexible and specific: A small fleet without tags, not the entire program for the vehicle licensing.
Aye: Dembowski, Dunn, Kohl-Welles, Lambert, Upthegrove, Zahilay.
Proposed Ordinance for Enhancing Privacy Online
Clifton Curry, County Policy Analyst
Provided background on the proposed ordinance, emphasizing consent before accessing video teleconferences of recovery, mental health and behavior health support groups. Legislation creates criminal and civil penalties for disrupting meetings. Similar penalties for hacking into data systems, but different emphasis here on consent.
Two mechanisms to enforce: 1. Criminal penalty, gross misdemeanor. 2. Provision that would allow a person injured by the disruption to file a civil cause of action for damages.
CMs Kohl-Welles, Lambert, and Demowski: Trying to find the answers to the legal elements of the ordinance and to clarify the clause of disruption of an “online meeting.” Questions to be further answered and discussed during the next meeting when the ordinance is decided upon.
CM Dunn (sponsor): Doesn’t want to take action on it today, but instead hold it to be discussed fully by the council with all members involved present. Concerned by people possibly infiltrating the reasonable expectation of privacy for many. Provide safety for people willing to share their personal information with professionals, provide confidentiality with ordinance to disallow people from recording or otherwise taking this private information.
Summary of Councilmembers' Comments (across all topics)
CM Zahilay: Quick, but precise through opening procedures and public comment procedures (clear and explicit with instructions/requirements). Very respectful and open to perspectives/feedback. Many thanks for advocacy and words by the speakers.
CM Lambert: Wondering about the lack of attorneys and advocates for sexual assault cases. Respectful with inquiry and taking in perspectives of speakers. Supports direct appropriation for KCSR in explicit response.
CM Dembowski: Comment on brief about sexual assault cases. Discussion on providing info quickly after a case is registered and allowing for resources/materials to be easily obtainable. Thanked speakers for discussing and being there. Very respectful. Discussion with the Police Guild about OLEO oversight.
CM Reagan Dunn: Discussion of the proposed ordinance focused on privacy in online meetings. Note the personal topic (meetings for people who are recovering->confidentiality is crucial, and information is meant to be private). Expressed gratitude for the other members of the committee for having questions and speaking on the ordinance.
CM Kohl-Welles: Commented on brief about sexual assault cases. Passionate about change to help victims and create a better process. Respectful with her inquiry.
CM Upthegrove: Expressed gratitude for meeting and for the comments by Ms. Joseph, giving passion and emotion to the brief. Interest in the stand-alone option, providing an entity for service to many orgs. Agency to develop trust of communities.
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