Members Present: Douglas Wagoner, Joseph Seia, Rev. Harriet Walden, Rev. Aaron Williams, Suzette Dickerson, La Rond Baker, Prachi Dave, Scott Bachler, Emma Catague, Colleen Echohawk, Erin Goodman, Esther Lucero, Alina Santinan, along with the acting Executive Director Brandy Grant.
Virtual Meeting Highlights
Everyone seemed very attentive and respectful of one another. After the land acknowledgement, the agenda was approved as were the minutes from the previous meeting on 10/28/20.
DOJ/Monitor/City Council/Mayor Updates
There were no updates from the DOJ or the Monitor.
The Council reported that the budget of the SPD is in the process of being discussed and CM Teresa Mosqueda will present a proposal for balancing the budget.
The Mayor’s Office reported that CM Lisa Herbold’s proposal will be considered regarding new accountability for the SPD.
Update from Office of Inspector General
Lisa Judge from OIG reported on collaboration with CPC; and they are discussing the timeline regarding the uses of force this past year and that outreach efforts are ongoing. The DNA extraction audit is finishing and they are examining secure firearms regulations.
Discussion of CPC Role in SPD Budget
Rev. Walden announced that there would be a press release today from the Mayor’s Office for the CPC to be part of the bargaining process for the budget of the SPD. The problem was that names had to be submitted very quickly to CM Herbold to consider because the announcement was immanent. So there was a meeting of the Co-Chairs of the CPC and they recommended a previous member and a current CPC member, Suzette Dickerson.
Suzette Dickerson will be part of the recess of bargaining with the SPD and she can serve as a liaison with the CPC. She will serve along with the Directors of the OIG and the OPA. This is a very big deal because it is something the CPC has been pushing for a long time.
However, there was a discussion about how the Co-Chairs had not discussed this with the Commission as a whole. Colleen Echohawk, Esther Lucero and Joseph Saia, along with Alina Santillan and Erin Goodman shared that they felt sidelined.
Rev. Walden and the Rev. Williams stated they had needed to act quickly.
Prachi Dave: Said that she heard the objections and that they should have informed the Commissioners.
All the Commissioners who objected made sure it was understood that they objected to how the action was undertaken and all of them supported Suzette Dickerson who, it was explained, had a background in the negotiation that would be a major advantage to her participation on the committee.
The agenda was amended and there was a vote taken on the consideration of Suzette Dickerson’s selection process. The motion was carried with everyone noting support for Suzette but some members abstaining because of how the selection took place (Joseph Saia, Coleen Echohawk and Esther Lucero).
Erin Goodman announced that next week there would be an update, she hoped, on the drafts for the new bylaws for the CPC; she also stated that the advertisement for the new Executive Director has been posted on various sites.
Defund Work Group
Esther Lucero: Prachi Dave to follow up with City Attorney's Office. CPC needs to understand Consent Decree for Decriminalize Seattle to understand it.
Legislative Agenda Work Group
Coming up with plan of action and researching. Meeting every other Wednesday, the 1st and 3rd of the month.
Presentation by CM Herbold on SPD Budget
Council Member Herbold gave a presentation on the proposed budget for the SPD. She said that she has
wanted CPC representation on the SPD and the SPOG bargaining process, and apologized if the request was rushed
and transparency with the entire Commission was compromised. In sum, her group was using the budget for the SPD that had been decided on in the summer to rebalance the budget of 2020, because of reduced City revenues, as a guideline for the budget for 2021. They had to consider the transfer of funds to other departments for the non-crime problems that the police were currently dealing with. Some key areas involved reducing the size of the department and postponing removing services until crisis intervention groups are set up.
So, now they are considering laying off 30 police officers and losing another 30 through natural attrition. There will be vacancy savings as well on 43 positions that SPD will not be able to fill in 2021.
They have set up the Black Brilliance Project and funded it. They have reduced the overtime budget and reduced the training and travel budgets as well as discretionary payments. All together there should be a significant savings.
There is also an effort to create a new Community Safety Department along with Parking Enforcement Officers, who are civilians managing traffic and non-injury accidents, car break-ins.
They would not be making any big moves with SPD, going more along with the summer trajectory. The idea is to build up a crisis response system before getting rid of SPD.
Esther Lucero: What kind of crisis response teams are you looking at?
CM Herbold: CAHOOTs, STAR, Intercept model (911 police or an alternative), LEAD programs. Regarding encampments, there is a need to study where the money s going right now. $10 million is going to the Human Services Dept. to develop an RFP with stakeholders.
Esther Lucero: Are we going to community to get them involved?
Erin Goodman: Excited about dealing with things in a new way. The violence in the South End is untenable. There has been a 50% increase in homicides.
CM Herbold: Need to make sure law enforcement can concentrate on crime. We asked the police to do too much. We need them to focus on serious crime. Homelessness, school, mental illness, substance abuse could be removed from police. Human Services Dept. could work on retaliation that often follows shooting.
Rev. Walden: Violence goes down when you make arrests.
Douglas Wagoner: Happy to have you look at reducing the force using CAHOOTS, having public health organizations address problems, making investments to avoid crises.
CM Herbold: Black Brilliance Project - researchers are going out to the community to talk to people about what keeps them housed, in school, etc.
Joseph Seia: Community engagement. Facilitated Zoom interviews with Commissioners.
Alina Santillan: Zoom is not the best way to engage young people. Talking to small organizations of BIPOC youth. Build power with the youth. Have to uplift their voices.
Agenda for Next Meeting
Erin Goodman: Bylaws introduction should be ready.