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Police watchdog says too soon to judge leaked police contract

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has condemned the leak of contract details between the city and the police officers' guild. Meanwhile Seattle’s Community Police Commission says it’s premature to judge that deal. 


The community group focused on Seattle police issues is asking the public to withhold judgment on the latest contract with the Seattle Police Officers' Guild. The contract is still subject to a vote by guild members.

This week the Stranger newspaper published the city’s internal documents on negotiations. It quoted activists who say the agreement doesn’t go far enough.

Mayor Murray says the city may hire someone to investigate the leak and has referred the case to the FBI.  

Meanwhile the Community Police Commission says there’s not enough information yet to know the full scope of the contract.

Lisa Daugaard, commission co-chair: “We would really caution against any attempt to read the tea leaves here before people, including us, have a chance to actually read the agreement if it is approved.”

She says the leaked documents show some encouraging signs. They suggest changes to the process for officers who appeal their disciplinary findings. Currently officers go before a board that includes their peers.

Daugaard: “It removes the active duty police employees from the board. So that’s major movement.”

The commission also wants more civilians rather than officers to be able to investigate police misconduct. Daugaard says the documents suggest “barely any movement” on that issue.

But she says most importantly, this contract appears to leave the door open to future changes at SPD, through legislation or the courts. 

Year started with KUOW: 2005