Seattle Police Department oversight structure
Office of Professional Accountability Established: 1999 Duties: It is the office within the Seattle Police Department that receives and...
Office of Professional Accountability
Duties: It is the office within the Seattle Police Department that receives and investigates complaints by citizens about police misconduct. Investigations are carried out and overseen by sergeants and commanders in the Internal Investigations Section. The OPA is headed by a civilian director, who is appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The director makes recommendations to the chief of police regarding findings and discipline. Final say on discipline rests with the chief. The office's mission also includes promoting public awareness of its role and pushing reforms that increase police accountability.
Current civilian director: Kathryn Olson
Office of Professional Accountability Auditor
Duties: The auditor, an independent civilian contractor appointed by the mayor, reviews open internal-investigation files. The auditor may provide advice on investigations but may not make findings. The auditor issues semi-annual public reports on the handling of investigations.
Current auditor: Kate Pflaumer
Office of Professional Accountability Review Board
Duties: A three-member citizen panel, the board reviews closed internal investigations to determine the way they have been handled by the Office of Professional Accountability. It makes recommendations that address concerns of citizens and police officers. The board members are appointed by the City Council. It issues semiannual public reports, although some have not been made public because of pending legal complications.
Current members: Peter Holmes, chair; Brad Moericke; Sheley Secrest
Sources: Seattle Police Department; Office of Professional Accountability Review Board; City of Seattle Ordinance 120728
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.