Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole Speaks at October NPAC Meeting

Chief O’Toole was the speaker at the October 1 meeting of the North Precinct Advisory Committee (NPAC).

She began by thanking those involved in NPAC for working together with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and for welcoming her to the city over the summer; sharing ideas and concerns as she attended Night Out events in the neighborhoods; at the precinct picnic in August; and through the Find It, Fix It walks.

She conveyed her support for a broad-based approach to communication and cited the creation of “CSTAT” meetings every two weeks. The meetings bring together SPD command staff with partners such as the precinct commanders, King County Prosecutor and city attorney, as well as UW police to review trends and allocate officers as needed.    She says her goal is to listen rather than dictating from above, and to develop effective Neighborhood Policing Plans as a key tool since neighborhoods know what they want.

Chief O’Toole emphasized the need to be accountable for resources, pointing to her recent request for an audit of all overtime and introduced Mike Wagers, whom she hired into a new civilian position of Chief Operating Officer.

The Chief responded to a variety of questions sent to her from NPAC prior to the meeting. She responded directly to the recent news of a leaked internal memo complaining of a lack of North Precinct officers to investigate residential burglaries.   Both the Chief, and Precinct Captain Emerick emphasized that the memo contained many inaccuracies, and it had come from a “frustrated officer.”   The chief met with the officer to discuss the memo, but did not discipline him. Investigations are proceeding, and precincts can draw on resources from a centralized burglary unit.

Support for the community police team was high on the Chief’s list of priorities, and she acknowledged the need for more resources, not just for SPD officers, but for the neighborhoods to develop effective block watches and support crime prevention.

Full details of the conversation are in the October 2014 meeting minutes.

In other updates, Operations Lt. Leslie Cordner is leaving the North Precinct to be Chief O’Toole’s aid. She will continue to be responsible for the new North Precinct police station project however.   Sgt Dianne Newsom reminded everyone that with the fall, comes the time to collect socks to donate to the North Precinct.  The socks are donated to several homeless shelters, and used by officers during the winter months when they observe people in need.

Detailed meeting minutes for this and past meetings are available online at https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0ByYeltqkXtOuNWM0M2ZiMTQtYTMwNC00MGY4LWJjZWMtNmJkMWFiMzZkNDUy&usp=drive_web&ddrp=1#

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