The Seattle City Council has issued 11 proposals to improve accountability and strengthen public trust in the police force, reports the Seattle Times. The recommendations include mandatory drug testing for police involved in deadly-force incidents, higher standards for hiring and training, and monthly reports about misconduct. Tim Burgess, chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, said the measures are meant to “stop the erosion of public confidence” after highly publicized confrontations between police and minority suspects caught on video over the past year.
Burgess acknowledged that many of the recommendations were subject to bargaining with the department’s two unions. He said some could be adopted by the council as policy directives to the command staff. The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild said it is “always willing to entertain new ideas and recommendations for improvement to police policy and procedures.” The department has come under criticism for its use of force against minorities and the length of time it takes to hold an officer accountable for misconduct. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether officers engaged in a pattern of unnecessary force, particularly against minorities.