Interim Seattle Chief Makes Swift Changes, To Meet With Justice Department


Three weeks into his new job, Interim Seattle Police Chief Harry Bailey has made changes that might normally occur over three years, reports the SeattleTimes. Operating with a mandate from new Mayor Ed Murray to accelerate the pace of reforms to curtail excessive force and biased policing, Bailey has quickly assembled his own command staff while helping usher some of the old guard out the door. Bailey said he and his staff have been working 12 to 14 hours a day developing a “road map” for the future and “resetting” the Police Department before a permanent chief is hired.

Bailey outlined his plans in advance of a key meeting next week with U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and Jocelyn Samuels, the Department of Justice's acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division, to identify reform goals for the coming year. The meeting, which will be attended by Murray, elected and police officials and Merrick Bobb, the court-appointed monitor overseeing federally mandated reforms set down in a consent decree between the city and Justice Department, also will include discussion of changes in the Police Department.

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