Whitecaps

Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

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Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Police Executive Accountability

There's an interesting story building in Seattle. The ultimate question being asked is how much should the Seattle Police Department's chief executive officer, Gil Kerlikowske, have intervened in adjudicating the allegations of unlawful conduct by two patrol officers during a fairly routine drug arrest. The issue is relevant to Seattle's civilian review of police internal investigations of alleged officer misconduct.

The lead in today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer (P-I) story headlined Seattle council president calls for chiefs to be subject to review reads:
In the face of a confidential report critical of the Seattle Police Department, City Council President Nick Licata has renewed his call to subject the police chief and the fire chief to periodic reconfirmation by the council.
The P-I article, written by reporter Neil Modie, provides little detailed information about the report prepared by the independent Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), the civilian review board that oversees the police department's internal affairs unit.

In contrast, the lead in today's Seattle Times (Times) article headlined Scathing report says chief interfered with cop probe reads:
Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske repeatedly interfered in an investigation into the actions of a pair of officers, damaging the credibility of the police force to the point that increased oversight is needed, according to a civilian-review board report.
The Times article contained far more detail. In addition it provided links to several documents including the OPA's report Chief Kerlikowske said he had not yet seen. The Times linked documents are linked below.

Criminal justice students may want to review the links to get a better understanding of how police conduct is examined by civilian review boards and by outside agencies. Journalists and bloggers can also compare and contrast the news coverage by the P-I versus the Times.

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