Sep 30 2013
Press Release issued 9/30/13:
Levinson to serve second term monitoring the Office of Professional Accountability
SEATTLE – City Council unanimously confirmed retired Judge Anne Levinson as the Civilian Auditor for the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA).
The City’s civilian police oversight structure is a three prong system. They include:
• The OPA civilian Director, who is chiefly responsible for overseeing police accountability and conducting investigations into all complaints of police misconduct. The Council confirmed Pierce Murphy as the new OPA Director earlier this year.
• The OPA Review Board, which is a seven-member board that has the authority to review closed files and make recommendations about police policies and procedures. The Board is also responsible for conducting public outreach on police accountability issues.
• The OPA civilian Auditor, an attorney who provides independent oversight of OPA to ensure misconduct complaints are appropriately addressed and investigations of misconduct are thorough, objective and timely. The Auditor works to improve police accountability and professional conduct by recommending changes to Police Department, City and OPA policies, training, systems and practices.
“With the establishment of the Community Police Commission and confirmations of the OPA civilian Auditor and Director completed, we finally have these positions solidified as we move forward with the Department of Justice Settlement Agreement and search for a new Police Chief,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “Judge Levinson has been a leader in advancing policy changes to the police accountability system. I value her candid and objective assessments and fearless reputation to bring forward issues that will bring long-lasting positive changes to the Seattle Police Department.”
“Strong, independent civilian oversight enhances the public’s trust and confidence in the Police Department and helps ensure that the Department’s culture fosters respect for the law, a commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of community members and continuous dedication to improving the quality and effectiveness of policing,” said Judge Levinson.
The OPA Auditor is appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The Auditor is eligible to serve up to three three-year terms.
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