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Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for March, 2015

Mar 31 2015

ADVISORY: Body Camera Pilot Update, Fire Chief Confirmation Process Begins in Council Public Safety Committee Tomorrow

SEATTLE – Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s Public Safety Committee will host an update this Wednesday on the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD’s) Body Camera Pilot project, in which a group of officers in the East Precinct have been equipped with body worn video cameras since December 2014. SPD will share initial successes and feedback from the officers during the first 90 days of the pilot and discuss remaining timeline to complete full assessment report.

The committee will also begin discussion of the appointment of Harold Scoggins as Chief of the Seattle Fire Department. Scoggins was nominated for Fire Chief by Mayor Ed Murray on February 25, and his appointment is subject to Council confirmation.

Scoggins will provide introductory remarks and speak on his background and experience, followed by the initial round of questions from Councilmembers.

WHAT: Body Camera Pilot report and Council’s initial questions for Seattle Fire Chief Nominee, Harold Scoggins at the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee

WHEN: Wednesday, April 1, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Council Chambers, 2nd floor
Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Seattle 98104

WHO: Councilmembers
Seattle Police Department Representatives
Mayor’s Office

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Mar 23 2015

Council Amends Cable TV Code to Improve Competition, Customer Service

SEATTLE – City Council unanimously approved legislation today to modernize the deployment of cable television franchises, provide Seattle residents with more choices by removing barriers to competition, and implement stronger customer service and consumer protections.

The City’s Cable Code was originally adopted in 1976, with the most recent substantive amendments added in 2002. The Code contains consumer protection standards and prescribes the general rules for all cable franchises granted in the City of Seattle, including procedures for renewing, transferring and terminating franchises. The new legislation streamlines approval processes and re-structures the Code sections by removing provisions that have become outdated and unnecessary.

The new Code changes are intended to improve competition and customer service by eliminating cable franchise districts in favor of a more flexible provision that opens the entire City to competition. The Code also contains new requirements to ensure equity and build-out service to low-income households, enhanced call answering standards and reporting, and more flexibility and protections for residents and owners living in condos and apartments.

“Coach Pete Carroll’s philosophy is a relentless pursuit of competition. We represented that philosophy in updating the cable code law with a focus on enhancing competition to stimulate more options and improved customer service to benefit our residents,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee.

The Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) supported the legislation in a written statement provided on March 10.

The Department of Information Technology worked collaboratively with the community, CTTAB, and cable providers on the proposed Code amendments. Their input was considered in finalizing the legislation.

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Mar 18 2015

Audit on SPD Public Disclosure Process Highlights Need for Improvement, Additional Resources

SEATTLE – The City Auditor unveiled a comprehensive audit of the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) process for handling Public Disclosure Requests today. The audit, requested by the City Council, details the current public disclosure request process, and highlights the need for additional staff, new software to handle requests, improved communication with requesters, among other recommendations.

In 2014, 2/3rds (or nearly 4,700) of all Public Disclosure Requests to City departments were directed at the Seattle Police Department, and the Auditor found requests have been becoming increasingly complex and involve advances in new technology. SPD public record requests have also increased by over 35 percent in the last six years. The significant gaps in resources and systems that SPD uses to process public records requests has hindered SPD’s ability to ensure accurate and timely responses.

“Our actions must demonstrate our commitment to accountability and transparency in order to foster public trust,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “Moving forward, I am encouraged by the actions and mindset of SPD. SPD has already implemented a number of recommendations and worked collaboratively with the Auditor to come up with solutions. SPD has shown its commitment to transparency, as the Washington Coalition for Open Government recently honored the work of Chief Operating Officer Mike Wagers for working with the public on a reasonable solution for body camera videos.”

The Auditor made a total of 13 recommendations for how to improve public disclosure processes, detailed in the audit report.

“I support the Auditor’s recommendations and providing the necessary resources for continuing improvements in SPD’s Public Disclosure processes,” added Councilmember Harrell. “The Committee will closely monitor the follow through of the Auditor’s recommendations.”

The full “Audit of the Seattle Police Department Public Disclosure Process” can be viewed here. The City Auditor’s office will present their findings at the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee today at 2 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

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Mar 18 2015

Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee (3/18, 2:00 pm)

Public Safety, Civil Rights, And Technology Committee Agenda for Wednesday, 3/18/2015, 2:00 PM

Click here to view the complete agenda:

1) Appointment of Karia Wong as member, Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, for a term of confirmation to January 1, 2017.

2) Appointment of Amy Hirotaka as member, Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, for a term ending January 1, 2017.

3) Cable Code Bill: AN ORDINANCE relating to the City’s Cable Communications Ordinance; amending Chapter 21.60 of the Seattle Municipal Code to reflect advances in technology and changes in federal law, to create a logical organization of the Chapter for ease of reference, to promote competition in cable services, to enhance consumer protection, and to reserve the City’s authority in a fluid regulatory environment; updating the membership requirements and duties of the Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, renaming it the Community Technology Advisory Board, and moving the requirements and duties of the Board from Chapter 21.60 to Chapter 3.22; renaming Subtitle V of Title 21 and Chapter 21.60; amending Sections 3.02.125, 21.60.010, 21.60.020, 21.60.030, 21.60.040, 21.60.050, 21.60.060, 21.60.080, 21.60.090, 21.60.100, 21.60.110, 21.60.120, 21.60.130, 21.60.140, 21.60.150, 21.60.160, 21.60.170, 21.60.180, 21.60.190, 21.60.200, 21.60.210, 21.60.220, 21.60.240, 21.60.250, 21.60.260, 21.60.270, 21.60.280, 21.60.800, 21.60.820, and 21.60.830; repealing Sections 21.60.230, 21.60.290, 21

4) Office of City Auditor’s Audit Report of the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) Public Disclosure Request Process (PDR).

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