SEATTLE (September 27, 2017) – Today, Mayor Tim Burgess signed his first Executive Order to require the Seattle Police Department (SPD) manage all secondary employment for SPD officers. Executive Order 2017-09: Reforming Secondary Employment at the Seattle Police Department will establish an internal office within SPD to manage and direct police officers’ secondary employment. The Executive Order also establishes an interdepartmental taskforce to develop recommendations on how best to implement this reform.
“It is clear that we need a total overhaul of how this city handles the practice of police officers taking secondary jobs,” said Mayor Tim Burgess. “Bringing the management of SPD secondary employment in-house is both in line with national best practices and consistent with recommendations from City Auditor, the Director of the Office of Police Accountability, and the federal monitor.”
The Executive Order directs SPD, with support from the Seattle Department of Human Resources, the City Budget Office, the City Attorney’s Office, and Seattle Information Technology to establish an internal office to regulate and manage the secondary employment of SPD employees. This office will be directed and staffed by civilians and will be cost-neutral to the City. It is anticipated that the new system and regulations will take effect in 2018.
“The leadership of this City has expressed concerns regarding the secondary employment system for years,” said Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide), chair of the Council’s Gender Equity, Safe Communities, and New Americans Committee. “We heard the results of the City Auditor’s evaluation of overtime practices, which was done in April of 2016. That report also flagged secondary employment concerns and contained specific recommendations for SPD to change policies and improve oversight. As we reform the culture and practices of our police department, we must also ensure that secondary employment is part of those systemic reform efforts. I commend Mayor Burgess for his commitment to good governance that will promote accountability, and for his Executive Order that will help us resolve this long-standing issue once and for all.”
“I appreciate the Mayor’s leadership and support on this important issue. We will continue to engage collaboratively, and with a sense of urgency, to develop and implement a modern system for the management of secondary employment that promotes accountability, efficiency, and transparency.” said Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole.
Through the Executive Order, an Interdepartmental taskforce will be convened, in coordination with Seattle Police Department, the Seattle Department of Human Resources, the City Auditor, and other city Departments to develop recommendations and a timeline for implementation of establishment of the new civilian-run office. The taskforce will provide its findings by November 14, 2017, at which point Mayor Burgess intends to take executive action to begin the transition to a new secondary employment system.
The taskforce is expected to develop their recommendations with the Chair of the Seattle City Council’s Gender Equity, Safe Communities, and New Americans Committee, the Community Police Commission, the Seattle City Attorney, the Office of the City Auditor, the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, and the Seattle Police Management Association.