Seattle Police Contract Negotiations


Seattle Police Contract Negotiations: What You Need to Know

As the city of Seattle continues to grapple with issues related to policing and public safety, much of the conversation has revolved around the ongoing negotiations between the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) and the city`s leadership. In this article, we`ll provide an overview of the current state of the negotiations and what`s at stake for both sides.


Negotiations between SPOG and the city began back in 2018, when the previous contract expired. However, they quickly stalled as the city pushed for reforms that SPOG was unwilling to accept. In particular, the city wanted to give the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) greater power to investigate officer misconduct, and to make it easier to fire officers who engaged in serious misconduct.

Talks resumed in 2020, but progress has been slow. In July of that year, the city council passed a resolution calling for the renegotiation of the contract to be completed by the end of 2020. However, that deadline came and went without any agreement being reached.

What`s at Stake

The negotiations are taking place against the backdrop of a nationwide reckoning over police brutality and racism. In Seattle, this has manifested in protests and calls for deep structural changes to the city`s police force.

For SPOG, the key issues at stake in the negotiations are job security and protections for officers accused of misconduct. The current contract allows officers accused of misconduct to appeal discipline decisions to an arbitrator, who often overturns the punishment.

For the city, the key issues are accountability and transparency. Community activists and some members of the city council argue that the current contract makes it too difficult for the OPA to hold officers accountable for misconduct, and that it protects officers who engage in bad behavior.

What`s Next

As of this writing, negotiations are ongoing. In March 2021, Mayor Jenny Durkan presented a new proposal that would give the OPA more power to investigate misconduct and make it easier to fire officers who engage in serious misconduct. SPOG rejected the proposal, calling it “anti-police.”

The negotiations are being closely watched by activists, community groups, and police reform advocates. Whatever the outcome, it`s clear that the contract negotiations will have a significant impact on the future of policing in Seattle.

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